Success hasn’t come easy for American electric violinist, dancer and composer Lindsey Stirling, who is on her way to Brisbane.
From early childhood, when her parents could only afford half a violin lesson a week, through her struggles with anorexia as a young woman, to being dumped on by big-mouthed America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan.
They kept coming, but the scintillating performance artist also kept coming back until today she has one of the hottest YouTube channels in the world as well as continuing to build a growing on-stage presence.
In four years since the release of her 2012 self-titled debut album, the classically trained dancer and artist, who will give a much anticipated performance in Brisbane at The Tivoli on April 14, has become one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars by clinging to her ground-breaking vision of cinematic violin-drive electronic music.
As Lindsey explained as she prepared to head Down Under (her third visit) her show “is extremely energetic”.
“Anyone who hasn’t seen the show before wouldn’t have any idea what to expect because you hear ‘dancing violinist’ and I don’t think anyone understands what that must look like,” she said.
She described it as electric music mixed with a little bit of pop influence, played on what she personally considers is “the most emotional instrument you can play”.
“There is a lot of dancing, but the thing I love about the show is that there is such a diverse demographic from little children (many dress up), through to families and to elderly couples.”
Lindsey’s development into the electronic person she is today goes back to her High School years when, during her classical training, she joined a school pop band and her Mum had trouble seeing and even hearing her from the back of the watching crowd.
An electronic violin was procured to overcome this problem (“it was red, it looked cool”) and the rest is history, as they say.
Her dancing came a little later in her 20s. But like everything before, she tackled it with a purpose.
“I was already very fluent with the violin and then it was a focus of adding dance to it, which was very awkward at first,” she said.
“When I look back at those videos I have to laugh and ask ‘why did I keep going?’
“I was not only practicing it but I was out there trying to find any gig that I could. For a while I was not good but put in time working till it was worth showing.”
Lindsey not only plays and dances, but she admits to spending time talking about some of her songs before she starts playing.
But there will be little or no preamble for her famous “Shatter Me” which is about overcoming her anorexia, having spent hours previously talking about it on her YouTube channel.
Which takes us back to 2010 and Lindsey’s appearance on America’s Got Talent as a 23-year-old where she was listed as a “hip hop violinist”.
Judge Piers Morgan said, as he sent her on her way: ”You’re not untalented, but you’re not good enough, I don’t think, to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.”
The failure has become an integral part of her personal story and has made her a poster child for the power of YouTube.
Lindsey is a prime example of a creator who, after being considered too weird and offbeat for traditional media success, found an accepting community online.
Her story shows YouTube’s ability to ignore gatekeepers and make a star out of anyone with enough charm and talent to draw an audience.
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Alternatively you can purchase tickets here.