Believe Me When I Say


Watercolour painting by Rachel Goossen | Graphic design by Jessica Goossen

It’s been a dream of mine for a decade to release my own music. Not in just a haphazard way, but properly—like going through the whole shebang of having it available on all the major music services.

Over the years, I’ve followed many artists, supported their releases, and figuratively stared in admiration at their accomplishments. I wanted to be on their side of things. I wanted to feel what they were feeling. This desire pushed me to write and record my own music over the past two years.

I’ll be honest, it was hard to keep motivated. I didn’t have a job for much of that time period. I felt like I was wasting away even though I was working diligently on my music.

Only now am I starting to feel a sense of accomplishment—two years later. I hope this doesn’t come off in a conceited way because it’s more of a ‘wow I put an insane number of hours into this thing and now it’s finally coming to fruition’ feeling (if that makes sense). And I’m ecstatic to share these swirling tracks that have been on my mind for some time with you.

A good chunk of my album reflects on the directionless life transition I was experiencing. I graduated university, broke up with my girlfriend at the time, and didn’t know where I was headed in my life.

I didn’t have the sense of direction I have now. As most of you know, I’m pursuing a communications career with the Creative Communications program at Red River College. The work we’ve done has me excited for the career opportunities to come. But what has been really special is the people I’ve met, who’ve inspired me to work hard and produce my very best in everything I do (whether it be in writing, designing, or filming).

Anyway, I’m getting too sappy. Know I had a blast in my first year of CreComm, and now I can focus on releasing some music.

I’ll announce my debut album in the next couple weeks, but for now enjoy my first single, “Believe Me When I Say” (and if you like it, please share it)!

This track is an introspective look into the realizations of a past relationship’s faults.

Streaming on Bandcamp…

Streaming on Spotify…

Follow my artist page on Spotify…

Streaming on SoundCloud…

“Believe Me When I Say” is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp to purchase.

It’s also streaming on popular services like Apple MusicDeezer, SoundCloud, and even TIDAL (Do you know anyone who uses TIDAL? I don’t. But it’s there!)



Red River Risin’ – Music Runs in the Family

I believe nobody in our CreComm world knows about my dad’s songwriting talents.

In his musical career, he wrote for and played guitar on a children’s TV show and released a children’s gospel album named ‘Booster Shot’ (I might have some retro cassettes kicking around if you’re interested). He can also write astounding lyrics on the spot and is gathering some old recordings for a new release soon (hopefully).

I got most of my musical talents from him and I’m forever grateful. We have plans to collaborate more in the near future after I release some of my own music, but below is a throwback to a song of his that I contributed to. I tracked the drums for it, and it was really my first ever recording experience.

My dad wrote this song several years ago for Winnipeg and its annual flood-scare season. Enjoy…

p.s. I’ve also revealed my old Vimeo account… Don’t even try looking for incriminating clips. I’ve gone through all my old vlogs and changed the viewing privacy settings to ‘Only Me’. If you really want to watch goofy 18-year-old Manny’s travel videos, I guess you could ask me nicely. Although, I did upload a new video (my montage) on there for you to enjoy.


A Traveller’s Harvest (So Serene)



Antico Podere di Olena’s vineyard in Barberino Val d’Elsa, Tuscany, Italy.


Two falls ago I headed over to Europe and backpacked, visiting friends I had met from a previous trip. I planned it as I went. I’d get to a friend’s place and barely plan the next leg before I left his or her home. Stressful, but very rewarding (if everything goes somewhat smoothly and you don’t get mugged, stranded, or lose your passport).

Let’s focus in on one particular travel leg though…

I was sitting at a desk in a cold Swedish guest room, firing off emails to World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in Italy. Luckily, within a few days, I got a response from a young couple needing help with their olive harvest. Perfect, I had a place to stay and volunteer for two weeks.

My time in Italy had come and I found myself swerving through the Tuscany hills on a night bus. I almost never reached my hosts because for one, it was pitch black out; two, stops weren’t being announced in any way; and three, the only Italian I knew was ciao, grazie, prego and scusi. As my anxiety rose, I began asking everyone around me whether or not each stop was the town I needed to get off at. Blank faces stared back at me.

Thankfully, an elderly man resembling the Dos Equis icon looked at me, nodded, and motioned for me to get off when he did. I followed suit and almost accepted his invitation for a drink when a tiny, two-door Fiat whipped around the town square. A man-bunned blond jumped out and yelled, “You Manny?!”

Long story short, I will never forget my experience with that family. I planted beans, chopped wood, spent a lot of time avoiding a bloodthirsty rooster named Geronimo, ate Italian homemade cuisine every day, scooped a large bucket of harvested honey into jars, maintained an old vineyard with the most beautiful Tuscan landscape as a backdrop, played inline/roller hockey for the first time in Empoli (the last place I thought I’d play), and more.

I could go on and on describing my experience with these amazing people but the reality is… I have more schoolwork to get to.

Seriously though, I wish I would’ve stayed longer. I decided to head home after my two weeks because I had little money left and I found a relatively cheap flight.

But what if I asked to stay on for as long as they’d have me?

What if I was still there today? … I hope I’d have learned a bit of Italian by this point, speaking sloppily in the cobblestone alleys of Florence every weekend–debating which vino to get with my sandwich at the hole-in-the-wall deli.

After my grunt work in the vineyard, maybe the family would’ve trusted me to help with its next commercial batch, making me a connoisseur of wine. I’m no sommelier, but being around Italians makes me want to be, badly. By the way, I brought home and still have the family’s Antico Podere Di Olena L’ATTESO 2003 red as a token of my time there.

Perhaps I could have stayed longer and my life would’ve still snapped back into place by the time I theoretically came home next. Maybe my life would’ve drastically changed… Nonetheless, I am where I am, and I’m grateful!


p.s. The title of this blog, “A Traveller’s Harvest (So Serene),” is a song I wrote while staying with this Italian family.

I think it’d be fun to sporadically introduce track titles from my upcoming album through stories like this one…

Stay tuned.

Ciao ciao ciao.

(Blog Challenge #3: Rewrite one important moment of your life and theorize where you might be today based on the change you make)