Unlike the other artists featured on the small ‘Discovering’ series present on this blog; my discovery of Lindsey Stirling is not a recent one but more a resurgence. For those of you who do not know, Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist/dancer, two things no one would have thought could be combined with such success. Lindsey’s music is the kind I would always listen to when revising during college or when I wasn’t sure what kind of music mood I was in. Even then, I was utterly blown away by her creative talent and couldn’t be prouder as a fan of the progress she has made during her journey.
Being from a small Utah town didn’t stop Lindsey from dreaming big, even when she was told she would have to choose between learning to play the violin and dancing. Although she chose to take violin lessons, Lindsey didn’t drop her passion for dance but managed to find a way to keep both in her life. The first time I was ever knowingly introduced to Lindsey’s music was back in 2013 when she collaborated with the popular a cappella group, Pentatonix (future blog post imminent). The artists combined their unique musical talents to record a cover of Imagine Dragon’s ‘Radioactive’, adding another layer of brilliance to the already incredible song. Whilst Pentatonix’s performance was outstanding there was just something about Lindsey’s violin and footwork that was mesmerising. Without a voice Lindsey managed to sing the loudest and completely captured my attention.
Listen to the cover here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE2GCa-_nyU
However, this was not the first time Lindsey had been on the musical horizon for me. Back in 2010 the artist took part and became a finalist in America’s Got Talent. Being something totally unseen got her far in the competition but unfortunately that was not enough to impress the judges in the semi-finals. Whilst Lindsey’s performance on the show was not as refined as it is today, there was still the lingering hint of potential that would go on to build into an admirable determination to pursue her dream. Despite the judges’ critiques that Lindsey would find more success in dropping the dancing and joining a band, she prevailed and proved she only needed herself and belief.
Being dubbed a ‘hip-hop violinist’ on the show was not the most accurate way to describe Lindsey as a musician. Since then she has broadened her horizons by creating and covering music in classical, rock and dubstep, just to name a few. Her own original music came about in 2012 when she singed a deal with Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter. Lindsey’s first self-titled album is a fuse of dubstep and electronica, conveying emotion and narrative through her evocative playing. Songs like ‘Transcendence’ that manage to portray feelings of being trapped and the need to break out. Lindsey’s violin performance perfectly reflects the narrative moving from control to realisation of this control.
Listen to ‘Transcendence’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiyPRqP5glY
Many of Lindsey’s songs have powerful and important meanings behind them, the emotions of the songs hitting harder than words ever could. On more than one occasion her music has managed to move me to tears from the sheer beauty she pours into it, especially on her other albums such as the incredible Shatter Me. Even her covers are something to behold. Not shying away from already popular and beloved songs but taking on the challenge of making them her own and, more importantly, succeeding. I never expected to hear a cover of Evanescence’s ‘My Immortal’ and feel like I was hearing it for the first time. A song I have listened to more times than I can count being presented to me in a way I wasn’t aware I needed. With a focus purely put on the melody of ‘My Immortal’ adds an open vulnerability and offers even more depth to the song.
Listen to Lindsey’s cover of ‘My Immortal’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-onQcF95pfs
Lindsey’s story is truly an inspiring one and Lindsey herself is the kind of person many could and should look up to. Battling against musical restrictions in her youth, putting effort into and building her Youtube channel whilst always managing to keep a clear head and remember her roots. Her talent as a musician aside, Lindsey truly seems to be the ultimate example of a girl living her dreams and loving every moment of it. Evident in her dedication to her music even when being told it wasn’t good enough, the energy and emotion put into her live performances and music videos and her love of music in general shining through in her covers. Still on the rise, Lindsey will soon be embarking on a summer tour with none other than Evanescence. Something I would love to see if there had been any dates for the UK, but I cannot think of two artists better suited to perform on the same stage.
By Skye W.Winwood