Hitting the Right Notes: Meet Carleton Stone

After graduating from Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts in 2008, Carleton Stone has been living his dream. Raised in Coxheath, Carleton has grown through the ranks in the music industry and is now a performing artist, songwriter and producer.

Carleton looks back fondly at his time at CBU and says it was then that he learned to refine his song-writing skills. “I took some creative writing and playwriting classes,” says Carleton. “It was during those years that I learned how to concisely and poetically express what I was feeling in a way that would be accessible to a larger audience.”

The Port Cities singer-songwriter adds that the small class sizes at the University were very helpful. “You really got to know your professors and all the other students in each class,” recalls Carleton. “It made everyone feel more comfortable taking part in class discussions.”

While a career as a musician may sound incredibly appealing, it can also be a challenging venture. The effort one needs to put in is often monumental, and Carleton’s advice for aspiring musicians or students who want to work in the industry is to ask themselves if it is really what they want to do.  

“It can be one of the most challenging but also one of the most rewarding lines of work,” says Carleton. “Most people who succeed and thrive in this industry are the most determined and hardworking. I’ve seen some of the most talented people I know try for years before they finally throw the towel in and get a ‘real’ job. If you are the type of person who could not imagine yourself doing anything else with your time but playing music and constantly creating, then you have a shot at making it in this business.”

Having started his career in Cape Breton, Carleton knows a thing or two about breaking into the music scene on the Island. For students who want to follow suit, the CBU alumnus’ suggestion is to begin by getting into the musical community. “Going out to shows, meeting other musicians, playing open mics, agreeing to open for other friends’ bands and playing benefit concerts are all great ways to start making a name for yourself in any musical community,” he says. “Be persistent and always strive to write better songs and make your show better.”

Carleton says he loved his time at CBU and is always grateful for the connections he made at the University. We are so proud to have Alumni like him who make not just CBU, but the entire Island of Cape Breton very proud!