Last Thursday, Salt Lake Community College students were treated to a lecture from award winning musician and former SLCC student, Paul Cardall. A tenacious and passionate artist, Cardall has overcome many hardships in his life in order to get where he is today. Having been born with only a single pumping chamber in his heart, as opposed to the standard four, Cardall faced health problems throughout his entire life. After five heart bypass surgeries, the 36-year-old musician underwent a heart transplant last fall. After a successful surgery, Cardall now works with others who have had heart conditions, and is in fact headlining a concert that includes a silent auction for families affected by congenital heart disease.
Heath issues notwithstanding, Cardall has traveled a long and difficult road in order to achieve his dream, to make a living by making music. Getting a relatively late start to music, Cardall didn’t start playing the piano until he was 17, and wasn’t interested in taking lessons. It took the death of a close friend to inspire Cardall to create music. While mourning, Cardall walked into his family’s living room and proceeded to write his first song, a tribute to his friend.
Cardall moved from the piano in his living room to SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood campus cafeteria, where he played songs between classes. Cardall got into SLCC’s student government, where he was able to get involved in the community, talk with people, and learn anything he could about pursuing a career in music.
More than anything else, Cardall loved music, and wanted to share it with others. Cardall graduated from the cafeteria piano to a piano at Nordstrom’s, where he played for tips, and for the first time making money playing music. Cardall’s next goal was to record an album, so he contacted a local recording studio and $500 dollars later had his first CD.
Setting the CD on his piano next to a sign that read, “take the memory home,” Cardall sold a few albums and was able to attract the attention of best selling author Richard Paul Evans, who took Cardall under his wing to teach him about marketing his music. Now armed with a mentor, a growing fan base, and his talent, Cardall founded his own independent record label, “Stone Angel Music.”
Having gone through many trials and tribulations to get where he is today, Cardall had a few words of advice for the SLCC students attending his lecture. Cardall stressed that you can get where you need to be, you just have to think it, act on it, and do it.
After learning of the hardships Cardall has endured, and now in the few remaining days before his first public concert since his heart transplant, one gets the sense that Paul Cardall has followed his own advice.