The Color
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The Color

Plum Coulee, Manitoba, Canada | SELF | AFM

Plum Coulee, Manitoba, Canada | SELF | AFM
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"The Color Finds Their Groove"

The Color finds their groove
Fans and industry pros take notice of homegrown talent

By Steven Sukkau | Monday, January 28, 2013


Photo courtesy of Jordan Janzen

WINKLER, MB—The Color, an up and coming Christian rock band from Winkler, Manitoba are hoping to add a little light to the airwaves and reach youth with a message of hope.

Frontman Jordan Janzen grew up in a musical home, often playing drums and guitar with his parents' worship band. Eventually he took the spotlight with his voice.

"I've seen people without that family support," says Janzen. "And that's a very challenging, very lonely road."

His journey truly began back in 2005 during his final year of high school when he entered the Manitoba Christian Talent Search. While he didn't win the contest, the exposure led to a six-week tour with Canadian artist Amanda Falk.

Janzen released his debut album, Crazy, three years later, co-produced with the help of his father Ken Janzen at their home recording studio in Plum Coulee, Manitoba.

His first single, "Cinderella" received national airplay and the album went on to receive nominations for two Covenant Awards at the annual Gospel Music Awards (GMA).

Then in 2009, Janzen entered full-time ministry as a youth pastor at Westside Church in Morden, Manitoba where he saw first hand the pain and struggles of youth looking to feel valued through popularity instead of Christ.

Janzen was soon writing again with long-time friend and former bandmate James Shiels who had also entered ministry. They shared a renewed focus on spreading a message of hope.

Those early songs eventually became The Color's award-winning, self-titled album, released in early 2012. The record also features guitarist Gabe Boschman, Larry Abrams on bass and drummer Tyler Martens.

The Color's debut album was nominated for a total of five GMA awards in 2012 and took home three, including Hard Rock/Alternative Song of the Year for "Alive" as well as the coveted prize for New Artist of the Year.

Janzen says the accolades have given the group a greater platform to speak into the lives of youth.

"We want to build into others," Janzen explains, adding that the group wants to continue to bring colour and light to people's lives, writing songs of substance and character.

"Songs that have purpose," says Janzen.

Recently the band provided worship during Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute's Spiritual Emphasis week, for five evenings of music and ministering to more than 500 teens.

In early February The Color plays at MissionFest Manitoba, and will perform during Friday night's session with guest speaker Vince Antonucci, author of I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt. - Christian Week


"The Color Wins Three Awards"

WINKLER - By Steven Sukkau

Local Christian Rock band, The Color, scored three awards at last week’s 2012 GMA Covenant Music Awards in Burlington, Ont.

The quintet from Winkler and area - Gabe Boschman-guitar, James Shiels-guitar/vocals, Jordan Janzen-guitar/vocals, Larry Abrams-bass/vocals and drummer Tyler Martens were nominated in five categories and picked up awards in three - Hard Rock/Alternative Song of the Year “Alive”, New Artist of the Year and CD Artwork of the Year.

The group was also given the chance to perform during the awards gala last week, playing for thousands of people, many of them big players in the industry including execs from the largest Christian radio stations.

“Even standing there waiting for our intro, my heart was beating so fast,” said Janzen. “I wasn’t nervous. It was just crazing knowing who was all out there.”

“It still feels like a dream,” Shiels said. “It’s amazing to think this really happened.”

Janzen said the awards are a sign of affirmation, and will help them gain new opportunities going forward.

“Wherever we go, we’ll have a lot more traction,” Janzen said.

Shiels explained their work in post-production to create a polished, quality sound was key, and more people have given them a listen because of it.

As well, the band looks forward to more touring in the future and to continue writing music of substance and character and songs that have a purpose.

“We want to build into others,” Janzen explained, adding as their name suggests, they want to continue to bring colour and light to people’s lives through their gift of music.

Going forward after winning the awards, the band doesn’t want to just sit on their laurels. Next they hope to release another single, as well record a new album in the future as they continue touring and reaching new fans.

It’s humbling because we know that God’s hand has been in this from the beginning,” Janzen said. “He is doing things beyond our control… everything we do we want to glorify His name.”

Going forward after winning the awards, the band doesn’t want to just sit on their laurels. Next they hope to release another single, as well record a new album in as they continue touring and reaching new fans. - The Winkler Times


"The Color To Shine At GMA Awards"

A group of southern Manitoba performers have been nominated for five Gospel Music Association awards.

The Color, made up of five artists from Plum Coulee, Altona and Winkler, was nominated for Rock/Modern Rock Song Of The Year, Rock/Modern Rock Album Of The Year, Hard Rock/Alternative Song Of The Year, New Artist Of The Year, and CD/Artwork Design Of The Year.

Band member James Shiels says they were really hoping for a nomination, but with so many talented groups and musicians all over Canada, they had no idea what to expect.

“Needless to say, when we found out that we were nominated in five categories, ‘surprised’ would’ve been an understatement! We feel very honoured and blessed.”

Jordan Janzen says the band is definitely excited to be recognized in this way.

“More than the award itself, we feel these nominations are a statement of support from the Canadian Christian music industry and, when we have poured so much of our lives into this passion over the last few years, that support is crucial in us moving forward,” he says.

“(It’s) a sign that we are doing something right.”

The Color will head to Burlington, ON for the Nov. 7 awards ceremony, and have also been asked to play at the GMA Covenant Awards banquet, which Shiels says is a huge honour and opportunity.

It’s been an interesting journey for the band, starting back in high school, with Janzen and Shiels just jamming with a few friends.

When Janzen won a talent search in Winnipeg, the group found themselves touring across Canada, but eventually followed other interests.

Janzen released a solo album in 2009, leading to the formation of the Jordan Janzen Band.

Interestingly, this band didn’t include anyone from The Color.

Shiels later rejoined the group, and the current members soon became part of the writing and recording process.

With a little more consistency, new songs and a band approach, they decided to make a record, using the Jordan Janzen Band momentum.

By August of 2011, the band decided to move forward with a new name, and make music a greater part of their everyday lives. Their self-titled debut album was released last March.

The Color has had a busy year, performing in four different provinces and one state, in venues varying from church services and youth groups, to theatres and summer festivals.

The purpose of their music, Janzen says, is to uplift and bring hope, particularly to today’s youth.

“We know that life can be really tough at times and our desire - we even put it in our name - is to bring color, to bring light to that darkness.

We’ve seen how youth face so many challenges in today’s world and it inspires us to do anything we can to help make a difference.”

For any up and coming performers, Janzen says patience is the key.

“Nothing moves quickly. Patience, practice and perseverance are very important for anyone looking to venture into the world of music. And enjoy it!” - The Red River Valley Echo


"New name for rising local band"

by Lori Penner

Plum Coulee's own Jordan Janzen's star continues to rise.

Janzen, along with his band, The Color, shared the stage with Jodi King at the P.W. Enns Centennial Concert Hall in Winkler Dec. 19 as part of Listen To The Angels Tour 2011. The Western Canada tour is promoting King's new Christmas album of the same name.

King has been building a buzz in Canada since the release of her self-released EPs The Acoustic EP (2007) and Street Lights EP (2009) - selling more than 10,000 CDs combined, while touring in churches and theatres across North America. She's shared the stage with performers like The Planetshakers, Thousand Foot Krutch, Greg Szebel, Manafest, Jusin Nozuka, Steve Bell and Randy Stonehill. She was also the sole female support on The Newsboys 10 city Canadian Tour last September.

"My mission", King states on her official site, "is to is to live a life of worship dedicated to God and serving people, through excellence in writing, recording and performing music that matters."

Janzen says the chance to tour with an experienced performer and recording artist like King is opening new doors. "We have had the opportunity to team with Jodi on numerous occasions, as The Jordan Janzen Band, and this will be the second (annual) Christmas show we have done together at the P.W. Enns Concert Hall," he says.

Janzen has come a long way in his music career. His life as a musician began at the early age of two. At 18, a six week tour across Canada led to a decision to fully commit to writing and singing.

He had the opportunity to experience being a part of the 'Top 100' in the sixth season of Canadian Idol, and went on to produce his debut album Crazy. Two and a half years ago, he formed The Jordan Janzen Band. "With a new record (to be released in March 2012), comes a new band name. "But the core of The Color has been at it for about the last two and a half years."

The band consists of six southern Manitoba locals, from the Plum Coulee/Winkler area: Jordan Janzen, James Shiels, Gabe Boschmann, Tyler Martens, Ken Janzen and Jordan Banman.

Janzen says there isn't really any deep, significant reason they chose the name, The Color for the band.

"Because we have transitioned over the last four to five years from me being a solo artist into a real band, we knew it was time to make a switch, but when it comes to the name The Color, we were really looking for something simple and catchy, that will stick in people's minds." Janzen says touring with King is a great experience for the band. "It's always an honour to have the opportunity to share the stage with talented recording artists." The Color will soon be releasing their self-titled debut album. "We've got a lot in the works for the future." - The Red River Valley Echo


"Music career growing by leaps and bounds"

By Steven Sukkau

Jordan Janzen has taken his music career another step forward with the upcoming release of his new album and a new band.

The Plum Coulee native took some time earlier this month to share with friends and family of the journey to recording and even a sneak peek at what the band, The Color, has in store.

"Part of the reason I wanted to do this listening party is because I know this community has really supported these guys a lot," said Winnipeg producer Jay Tooke said. "I believe this is one of the best new rock records to come out in the last couple of years. I really do believe that."

But Janzen's journey to a new band and new album began back in 2005 when he was still in high school with current Color member James Shiels.

"When we started this thing, we just wanted to play music so we just got together and jammed," Janzen said. But things got serious when he neared the end of his senior year. Janzen got involved with a singing competition, the Manitoba Christian Talent Search.

While coming close to winning the competition, the exposure still led the creation of an official band name, Edge of Iris and a six week tour with Amanda Falk in September of 2005.

"This dream began and the band started taking this more serious," Janzen explained.

Following the tour, Janzen dreamed of continuing to perform full time, so while the band members went their separate ways, Janzen went solo, spending the next two years writing more music.

His September 2008 album, "Crazy", was co-produced with his dad, Ken at their home recording studio and again brought together former band mates as well as new ones to create the Jordan Janzen band.

"Crazy" and the single, "Cinderella" received national airplay and the album went on to nab two Covenant award nominations.

However, the dream was again put on hold in 2009 when Janzen and Shiels entered full time ministry as a youth pastor at Westside Church and the summer camp director at Winkler Bible Camp respectively. However, the similar vocations created some common themes in their lives, Shiels explained. That connection grew and started impacting their song writing, with a new focus on an intentional message in their lyrics.

Eventually, these new songs would evolve into a new band and a new album.

Janzen's desire to bring the music to the next level led him to enlist the help of experienced Canadian producer Tooke, instead of self-producing and recording himself.

"It was a lot easier this time around, and it was just a lot better," Janzen said. "To be able to spend that time together, praying together, and saying God take this where you want to take it. Being able to do that and not be alone is just a great process."

Tooke has been in the music business for over 15 years, producing over 10 albums each year.

The project has also brought their sound to the next level, with the chance to professionally mix the album in Los Angeles by Grammy mixing and engineering award winner Howard Willing.

However, Tooke explained the best sound engineering can only take you so far. Thankfully, he said, the band has the chops to create something extraordinary.

"You guys have this thing, this anointing over your gifting," Tooke said. "You're some of the best songwriters I've ever heard."

The Color's new debut album is scheduled to release early next year. - The Morden Times, The Winkler Times


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

It’s not just music, lights, or concerts for Canadian band, The Color. With God-given musical talent and the grit for touring, The Color make music to answer the question our Maker puts to us all eventually, “What did you do with what I gave you?” For The Color, consisting of front man Jordan Janzen, guitarist James Shiels, guitarist Larry Abrams and drummer Tyler Martens, it’s living and breathing songs that speak truth and bring healing into the messy places of the soul. 

The band released their debut self-titled album in 2012 after forming around the magnetic voice of lead vocalist, Jordan Janzen. For Jordan, The Color was a resurgence of the dream of full-time music, sparked a second time after taking a step back from a solo career that began in high school and included a successful stint on Canadian Idol in 2008 which brought him just short of the ‘Top 20’.

After the whirlwind subsided, Jordan felt called to step back from music, into full time ministry as a youth pastor, at the Westside Community Church in Morden, MB. As this was happening, he and James Shiels, who had recently started as a summer camp director at Winkler Bible Camp, began connecting with the purpose of accountability and encouraging one another. What resulted was a deeper understanding of who God is and what it looks like to really live a life that is reflective of Him…and a bunch of songs that connected with the daily questions and struggles of that very journey.

In three short years The Color has seen many miles of their home country, playing hundreds of dates, with a desire to spread their music and message of Christ’s hope, from coast to coast. 

In March of 2015, The Color released their most recent work ‘Eyes Wide Open’, a five song EP that was produced by Rusty Varenkamp (Tenth Avenue North, Sanctus Real, Building 429). These songs reveal a brave new sound and a maturity that is the result of four guys being continually reminded that it is God who provides the hope and strength we need to make it through each day.

 

It’s their response to His truths; to the question “what did you do with what I gave you”, and its lyrical truths stick in your head and heart long after the music fades.

Band Members