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Mentorship pair Ken Campbell and Silas Presley took part in our 2021/2022 Rural Mentorship Program. Their mentorship was in the discipline of music. They met a mix of in person and virtually. They listened to Silas’ music tracks, Ken provided guidance and feedback, and they discussed recording software, studio techniques and theory. They also spent time in the studio experimenting and creating collaboratively. Ken was able to introduce Silas to a network of professionals working in the music industry and they also worked on mastering one of Silas’ tracks together.

How was your experience in the mentorship program? Why do you think this mentorship was valuable to you?

“This was a very interesting experience for me. As a musician/teacher for over forty years, I had nevertheless never ‘mentored’ anyone before, and I wasn’t too sure about how much help I could provide. I used to joke with Silas that I never knew I had so much to talk about, or so much to say about any topic in general. The process made me examine my experience and attitudes, as well as my career choices in the past. The current music environment is much different from what I grew up in, with new challenges and opportunities for new artists. Some of my experiences and advice may not be applicable to this new form of the industry, but hopefully our discussions about the value we place on our musical relationships, our work ethic, and on our self worth and the worth of others will still be relevant. I do hope that Silas feels the same as I do in this regard. I did enjoy my interaction with Silas both personally and professionally.” – Ken Campbell

“Creative Manitoba has been a tremendous help in taking my career to the next level, since I joined early last year. The mentorship program was incredibly impactful on me; the bonds that were built, the skills learned, and the knowledge gained – all of it has made me a better artist, and a better person.” – Silas Presley

Ken Campbell has been working as a musician, teacher, and recording engineer for over forty years in western Manitoba. A multi-instrumentalist who began as a guitarist, he is also accomplished at pedal steel guitar, mandolin, dobro, and bass. Performing with bands in various genres from bluegrass, folk & country to rock, jazz and blues have added to his instrumental versatility. A large part of his performing now centres on his pedal steel playing, in both live performance and recording situations. He has worked with Heather Bishop, Ridley Bent, Connie Kaldor, CT Taylor, Boy Golden and numerous others.

For one so young, Silas Presley has already considered the world through ancient eyes and found it lacking. With music as his tool, he has set out to address the universal displacement felt by our youth – especially in today’s climate of uncertainty. His songs are reminiscent of and rooted in the 60’s with 2020 written all over them. Singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Silas Presley’s laid back image sits atop a volcano of energy that erupts on the stage.

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