We had the good fortune of connecting with Martina Albano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Martina, are you pursuing your passion?
In my last year of high school, I know I wanted to go to Berklee College of Music, the top music school in the world. I grew up in Italy, and not many high-school seniors leave for America, so my parents were taken off guard, to say the least. They believed in me and supported me relocating on the other side of the ocean if that meant I could follow my passion. I have been working in the music industry for many years now pursuing my love for music. At 21, I worked on the soundtrack of the multi-million selling video-game Resident Evil, at 23 years old I was elected to serve on the board of The Recording Academy (Grammys) in the Atlanta Chapter, I went on to open my music studio business where, as a mastering engineer, I helped hundreds of artists and producers getting their music released with the highest quality. Yet, I started growing an interest in something else. I wanted to learn more about how the brain perceives sound, and simply reading articles about studies conducted by others, without having true competencies to fully understand the content of such studies, did not feel enough. My itch to be more involved in this field became too strong to ignore. I had to do something about it. While this new interest is connected to sound and music, it is a completely different field. I realized I needed to go back to school. This decision, while running two businesses, could not have been taken lightly. Financially, and psychologically, it required serious considerations. I was ready to start with full force. Yet, this decision was followed by many complications, including my new university not accepting my USA degree as a proof I was proficient in English due to the fact that I did not take “English 1101″…,(I had to take multiple exams to be accepted at the new school), my immigration documents taking a long time to be processed (which meant I had to stop after the first semester for a whole year until I could start again), and other financial obligations that made everything a little harder. Yet, the more challenged I faced, the stronger I understood that following my passion is such a precious journey that it was all worth it. Now, I spend my days between classes, exams, engineering for artists, leading advocacy initiatives for The Recording Academy, and running my music school. It takes a lot of discipline and determination. It also takes the support of my friends and family. But WOW! the feeling you get from pursuing your passion is sooo fulfilling!!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
When I started my business in audio engineering, and specifically mastering engineering, I was working out of a studio where I paid commissions. It was a wonderful facility that really helped me finding clients, deliver high quality services, without having to spend thousands of dollars in equipment. I was just starting out, I did not have that kind of budget, and high level of audio processing hardware gets really pricey! Yet, I knew I had to become independent. The problem was not the high overheads I was paying, as much as I simply needed a space that was mine. A room I could give it my vibe, my energy, somewhere I could comfortably bring clients in, something I would be proud to share with my artists. I approached one of the most prominent engineers in the city and asked for his advice. He discouraged me from building a room from the ground up,a s that would have meant that financially, the room was going to own me. There were also no other rooms in town I could rent that were up to my standards so that was not an option. I realized that as much as I was itchy to be in a new environment, I just had to wait for the right opportunity. Little did I know that series of business ventures lead me to take over that very room where I discussed the impossible task of moving to a new room. It took years to land this opportunity and I could have never imagined it would go this way. My biggest lesson I have learned is that while doing your best every day, life could have something waiting for you that is bigger and better than anything you could have imagined. Sometimes you have to trust that if you put in the work, live by your values, and don’t give up on your dreams, those dreams will have a way to find you. During COVID-19 we had to close our facility but we are ready to open up and welcome new artists and clients with a new, state-of-the art studio!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them on a hike by the water. Maybe Tallulah falls. For dinner, I would take them to my favorite pizza place: Varuni Napoli, by Piedmont and Monroe (I’m Italian so I am quite snob when it comes to that, I admit). They also have mean cannoli there! In an early evening I would take the to an art stroll on Castleberry Hill and hopefully witness some spectacular local artworks. The most fun parties are in Cabbage Town: music, good cocktails, interesting people of diverse background, you really can’t go wrong! I also love to cook and host parties at my house. I always take visiting friends to the Dekalb farmers market. My one rule, is to always buy something I have never had. It always makes it fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family deserves the biggest shoutout. They have been supporting at every turn. My Atlanta community has also never failed to inspire me, believe in me, and show me unconditional support.
Horizontal photo of me by Angela Murray