Photo courtesy of Devin Graham.
"I love being creative and mixing and matching styles."
Hip hop violinist Lindsey Stirling takes a few minutes to chat with fans at Coffee Pod in her hometown, Provo. She didn't know anyone would approach her, and since she just left church, she's still wearing high heels and tights—not her usual mix of clothes from mall stores and local shops like Cherry Lane Boutique. But she is wearing her signature thick-frame glasses, and as she takes a seat on a coffeehouse sofa, she kicks off her heels.
"I love being creative and mixing and matching styles," Stirling says. Of course, fans recognize her even when she's dressed as Link from The Legend of Zelda video game, since it's a costume she wears in music videos, which have millions of views on her YouTube channel, Lindseystomp.
The channel features the 26-year-old America's Got Talent alum playing covers and original tunes. "The violin can do anything," she says. "I do everything from video game soundtracks to dubstep and rock 'n' roll." But she isn't just YouTube famous. She's sold out shows all over the world, recently released an album that topped the electronic charts on iTunes and has appeared on Fox News and Larry King Now.
The violin virtuoso has been playing since she was 6 years old. "My parents would always take my sisters and me to orchestra concerts," she says. "I started begging for violin lessons."
Raised in Arizona, she moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University, where she took film classes. As for the choreography in her videos, she says she learned it all online. "I'm the first YouTube-trained dancer," she jokes. "I'd search for videos on how to moonwalk, glide or c-walk, and I'd watch online episodes of So You Think You Can Dance."
When not making videos or touring, Stirling preps for shows with her band and sharpens her skills in dance and violin. And she loves meeting fans. "It's one thing to say I'm doing this on my own, but it's really my fans that are sharing my videos and supporting what I do," she says.
She was pumped to play her first show in Germany in January, since she has tons of fans there, and says she can't wait to one day play Japan. Stirling will perform at In the Venue in SLC on March 29. "It was so cool to look at the crowd and see my old roommates, neighbors and friends from college," she says of her October show there. "Salt Lake rocked it."
Click here for tickets to her show at In the Venue.