Return to Lindsey Stirling Interview with Lindsey Stirling: YouTube and Violin Phenom

Sep 8, 2012
Markos Papadatos

YouTube sensation and violin virtuoso Lindsey Stirling talks to Suite101 about her debut album, music career and upcoming show at NYC's Webster Hall.

On Sept. 8, Suite101 chatted with YouTube phenom and violin sensation Lindsey Stirling. Her YouTube channel has accrued over 118 million views, surpassing country-pop darling Taylor Swift. "Taylor Swift is so amazing and I respect her so so much. She is definitely light years ahead of me but it is cool to think that countless hours I have put into my channel have paid off and have gotten my name to appear next to hers in several public places. That's pretty exciting," she says.

Stirling's eponymous debut album is expected to be released in September of 2012 and she worked on this project for almost two years. "I am ecstatic to finally be releasing it. It consists of 12 original electronic tracks and they combine elements of electronic dance music, dubstep, and even trance. I love every single track on my album. They are all unique and even though they don't have lyrics, many of the songs represent themes from my own life experiences," she says.

Her song “Crystalize” was inspired by fan requests for her to try dubstep. "This was very different than the music I was comfortable creating and I was very nervous to try such a bold move; however, my producer Marko encouraged me and we began writing 'Crystallize.' It took us forever to create that backtrack and then it took me even longer to write the violin part. I was having such a hard time finding a melody that I liked. Even though it was harsh dubstep, I wanted it to be beautiful. I almost canned the song several times, but alas, I kept working on it. Finally I came up with a part that seemed ok, and we recorded it. Even while we were recording it, I wasn't sure I liked it. Only when we finished it did I finally think that it was a decent song, and that maybe I even liked it. It's the longest I've ever spent writing a song but I guess the best things only come after an upward struggle," she says.

According to Stirling, "music is such a powerful tool for good. I have gotten many extremely touching messages from fans where they have shared how my music has helped them; overcoming depression, finding passion in their own life, or finding faith. I even got a story about an elderly woman who listening to my music through the whole night before she passed away. They found a letter next to her that she had written to me, thanking me for what I was sharing. To me, that is what makes what I do the most powerful. That is when it changes from a hobby into something greater than myself. To be a positive influence in the lives of others is truly the coolest most humbling experience that I could hope for."

In the future, Stirling will continue working hard and she will ride this train as long as it is still rolling and for as long as she loves it. "I plan on releasing a covers album in the beginning of next year and I hope to have a European tour by the end of next spring," she says.

Towards the end of September she will perform in NYC’s Webster Hall. "I am so excited to come back to Webster Hall. I had my first ticketed concert there several months ago in the studio room and it sold out. I am a bit intimidated that they put me in the big room this time around but I feel honored to play on such a historic stage. Also, I will always have a special place in my heart for NYC. I lived there for 18 months as an LDS sister missionary. Through teaching and doing service, I grew to love the people and I became addicted to the energetic vibe of the city," she says. "As far as the concert, I will be playing with a band, and I will dance through my performance. I love to take my audience on a journey when I perform because my show is extremely diverse. It is a high energy show where I do everything from video game covers, to my original electronic music and dubstep."

For people that wish to follow Stirling's footsteps, she notes that the most important skill one can develop is the ability to rise from falls and to be resilient to failure. "When you fail, you are allowed to be disappointed but then stop feeling sorry for yourself, learn from it, and move on. Successful people are people who can work hard and people have learned to rise from fall after fall," she says.

Lindsey Stirling concludes by thanking her fans for their support since they helped her silence all of her naysayers. "I was told by so many people in the industry that what I did wasn't marketable and that I would never make it in the entertainment industry. Well, thanks to you guys, I didn't have to try to impress the right people or wait for them to tell me I was good enough. I just did it anyway and you guys determined that I did have something that was worth sharing. Without you, I would still be writing music, and waiting for someone to tell me that I was good enough to share it."

For more information on Lindsey Stirling, her music and tour stops, check out her website.