Musicians from the world over are flowing into the city as travel has opened back up, and one of the most exciting artists coming soon is Lindsey Stirling. The violin virtuoso combines neoclassical and pop with a stunning visual show to make for an unforgettable evening. Where Y'at was able to speak to Lindsey ahead of her show: Lindsey will be performing at the Saenger Theatre on Monday, July 26th for her Artemis Tour.
WYAT: How did you get into violin?
Lindsey: I got into violin when I was really little because my parents loved classical music. They always played it in our home. I quickly realized that the violin got all the melodies and that it was the fun instrument of the orchestra. When I was 6, I was begging for lessons.
WYAT: When did you notice you were getting big on YouTube?
Lindsey: I finally took off pretty fast when I discovered YouTube. I say that because I was so excited that anybody cared because for about a year and a half, I had been playing on college campuses, driving to them to play, sleeping in my car, just seeing zero progression. When I started putting stuff on YouTube, the fact that something got 15,000 views was like, 'What!!' My mind was blown. Eventually they started getting hundreds of thousands of views. Then they started getting into the millions. It started to happen pretty fast when I discovered YouTube.
WYAT: With the advent of social media, do you feel that different types of music are finally making it out listeners who may otherwise have never found it because of pop music's hold on the radio and streaming services?
Lindsey: Radio is a wonderful format that helped so many artists; it still has such a powerful impact to get things heard. However, it's nice that that's not the only way because radio is a very narrow format and you have to do it a certain way and you have to play certain games. It's very political, you have to know the right people, have the right label…it's very complex to get on radio. The fact that that used to be the only way that people could get found. Nowadays, there are other powerful players such as social media, like it's a huge part in what gets out there. You can make a playlist on Spotify and get on popular podcasts. There are so many ways to be heard, and it's so exciting for anyone who's an artist to be like, 'I can actually do the art the way I want.' As long as you're willing to be creative and try different things and find what works for you, there's a place for anybody.
WYAT: What did you do during quarantine to keep your music going?
Lindsey: I had a lot of different things I tried. It was a time of experimentation, and some of it worked and some of them didn't. It was really cool to have outlets to be able to keep doing stuff. I just would have gone crazy if I didn't invest my creativity into something; I thrive so much off of that. I did a podcast where I did collaborations with other artists and made remixes of their songs with all violins, which is really fun. I filmed a couple music videos; we found ways to do that. I also did a whole Christmas show. We did a virtual Christmas special, and I always wanted to a Christmas special, but we've never been able to find the right partner or networks never said yes. So I never had the ability to do a Christmas special, and for some reason this year, it clicked. I said, 'I don't have to wait for a partner to tell to me that I can do one. I can do it myself.' And I can just release it digitally to my fans. Why did I never think of that before? Because the pandemic made me realize I can do it all myself. I brought my crew together, we worked on it for months. I am so proud of what we created, and it brought a lot of people joy through the holidays. It was just something beautiful that I'm very, very proud of. And I'm grateful that the pandemic gave me some courage to take that kind of a risk and do it.
I also learned how to hang by my hair, which is crazy. It's an aerial art form called hair hanging, and you literally do aerial work while being suspended solely by your hair. I learned to do that while playing the violin which is crazy and pretty unique.
WYAT: Going forward in your career, are you going to do
anything differently than you were doing before the pandemic?
Lindsey: I think doing a virtual concert made me realize that that can be a part of what I do. It's kind of cool to do something digital like concerts and meet-and-greets. It's amazing how many people bought digital meet-and-greet tickets because I've never been to their part of the world. I was like, 'I never thought that people wanted a digital meet-and-greet.' Things like that will just add into the business that I already have. Also, I got more into writing. And by writing, I mean I wrote an entire comic book. I finished that, and it gave me a lot more confidence that I could do more script writing. That's something I'm currently writing along with several other projects to write and produce in the film and TV world. It gave me confidence in other areas that I haven't tapped before.
WYAT: Is there anything else you'd like to say to your New Orleans audience?
Lindsey: I am very excited to come to New Orleans; it's such a cool city. I love that music is so alive in that city. The last time we were there, we had popped from bar to bar and listened to these musicians playing in these different bars, and it was so cool to see what a vibrant, music-centered, art-centered city it is. I can't wait to come back, and I have to get some beignets.