Rising musician, Manuela Wuthrich, didn’t fully discover the music within her until she attended Briercrest College and Seminary.
“Growing up I loved music, but being a musician really wasn’t at the forefront of what I wanted to do,” the singer/songwriter explained. “I wanted to be more on the business, computer or science side of technology. However, when I was introduced to the church and started participating in the youth groups and bands and started playing, that is when it really clicked in my head that I wanted to be a musician.”
“Briercrest was really my starting place. It was where everything kind of started developing for me. It was definitely just the courses I took, especially classes with Ken Dosso. He would always touch on the industry and how things work with songwriting credits or how to release an album. I always picked his brain afterwards and tried to really see what it took to be an artist and what I needed to learn to do so. I was also able to find my sound, the jazzier side to what I am doing now.”
Since graduating in 2008, the former worship arts student has made a name for herself from winning the Edmonton Music Award R&B/Soul Album of the Year and Female Artist of the Year awards to having her songs featured on such shows as Blank Ink Crew, Basketball Wives and Degrassi.
While Wuthrich, whose artist’s name is Nuela Charles, said being acknowledged for her hard work is nice, music for her is simply about doing what she loves.
“It’s really been amazing, but for me it is not necessarily about the awards and nominations, but I think it is just about being recognized by my peers in the music industry. It has just kind of encouraged me to keep going and I think it is just God being like, ‘Okay, this is working so don’t stop. You are working hard and I am just reaffirming that,’” she explained.
“I have seen a lot of people go down really dark places and lose themselves within this industry, trying to pursue this goal of being rich and famous. But I always say the goal isn’t for me to be famous or rich, but it’s just to be able to do what I love every day and that is to share music and share stories within my songs.”
Currently working on her new album, Wuthrich hopes to create a platform in which she can connect to people and give them something they can really relate to.
“More so than anything I just want to be able to relate to people. I think music has the ability to communicate a message,” she explained.
“There is just something about hearing a great song. You just feel it, you just feel the energy from it and it has the ability to share love and acceptance and joy and I love that about it because it’s the one thing I think that everyone can relate to.”
Wuthrich explained her ‘alternative soul’ style of music provides her listeners with diversity and hopes to have a little something for everyone in each song.
“I call it alternative soul because it’s rooted in soul music and it has jazz elements and R&B and hip-hop, but definitely alternative to what you would think when you hear ‘soul music.’ It is definitely not fully R&B and fully soul because it has rock influences and electric influence,” she explained.
“I think people can expect to find a variety within it. It is so diverse and it’s not what you would hear on a regular basis. horse games Kids games Its diverse enough that it lends to me as an artist, but it is also accessible where it’s not too far out to left field that people just can’t get it.”
Wuthrich said entering into the music scene has not been an easy journey, but with perseverance, dedication and faith her dreams of becoming a musician are starting to come true.
“It’s been challenging for sure and not without hard work definitively. Overall I think it has been amazing to see once I decided to fully pursue music how things just started opening up for me and how opportunities have been coming my way,” she said.
“It’s encouraging to see how once you set your mind on something and you go for it 100 per cent nothing really can stop you if it’s meant to be. God will open those doors for you and you will be able to continue to pursue the thing you love.”
This past year for Wuthrich has been about both learning who she is and how to be within the music industry itself.
“It’s been a shift because going from worship music and ministry in the church to trying to make it in main stream music is totally different,” she explained. “So trying to find my footing has been a challenge, but God has provided some great people around me and just helped me to get where I am today.”
Wuthrich says that while her material may not be overtly Christian, her Christian faith definitely influences what she does.
“A lot of music now is not just the music but it’s about pictures and video . . . a lot of it is overly sexualized and tons of violence and things that are not aligned with what I believe in,” she said. “So I’m always making sure what I put out there . . . has the deeper morals I have rooted in it.”