to Lindsey Stirling
Releasing Her Self-Titled Debut Album On September
It's interesting how everything
you learn in life plays a part in what you become. It's funny, the same
things I loved doing in high school are the things I do now for a living.
- Lindsey Stirling
by Michael Shinafelt
YouTube sensation Lindsey
Stirling is perhaps the first – and only – artist in the
world to blend classical violin, modern dance, and pop into to one amazing
On September 18th, Lindsey will be releasing her self-titled debut album,
"Lindsey Stirling," coming off the heels of an incredibly
successful presence on iTunes. With 10 original tracks, the album will
showcase Lindsey's signature violin-electronic-dubstep style –
opening with "Crystallize," her most popular piece. Lindsey
has already sold over 300,000 songs, several of which have hit the iTunes
Top 100, as well as the top of the digital electronic charts. Lindsey
also has plans for a follow-up album of covers, putting her unique twist
on everything from existing video game themes to pop music.
Are you ready? Here is the incomparable Ms. Lindsey Stirling!
MS: I am so blown away by your take on the "Phantom of the Opera"
LS: Oh neat! I was so excited about doing it!
MS: Well, I for one am totally in awe of your talent. I've never seen
anything like it in my estimation; ask anyone, I don't gush easily.
LS: That's so awesome! Thank you so much, Michael!
MS: You really took to the violin.
LS: Well, I was drawn to the violin as a kid because ever since I was
little I had this center stage syndrome. (laughs) My parents took me
to all the free orchestra concerts in town, and it was very obvious
to see who the stars of the orchestra were. (laughs) At the beginning
of the concert the violinist comes out and plays an "A" note
for the orchestra and I was like: "Wow, they are the stars of the
orchestra". I started taking lessons when I was five, because I
thought they were beautiful, fast and fun!
MS: The passion when you play the violin is so overwhelming.
LS: Generally I do it so much, so I have to love it, it has never gotten
MS: You utilize it in other mediums; expand on that.
LS: Well, in high school there were a bunch of guys who were in a rock
band. I had a crush on every single one of them. They were all older
than me, but I played the violin and I offered to play with them one
time – and they had me play a song at one of their concerts. So,
it's like, oh my gosh, a dream come true for me because all of these
boys are so cute! From there I ended up becoming part of the band and
we went on this little rock band tour. I was sixteen, it's a really
fun memory, but looking back we were not really very good. (laughs)
But it opened my eyes to how the violin could do all different types
of music. They all left on missions so I was left without a band and
I started writing music to my favorite radio hits, like Hip-Hop.
I explored different types of mediums because I was kind of getting
burnt out on classical music. Writing radio hits is what got me onto
"America's Got Talent". Then I decided I wanted to start writing
my own music that I like. I started looking for producers. I always
want to keep a fresh style so I do everything from rock to trance music,
it's fresh and always new. Even with no vocals, people seemed to be
entertained the whole time.
MS: Even with no vocals, with your "Phantom of the Opera"
video I was enthralled. Very few people have ever attained that.
LS: Oh, thank you!
MS: I've heard you are biting at Taylor Swift's butt on YouTube. I hear
you're only four thousand hits behind her.
LS: Wow, I didn't know that. I should check that out!
MS: Being a YouTube sensation, I read that you also learned how to dance
LS: Yes! (laughs) I've always loved dancing, it's the most beautiful
thing. I love watching it and everything. When I was on "Americas
Got Talent" I basically just knew how to jump around as best I
could when I played the violin. I was like, "oh, gosh, I really
have to step this up" when I was preparing to go on. Once I made
the show, I started looking at YouTube tutorials on how to Moonwalk
and how to glide. I also watched uploads of "So You Think You Can
Dance". So I would watch and learn. So, yeah, YouTube was my dance
MS: You direct and produce your own videos, correct?
LS: Yes. "The Phantom of the Opera" was the biggest one I
think I ever conquered. I oversaw the costumes, I got all the props
myself and even the snow that you see falling in the venue. I couldn't
find anywhere selling snow because it was out of season. So I went and
bought tissue paper and I cut all that snow myself. Everything in that
video from the extras to the orchestra members I did myself. It takes
a ton of work, but I started out in film school. It's interesting how
everything you learn in life plays a part in what you become. It's funny,
the same things I loved doing in high school are the things I do now
for a living.
MS: It's always obvious to me the people who are in the business who
love it and the ones who are in it just to make money.
LS: Honestly, I don't think any soul would go into music with the idea
they were going to make a ton of money. It takes so much work and the
success rate is very low, especially for the YouTubers. You have to
work for free for so long. You work ridiculously long hours for so long
and you don't see anything from it; and then, finally, it starts to
grow. Now I'm getting shows and people are buying my music. I'm getting
all kinds of cool opportunities. YouTube is such an awesome medium.
Everyone I have met that is a YouTuber are only doing it because they
are extremely passionate about what they do and they are hard workers.
I love the artists that come from YouTube.
MS: You did a unique and fun cover of "Starships" by Nicki
Minaj with Megan Nicole on vocals. You're not the first person I have
interviewed that has covered it; what made you want to cover that song?
LS: I really learned a good lesson from "Starships". I look
at that video and I really wasn't that passionate about that song. For
me I was like: oh, wow, this is kind of a funky tune, it's popular right
now. It fit well with Megan Nicole's demographic and I though they would
really like it, and it was something new for me. I don't ever think
I will do a project again because I think it will do well, I enjoy working
on projects so much more when I am doing it because I love the music.
That's what all my songs are except for the Nicki Minaj one. (laughs)
MS: My thing that I liked about it, in terms of you, is that it showed
your versatility with the violin and it looked like you were really
LS: Oh, I did have fun when we filmed it. Megan Nicole is so awesome!
But it is my least favorite song that I have done. But that's beside
the point, I guess. (laughs)
MS: When you initially did your YouTube videos, your goal was to be
on the "Ellen" show. I hear you still want to be on her show.
LS: Oh, my gosh, it's so funny. Someday I will make it onto that show.
MS: I know you will.
LS: It's funny, before I knew YouTube was a medium for anything but
cats and dogs, I uploaded this video of myself playing violin and dancing
around the living room with the intent to be on the "Ellen"
show. Looking back on it, the video was pretty bad. (laughs) I submitted
it to the show's website and nothing ever came of it. That video ended
up going viral, and that's how I got contacted to be on "America's
Got Talent". But, I know it is going to come full circle someday.
MS: You'll get on "Ellen," I can feel it.
LS: Well, thank you for that vote of confidence.
Get your violin on with Lindsey at: