When you combine a talented, classically trained violinist, dub-step, elaborate music videos, choreographed live performances and a whole buch of enthusiasm, the end result is Lindsey Stirling.
Lindsey's distinct style of violin, dub step and contemporary dance is creative and captivating, giving her unique music videos over 137 million hits on YouTube. She composes, choreographs and directs all of her own original music and videos, which can be seen on her Lindseystomp YouTube channel, which currently boasts more than 833,000 subscribers. She has appeared on America’s Got Talent and has performed for audiences around the world in Kenya, London and Italy. A vivacious, “crafty” girl, as she describes herself, Lindsey hit the number one spot on the iTunes Electronic Chart and 14 on the iTunes Most Downloaded list in September. She recently released her debut, self-titled album, which she is taking on tour across the U.S. On her way around the country she will be making a one-night stop to perform in Salt Lake City at In The Venue on Oct. 11. To purchase tickets for her performance, click here.
Oh, and did we mention she's a local? Lindsey lives in SLC.
We chatted with Lindsey to talk music, inspiration and what fans can expect to see at the show.
How long have you been playing the violin and dancing?
"I have been playing the violin for 20 years, but I only started dancing four years ago."
Is the violin your only instrumental love?
"I’ve dabbled in other instruments, but my parents used to take me to the orchestra and I fell in love with the violin. When I was six years old I begged my parents to let me take lessons, which they finally did."
What is your favorite piece that you've written?
"Crystallize is one of the prettiest, but Electric Daisy Violin is more fun to play because it’s upbeat and happy."
Does the choreography matter?
"About a third of my songs are choreographed. I like the choreography because it makes me more confident when I’m performing. I remember what I’m supposed to do, though sometimes I ad-lib. I think the choreography is especially helpful for shows and performances."
What do people lose by just listening to the music?
"To get the full effect, you really need the audio and the visual, but I would hope that my music is good enough that it can stand alone as well."
Would you rather arrange or compose?
"I definitely prefer composing. True artists write their own music. I like to watch it being created from its infancy, developing the piece, adding in the violin, making the video, all the way up to performing it live on stage and watching people’s faces as I play it. Covers can also be fun though because they tie people to things that they already care about but with something new."
Do you give songs names or give names songs?
"I always have a direction when I’m composing; something I want to accomplish. As it’s forming though, sometimes it takes on a life of its own. It might stick to the theme, and it might not, so I usually wait until the end to name it. Sometimes, I think of the elements I want in the video first and that will inspire a name."
Why do you think the arts are important in the world?
"Music is a way of connecting. I especially saw that when I performed in Kenya. It was neat to see all of their faces; many of them had never seen a violin before. They were singing and dancing and clapping along. They also shared their own tribal chants. Music is a language that surpasses all others."
How is what you're doing different and important in the the liberal arts world?
"Any time you are in the spotlight, it is a chance to stand for something and show what you believe in. I try and show the things I believe in in what I do, whether that’s positivity or being a role model to show young girls that they don’t have to dress immodestly to be successful or get attention. You’re sometimes going to run into challenging situations, but the things to do is to stand for what you feel and believe."
Do you have a life away from music?
"Music has kind of taken over my life, but I have many hobbies. I love camping, I also love hanging out lazily with my family, I love film and edit all my own videos. I also love costuming; I’ve been designing costumes since I was a little girl. I’m just a crafty person and love scrapbooking and anything creative."
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
"You HAVE to be willing to work hard with no gain for a while if you want to do anything unique or artistic. Don’t ever sacrifice what you love for things that might seem more popular or accepted. Stick to what you’re passionate about. The only reason I’m successful is because I did that. I got lots of 'advice' from people, but I know that if I had listened to that I wouldn’t have accomplished what I have. If you stick to what you’re passionate about it will give you drive. With today's media there's an audience for everything, so if you love something, stick to it and don't let anyone tell you do do something different."
"I’m just looking forward to my show on the 11th. I’ve never done my own show in Salt Lake and I’m excited to play for my peeps in Utah!"
Photos by Devin Graham