Lindsay Stirling- A New Music Marketing Pioneer


Lindsay Stirling, violinist/Dancer/Choreographer, first stepped into the public sphere with a series of appearances on the 2010 edition of America’s Got Talent. She made it through to the quarterfinals where she was stopped in her tracks by judges Sharon Osborne and Piers Morgan who both agreed that she was something of a ‘one note performer’ and didn’t have the versatility for the big time.

Lindsey-“I was crushed, devastated, humiliated and disappointed but I wasn’t ready to give up.”

Taking matters into her own hands, she began creating videos of her choreographed performances, which she then posted up on YouTube.

“It’s exciting to be a part of this new wave of how things can be done. I was tired of waiting for a someone to believe in my projects so I thought- “I can do videos myself and throw them up on YouTube and find my own fan base.”

Lindsey is among a small group of new artists who have used YouTube and other ‘new media’ outlets to market their talents to the wider world with impressive results. Currently she has some 6 million subscribers and has recorded just over 700 million views. Her productions are lavish and imaginative routines that speak volumes about her personal vision.

She has found the experience deeply liberating and has derived great satisfaction from being able to do things her own way, staying true to her personal vision without any compromise. “Rather than having people telling how things have to be done you get to be the author of your own success to get to write your own story and get to do your art as authentically as possible.”
Her 20102 eponymously titled debut album, Lindsay Stirling, (released on her on own label), has so far racked up sales of sales of some 700 thousand units worldwide, 400 thousand of those in Germany where she maintains a fanatical fan-base. “The Europeans have a special place in their hearts for classical music and electronic music alike. I do both and they love it.”

Last years Shatter Me peaked at number 2 on the US charts cementing her place as one of the world’s major independent music artists.

Lindsay comes from humble origins. Born into a sprawling Mormon family in the city of Santa Ana, California, she discovered the violin through listening to her parent’s extensive collection of classical music records. She was drawn to the sound of the violin and convinced her parents to fund lessons. They could only afford 15 minutes per week from a dubious teacher who assured them that 15 minutes a week was pointless.

Taking what she could from her weekly lessons, she would go home and improvise and copy what she heard on records expanding her skills and repertoire.

She applied herself to dance the same way. The family possessed a videocassette, compilation of Michael Jackson music videos, which she watched obsessively, copying the moves and learning about the art of choreography. Later when the family came into possession of a computer she poured over YouTube clips of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance, soaking up the moves which she practiced over and over in front of the mirror.
“My story would have been very different if I had a ton of money. Because I had no resources I had to learn how to do things myself and it’s really shaped my art.”

Despite a ‘gloriously’ happy childhood, Lindsay’s mood deteriorated through her late teens. “I was incredibly unhappy; I loathed myself and hated everything about myself.”

Despite possessing a small frame, “I knew I wasn’t fat,” she became obsessed with her weight. “If I wasn’t the skinniest girl in the room I felt like I had failed. I felt if I got skinnier I would become beautiful and have some self worth and social value.”

It took her a while to grasp she had a real problem.

“Anorexia is such a strange disorder. It’s really hard to describe how real the problem is when it exists in your own mind and it is hard to realise you have it and that its not normal or even that it’s a problem.
Once she began to acknowledge she had a problem Doctors advised her that it was incurable, but not inescapable.

“You can get passed it but it never quite leaves you alone.”

These days stress is the main trigger for Lindsay’s food obsession.

“When I get stressed out it starts to come back, but every time I go through this cycle I get better at overcoming it.”

These days Lindsay is much happier in her own skin and is at pains to stress that fame and wealth have not changed her. She credits the faith she grew up in for helping to keep her grounded and focused. “The Church of the Latter day Saints is my safety net and knowing that there is a God who loves me gives me strength.”

Our time is almost up and I ask Lindsay what her audience can expect to see at her upcoming gig at The Powerstation in Auckland on Saturday, 14th February

“It’s a loud energy filled show; I dance and twirl and do back-flips and jump all over the stage for an hour and a half and there are numerous costume changes. It is suitable for all ages and it’s a fun eclectic experience.”

I close the interview by asking her what words of wisdom she has to offer young women contemplating a career in the arts and entertainment industry?

“Any successful person is successful because they don’t give up. The road to success includes many failures and disappointments. Riding out those disappointments is the key. We have to learn to let failure drive us rather than destroy us. Stick true to what you love and don’t ever change yourself to fit what other people tell you to be.”


Listen to the full interview on Rip It Up Radio:




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