Lindsey Stirling, Pop Violinist, Chats Music!
Lindsey Stirling is a violinist who has brilliantly combined her classical training and love for pop music to become a viral YouTube sensation topping more than 543 million views!
We spoke to the star about her humble beginnings and her climb to internet stardom in a recent interview!
Lindsey Stirling started playing the violin at the age of six with encouragement from her mother.
"When my mom was a little girl, she felt like she was never given the chance to foster any talents," Lindsey explained. "She wanted to be a dancer, but her parents never gave her lessons. And so it was very important to her that her children be given the opportunity to fulfill some of their dreams."
Though Lindsey's family didn't have a lot of money when she was growing up, her mother took note of her interest in playing the violin and her parents made her dream a reality by making sacrifices.
"I remember a lot of people in similar circumstances saying, 'We just can't afford lessons for our kids…' and neither could we," Lindsey said. "But we did it. My parents sacrificed many of the things they wanted because they loved my sisters and I."
Lindsey took traditional violin lessons from a very young age.
"I was classically trained, which I think is absolutely vital to a good foundation in any style." Lindsey said. "Scales, arpeggios, articulations …all the boring stuff."
Lindsey explained that musicians with a strong foundation in the basic elements generally find it easier when they decide experiment with other musical styles.
"I always loved the violin, but as I started getting into high school I began losing interest because I was tired of being told what to play and how to play it," Lindsey said. "I didn't want to exclusively play others' music anymore."
Lindsey was inspired to learn to play the fiddle and play pop music, as well as to create music of her own.
Around the same time, Lindsey's friend invited her to join the rock band, Stomp On Melvin.
"I was thrilled of course, because the boys were really cute," she said, "but also because I was able to improvise to new music and I learned to love playing again."
Throughout her college years she continued to perform with local bands.
During college she also uploaded her first viral video, a violin cover and dance to "Pump It" by The Black-Eyed Peas.
"This is the video that America's Got Talent found when they invited me to tryouts," Lindsey said.
After appearing on America's Got Talent, Lindsey struggled to find her place within the music industry.
The show's judges told her that she would never succeed without a group, while managers, booking agents and producers insisted that her act would be impossible to market.
"It was one of the most depressing and difficult times of my life," she said. "But as often as I thought about giving up, something inside of me wouldn't. And so I kept moving forward, praying, trying and praying again."
Despite her detractors, Lindsey always believed there was an audience for her unique brand of music.
"I was looking at where I had come from (classical music) and did not see it thriving at all," she explained. "It's really sad, but orchestras are folding all across the country."
She explained that there isn't enough community support or general interest in classic music, especially among young people, for classical music to thrive.
"I felt that my difference was my strength," she said, "that because my music was 'different' it gave me a fighting chance."
Eventually, she met filmmaker and YouTube director Devin Graham, who helped Lindsey develop her YouTube channel.
She also met Ryan Wyler, the first manager who was willing to invest time into Lindsey's talents, as well as Marco G, her first producer.
"All of these people were willing to take a chance on me," she said. "I had very little to offer at the time, and am so grateful for the sacrifices they made in my behalf. Looking back on it all now, sometimes I just can't believe it. It's very humbling."
She has come a long way since being told she would never succeed. She now has more than 4 million YouTube subscribers, and last year her cover of "Radioactive" with the musical group Pentatonix won the Response of the Year award in the first ever YouTube Music Awards!
"I felt extremely honored to win," she said. "YouTube has done more for me than any other platform and I was proud to be a recipient of a YouTube award."
Toward the end of last year, Lindsey re-released her self-titled debut album, which is now available in Target, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble locations across the nation.
"It had four new songs on it but most of my current fans already have my first album," Lindsey said. "I couldn't imagine people flocking to the store shelves to buy it again."
But fans did. Lindsey said she was shocked when it ranked #20 in album sales.
"I seriously have some of the most devoted, supportive fans out there," she said. "I couldn't be doing any of this without them."
Lindsey overcame many obstacles to achieve the success she has today. She hopes that other innovators will also be able to break onto the music scene.
"I think that one of the most amazing things about us, human beings, is our ability to create something new," she said. "I believe that the desire to innovate and create is a part of our DNA; it is deeply ingrained."
She added that no one should ever let others tell them that they can't do something, to just stick to doing what they are told or to repeat what has already been done in the past.
"I believe that the creation of beautiful things—in whatever form that may be—is the key to happiness," she said.
Stay updated on all of the latest from Lindsey Stirling by checking out her social pages below, and share your own unique musical talents with us at Sweety High!