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Jun 06

“A Side Of Energetic Grace With My Womp Womp Please”

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The future is now. We have entered an age where artists are steadily pushing the creative envelope. By strategically combining elements, that are aesthetically pleasing in their own right, new performance fusion concepts have been born. I would like to address a specific combination that happens when an individual expertly combines: the elegance of a ballerina, the poise of a classically-trained violinist, and the energetic spark supplied by just the right amount of an electric vibe. Unless you’ve been living off the grid for the past few years, you would know I’m talking about the magical stylings of Lindsey Stirling. She made her national debut on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010 and made it all the way to the quarter-finals before being eliminated. Do you think she let this or Piers Morgan’s choice words about her brand of performance not having a place in the world derail her? Not a chance. In 2012, she released her self-titled debut album and began her meteoric rise to international acclaim, chalking up several awards, including reaching the coveted number one spot on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic and Classical charts, in the process. Lindsey is currently on tour promoting her newest album “Shatter Me.” This talented young artist was kind enough to give me a little insight into how her musical journey all began and how it has changed her life.

 

Where did you grow up and how do you feel it influenced your attitude towards music?

I was born in Santa Ana, California during a time when my parents didn’t have a lot of money. But that didn’t stop my dad from sharing his love of music with us. He would often find free orchestra concerts at the park for our family, and at home he would play classical favorites on our old record player and we would dance and laugh and run around the living room couch. My favorites were Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Borodin’s Polvetsian Dances.  When I was six our family moved to Arizona, where country music was the “big” thing…which is funny because it’s the only genre I don’t really like haha.

 

What drew you to the violin? Do you play any other instruments?

When our family would go to see these free concerts, it became very apparent to me who the “stars” of the orchestra were AND the star of them all (the concertmaster) held a violin in her hand. I kinda sorta maybe liked being the center of attention so that definitely appealed to me. Plus, the violins got to play the melody a lot and had all the awesome parts. It was a no-brainer to me. So at six years of age I was begging my parents for lessons. As for other instruments, I played the piccolo flute in junior high school and the baritone briefly in high school, but I didn’t want to take the time to focus on either. I just didn’t have the time…so I focused on the violin.

 

What was your first introduction to electronic music?

I think I fell in love with techno as a kid…can’t really say when. I loved “Fresh Aire” by Mannheim Steamroller, etc.

 

I wouldn’t want to limit what you do by putting a term to it, so I’ll just ask. How did this concept evolve? What inspired you?

I love the violin, I love electronic music, I love performing, I love dancing…so I put all the things I loved together, like a casserole haha. Seemed like the obvious thing to do ;)

 

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Music has obviously played a major role in your life and helped you through some dark times. Could you elaborate on how you used music as your own form of therapy to overcome personal obstacles?

Music is a huge part of my life, but I have used it more of a means of expressing those times and how I got through them than as a means of getting through them. It was the people in my life, my faith in God, and the moral teaching and foundation I had from my upbringing that has gotten me through the dark times in my life. Because even though I maybe couldn’t see the light at the time, I knew it was there, and that if I relied on the things I knew to be true and stayed true to them, while moving forward, everything was going to be ok.

 

Given where you are now from just a few short years ago being on “America’s Got Talent,” do you have any choice words for Piers Morgan or would you just give him a hug?

Big hug! And a big thank you!!

 

“Relative obscurity” has been a foreign term since your debut album dropped. What area of your life has been changed the most by your success?

Oh gosh…everything really. I mean my foundation, my morals, my beliefs, my personality, my work ethic (run run run)…none of that has really changed. But my life, as a whole, is nothing like it was even last year or the year before that. I practically live on a bus and I perform live for thousands of people on an almost daily basis. But then again other things haven’t really changed…I’ve always liked making videos, designing costumes, creating music…basically, I get to do all the things I used to do for fun, and at my own expense, and now I am able to do those same things for a living.

 

You’re currently touring to coincide with the release of your newest album, “Shatter Me.” How do you remain level-headed and balance perpetual creativity with life on the road?

I took nearly 9 months off of touring to work on my new album. There’s literally no way I could tour and create music at the same time; the focus really has to be one or the other. Touring pretty much takes all the energy and attention I have; there’s just no time to do anything else on tour but be on tour. It’s definitely a challenge to put first things first: communicate with my family and friends, go to church, take time for personal meditation and study…but it’s those things that keep me level-headed and empower me to do everything else.

 

 

What have been some of your favorite places to play so far? Any dream locations you’d like to play?

I absolutely love performing in Paris and in Germany because my fans there are so energetic; it’s unreal. I think it would be pretty amazing to play at the Acropolis or Madison Square Garden.

 

If you could collaborate with any artist, throughout time, who would it be and why?

Michael Jackson would be epic. Wish he was still here.

 

What’s the origin behind “Phelba?”

Phelba first appeared at my show at Webster Hall in New York City several years ago…she’s been my stal…I mean biggest fan every since.

 

After this tour, do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

I’m definitely hoping to tour again in 2015 and I want to do more music videos to accompany the music on my new album. I’m a pretty spontaneous person, so I pretty much make plans month by month. I’m absolutely loving being on tour right now and am excited to see what the future brings.

 

Perseverance and a positive outlook do not always ensure that your dreams will come true. Refusing to let negative experiences derail you from exploring your true potential and remaining determined enough to overcome them will definitely give you a better shot, though. Lindsey Stirling is a true talent and still manages to remain humble, amidst all of the accolades and international travel. Guided by her faith in: herself, her family, and in God, she is a true testament to where skill, creativity, and a resolute will can take you. I hope that her story inspires other young people to follow their dreams and helps make the world a more interesting place in the process.

 

 

 

http://www.lindseystirling.com

http://www.facebook.com/lindseystirlingmusic

http://www.youtube.com/lindseystomp

http://www.youtube.com/lindseytime

http://www.twitter.com/lindseystirling

 

Header photo credit: Tony Felgueiras / Tony Felgueiras Photography

Other photos are from Lindsey’s FB Page