June 17, 2021In NewsBy Lucy Walsh

These women lead L.A.'s recording industry – and they made time to stop by Blackbird!

Meet Candace Stewart, Studio Manager of EastWest Studios and Paula Salvatore, VP of Client Relations and Studio Marketing for UMG. Candace and Paula have been longtime friends of each other and The Blackbird Academy. We were so happy to see them during their first trip back to Nashville, and the students are so thankful for their expertise! 

Candace spoke about her origins of following her older brothers’ path and leaving college in South Carolina to move to Los Angeles. There, she worked for a stint pursuing life as an audio engineer before moving over to the business side of things. Over her career, she’s worked with just about everyone – from jazz musicians to the greats of gangster rap. While walking through her career’s progression, Candace urged students to be polite, competitive, and to work as hard as they can.

Paula had started in fashion and wardrobe for artists before transitioning into the studio side of the biz. She recalled asking for a piano and music lessons as a child, but her parents opted to gift her a Singer brand sewing machine instead. After moving to Los Angeles at 20, Paula became a crucial component of both Capitol Records and Sound City Studios, cementing her as one of the greats and elevating her into her new role at UMG in 2021.

Both Candace and Paula spoke about the social element of this portion of the entertainment business. Even their friendship is a testament to the fact that relationships and competitive collaboration are closely tied. 

This feeds into a deeper etiquette system and business savvy that the pair also urged young audio engineers to adopt. Knowing how to both stay humble and stay on top of managing your own business affairs seems to be the ideal combination. Remembering that you’re “a cog in the wheel, but a very important cog” while also knowing how to get a job and get paid is equally important. 

To hear more from Paula and Candace’s guest lecture, view their video! Their energy is contagious, and their love for Blackbird students and alums runs strong. You can also spot them on the academy’s list of industry mentors. We can’t wait for their next visit! In the meantime, apply to join The Blackbird Academy’s Studio Engineering program.