Saturday, October 3, 2015

Meet Lindsey Stirling! A Hip Hop Ballerina Violinist

Lindsey Stirling is a dancing, hip hop violinist and a self-made success story. The term “self-made artist” has never applied more than it does to Lindsey Stirling, who got started by taking a class on how to create a career on the web. With a personality so big in person and onstage, it is no wonder Lindsey’s career has gone beyond that of the average musician.

Q: Give us some background about yourself. 

Lindsey: Through my entire childhood, my family struggled financially, however I would not trade my humble childhood years for anything else. It was during these years that I learned that a pair of scissors and a bottle of paint could transform refrigerator boxes into a spaceship adventure to mars, that a tattered pink dress once put on could become a ball gown, and that eating a bowl of cereal on the living room floor with my dad was quality time. In spite of the many limitations that could have boxed me in, it was these years that taught me to dream big, work hard and enjoy the small simple moments of life. Since then, I have learned the violin, I started film school at BYU, I went on a Mormon Mission to NYC, finished school at BYU in recreational therapy and worked in rehab centers with troubled teens. I began to pursue a musical career when I went on Americas Got Talent in 2010. I was told by the judges and many other "professionals" in the music business that I was not marketable and that I'd never make it as a performer. That same little girl that made rockets out of boxes persevered and continues to dream big. Through youtube I have gained a million followers worldwide. I am now a touring musician and I am living my dream.

Q: You proved those judges wrong! How has YouTube affected your life?

Lindsey: Thank you! YouTube — holy cow! — I can do my career at my own pace. I didn’t have anybody to tell me I wasn’t ready, and I learned how to self-market and how to strategize.

Q: Does being a Mormon restrict your lifestyle and/or career?

Lindsey: I still follow the lifestyle of the Mormon Church. I try to go to church every Sunday even when I’m on tour. It’s not only my upbringing, but it helps me stay sane. It helps me remember my purpose and the overall picture of what is important to me and what makes me happy. People call it a restrictive lifestyle, but it keeps me very safe. At the same time, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Q: Your battle with Anorexia. Can you tell us about that?  
Lindsey: Like many women in our highly superficial society, I battled Anorexia, discovering my disorder while working with troubled girls. My fight with the eating disorder is the theme for the music video of my song Shatter Me.” I used a ballerina in a music box; she’s trapped in this perfect, porcelain shell, but it keeps her safe, it keeps her protected. Her porcelain skin is like a symbol of this rigid image of perfection… it can’t move, it can’t emote. That’s kind of how I felt. I became this person that I didn’t even know who I was because I was consumed with perfection. My world became cold, and grey, and still. I was so unhappy.
This was to depict my struggle in realizing it was worth it to fight to be free from that. I feel like I broke free from it and I’m so happy now as a result of that. I wanted this song to be a way to give hope to other people, that you can shatter the barriers that even you build around yourself.

Q: What are your influences?

Lindsey: I definitely take a lot of influence from my classical background and throw it into my electronic style. I try to make it a big fusion of everything that I love, be it classical, be it electronic, be it rock, be it Celtic music. Sometimes my fans will say, "Lindsey's the best violinist in the world!" and I think, heavens no. There are so many violinists who can play far better than me, and I don't ever pretend to be the best violinist in the world and I definitely don't think I am. But I think that it's important for people to realize that I do what I love. I've found a way to make the violin something that kids can relate to, kids who maybe wouldn't normally be drawn to a classical violin. It doesn't mean that it's better or worse, but it's just different. I've never felt like things should be categorized. Just because you're a violinist doesn't mean that you have to play classical music; just because you're maybe shaped differently doesn't mean you can't be a dancer. I want to live my life in a way that boxes don't exist and boundaries don't have to be there. So I hope that people can see that through my music; it's about being fresh, being innovative, and making it fun.

Q: Violin is, of course, your main instrument. Have you ever had a desire to learn a different string instrument, or another instrument altogether?

Lindsey: Someday I want to learn piano.

Q: What Hobbies, sports or other interests do you have or want to try?

Lindsey: I love rock climbing, I think it would be fun do yoga, and I’d love to learn more about producing music.

You can find Lindsey on Facebook, her website, and on You Tube.

Comment here on my blog to be eligible to win an autographed copy of Lindsey's book "The Only Pirate at the Party" in Hardcover- being released on January 12, 2016.