28 March 2015

Lindsey Stirling's advice to fellow artists

It’s funny how, sometimes, taking comfort in your uniqueness and not pretending to be like everybody else, can lead to hearing things like, “Sorry, the world has no place for you.” Take Lindsey Stirling, for example — a dancing dubstep violinist once deemed “not cool” or “not marketable” enough.

For so long, she has struggled with putting her music out there: “I tried lots of ways, from traditional ones like going to record labels and talking to agencies to joining America’s Got Talent — that didn’t lead to anything,” shares Stirling.

So she took matters into her own hands. “I got sick of waiting for somebody to sign me, for someone to say, ‘Okay, you’re good enough,'” she continues. “So I started making videos, uploading them to Youtube and setting up shows.”

Stirling’s Crystallize became the eighth most-viewed video on Youtube last year with 63 million views and her channel, “Lindseystomp” garnered over 6 million subscribers. That was when record labels, for a change, came knocking on her door.

“I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to be signed,’” says Stirling, who later on sealed a record deal in Asia. “I don’t live here. It’s a different world that’s why I signed with a record label here, but I still act very much as an independent artist,” she adds.

Her new album, “Shatter Me,” might well be a confessional. Far from the “happy-go-lucky” vibe of her debut record, Stirling admits to exposing the darker side of herself in her latest outing. “At that time, I was going through depression and anorexia,” she shares. “But the album is also a celebration of breaking free from whatever it is that haunts us: other people, ourselves, our fears.”

This freedom from fear is best represented in the titular single with a music video that shows a violin-wielding ballerina trapped in a snow globe. “As she starts to express herself (through music and dance), the globe begins to crack,” narrates Stirling. “But she’s afraid of what’s happening. ‘If I break, will there be anything left?’”

It’s difficult to imagine Lindsey Stirling contained in any form of barriers, especially after seeing her perform live. On March 13 she returned to the Philippines to open for Incubus at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena and for a moment made us forget about Incubus.

She is always moving — going from one point of the stage to another, involving every part of her body in the performance. And even in her craft, she couldn’t keep still. In “Shatter Me,” Lindsey collaborated with Dia Frampton and Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. Asked if we could expect more from the trio, she said that she wishes to create different sounds in the future and work with different people such as Zedd, Haley Williams, Ellie Goulding, and Ryan Tedder of One Republic to name a few.

Right now, Lindsey is touring, and on the side, writing a book with her sister. Somewhere in the future she hopes to score for a film, work on a video game composition, and maybe squeeze in an acting gig.

Lindsey Stirling with reporters

Following her arena performance in the Philippines, Lindsey got a little closer to her fans and held a small show and a meet and greet at SM North EDSA The Block. As much as the fans were delighted to meet their idol, they were clamoring for a full concert from the dancing violinist. Their plea didn’t escape Lindsey, who told everyone who came, “I’m planning to come back, I’m going to do a full show as soon as I can.”

Later in the afternoon she laid down her bow and picked up a pen to sign copies of “Shatter Me.” But her CD wasn’t the only thing fans wanted autographed; a lot of them brought their own violins and guitars — a reminder that many of Lindsey’s fans are aspiring artists as well. And to them, Lindsey’s biggest message is simply: Don’t give up.

“Artists are so hard on themselves. They are the most critical of themselves,” she says. “Failure is just one of the many steps that comes in the line of being successful, so pick yourself up again and don’t be too hard on yourself.”

—Originally published on GIST.PH

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