Whether you know him by name or not, it is likely you’ve been touched by the inspiring music of Paul Cardall.
An award-winning, Billboard-topping pianist, Cardall has been producing and recording edifying music for over two decades. What few people realize, however, is that Cardall has worked tirelessly to help other artists do the same through his record label, Stone Angel Music.
“We believe in producing music that enlightens the mind and edifies the soul,” Cardall said.
Stone Angel Music features numerous artists, including Cardall himself, composer and conductor Shane Mickelsen, social media favorite Jason Lyle Black, guitarist Jake White, and Ryan Tilby, who is known for his work with Ryan Shupe & The Rubberband. Beloved cellist Steven Sharp Nelson also recorded three albums for Stone Angel Music before creating The Piano Guys.
With such a group of artists, it is easy to see how faith influences their music. The record label wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Our faith in God is at the very heart of everything we do at Stone Angel Music,” Cardall said. “We rely on inspiration to produce music people can use as a tool to create an atmosphere of peace, love, hope, and other fruits of the spirit. We receive thousands of letters and messages from people all over the world of all faiths (Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist) who tell us how a song has helped them draw closer to God.”
This hope to reach as many people as possible even affects the way Stone Angel Music approaches the distribution of their music. According to Cardall, the label has this year alone 75 million annual listeners on Pandora Radio along with hundreds of thousands of listeners on other streaming partners, including Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music. Since streaming radio began a few years ago, Stone Angel Music recordings have been heard by more than 1.5 billion people.
“We trust God knows who needs to hear a piece of music at the right time,” Cardall said, before sharing a powerful story of a boy in Baghdad. The young man was facing suicidal thoughts and depression after his community was destroyed by war. Still, he had access to a radio and heard Cardall’s song, “Life & Death.”
“I was suicidal and God stopped me when I heard his voice in that song. I want to live,” the young man would eventually tell Cardall.
The artists at Stone Angel Music all have different talents, but one common goal unites them.
“God has given each of the artist associated with Stone Angel Music unique gifts. These are not for our benefit, but to enrich the lives of our brothers and sisters. Whether it’s Ryan’s soothing acoustic guitar work, Shane’s orchestrations, Jason’s charisma, and beautiful piano work, or former Stone Angel Music artist Steven Sharp Nelson’s powerful cello playing that’s taken him all over the world with his group The Piano Guys. We all have a common goal of using our music to bless lives,” Cardall said.
There is no question that Cardall and his label have blessed billions of listeners around the world. However, they as artists are blessed themselves by the important work they do.
For Cardall, one of the highlights of his life was the personal invitation by Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to write a new hymn. The phrase “one by one,” taken from the Book of Mormon, had been impressed upon Elder Bednar’s heart. He wanted to write a song that communicated the Savior’s individual relationship with all of God’s children.
The song premiered in a global satellite Missionary Training Center broadcast, performed by a choir of missionaries and some of Elder Bednar’s grandchildren. Later, Cardall recorded the hymn on his most recent album, A New Creation. According to him, it “may have been the first time an Apostle has co-written a song that debuted #1 on the Billboard Charts.”
If you would like to learn more about Stone Angel Music, you can visit their website and follow them on their social media pages:
More importantly, you can find a way to help share the music with those around you.
“We also encourage people to create a Pandora radio station with one of our artists because having our music on in the background may touch the life of someone listening. We also want Spotify users to put our songs into their favorite playlists so it reaches people all over the world who share their same taste in music. Again, our music is a tool that helps people feel the fruits of the spirit and in most cases, because we have no lyrics, it leaves room for the spirit to deliver a message custom to each listener. So we want members of the Church to share our music with anyone who might benefit from feeling less anxiety and stress. The gift of music is a great way to build relationships and build bridges between people of all faiths.”