From a Nimbus student, to an Alumni working as a runner at The Armoury Studios at just 21 years of age, to working as Head Engineer on numerous albums, Grammy and Juno winning Nimbus instructor, Spencer Bleasdale, has had an incredible career spanning the past 10 years.
Spencer has worked with the likes of OneRepublic, The Edge, Diana Krall, Bruno Mars, and many more talented artists. He engineered on the Juno Award winning album, Open Road, by Colin James, and was the Vocal Engineer on the Grammy nominated Soundtrack of the Year for TV show “Schmigadoon”. His first Grammy award was for work as the Assistant Engineer on the Grammy Award winning album, “Look Now” by Elvis Costello and The Imposters. And most recently he won the 2022 BCCMA for Recording Professional of the Year.
I sat down with long-time friend and colleague, Spencer, to chat about his career to date and what’s to come!
getting to know you
Cat: Can you believe we met at Nimbus as students 10 years ago, and now I get to sit here and interview you as a Nimbus instructor?
Spencer: I know, right? We had no idea back then where this crazy world would take us.
Cat: Exactly. And it has taken you to some incredible heights! So, let’s dive in. What inspired you to pursue a career in music?
Spencer: I had started playing guitar and writing songs/playing in bands around Grade 8 or 9. But the moment I knew I absolutely wanted to have a career in music was seeing the Coldplay Twisted Logic Tour for their X&Y album in 2006. It was one of the first stadium concerts I ever went to, and it was so inspiring; it blew me away.
uptown funk you up
Cat: Wow! That would have been amazing to see. I believe my first concert was in 1999, Britney Spears – Baby One More Time Tour. Maybe not as awe-inspiring, but certainly memorable. Speaking of memories, what has been your most memorable studio experience?
Spencer: It’s so hard to name just one! There have been so many amazing days in the studio over the years. If I had to narrow it down, it’s probably going to be pretty difficult to top being in the room with Bruno Mars as he wrote and recorded Uptown Funk. Getting to see someone with that much talent write and record vocals, guitars, bass, etc for one of the longest running number 1 songs of all time, was pretty special.
Cat: No biggie, eh? You mean to tell me letting Bruno Mars into Armoury Studios as he was literally writing his verse to Uptown Funk, beats you and me running around town finding Ariana Grande her perfect Salmon dinner?
Spencer: Haha, I mean it’s a close call, but yeah, the Bruno Mars session is definitely my number 1.
the highs and lows
Cat: You’ve had lots of highs over the years, but I’m sure it’s come with some lows. What’s been the greatest challenge of your career so far?
Spencer: Probably just surviving the first few years interning and running at Armoury Studios. Just finding ways to afford to eat, gas my vehicle, and pay rent, while making next to no money, and working 12+ hour days every day was a real challenge. A lot of peanut butter toast was consumed, and many couches slept on.
Cat: I remember those days and my roommates at the time saying to me, “who’s the guy sleeping on our couch?” Little did they know it was a future Juno and Grammy award winner. Not to mention, teacher! Why do you love being a Nimbus instructor?
Spencer: It’s great to get to work at a place where many other industry friends also work. It’s a fun place to be. And it’s very rewarding being able to teach skills that I’ve spent over a decade learning, to students who are very actively engaged and excited to learn!
Cat: I couldn’t agree more. As you mentioned, you’ve now been in the industry for over a decade. So what is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Spencer: Show up. These were some very wise words from Garth Richardson when I was a student at Nimbus. The best way to make it in the music industry is to just be around. Go to shows, events, meet-ups, studios, wherever and whenever. The more you’re around, the more you’ll be on the top of people’s minds, and the more likely you will be to get hired or land a gig somewhere.
Interested in learning more about becoming a producer and/or engineer? Check out our Music Production Recording and Business program. Our next intake will begin January 3rd.
Sign up for our upcoming Open House on October 16th to see our studios, meet students and staff, and to check out all the amazing gear we have.