Lindsey Stirling is breaking into the music scene as a dancing violinist, and that is a feat of its own.
The 28-year-old performance artist released an EP earlier this year called "Shatter Me," and currently performs shows all over the world. I caught up with Lindsey at the MIX 94.1 Bite of Las Vegas music festival over the weekend to chat about her latest projects.
"This is my first radio show. I’m pretty excited about it," she told me during our sit down interview backstage. "I’ve been working these last couple months to get my song on the radio and it’s starting to happen!"
There's a big difference between a radio festival and shows her fans buy tickets to - there's a lot more pressure now because not everyone is familiar with her.
"When I go to my show, I know it’s my hardcore fans that are there. They’re wearing my t-shirts, they’re dressed up like me. Even just looking out at the audience today… it seems like much more of a main-stream crowd; a much wider demographic. It looks like a different group of people."
She sat cross-legged and looked slightly anxious. Her people gave me just a few minutes with her because she wanted to rehearse again before taking the stage. I understood.
"It’s definitely a lot more intimidating to go out on stage knowing you have to win people over. It makes you a little bit more nervous because not everybody out there is expecting to see me. I think they might be a little confused when a dancing violinist jumps on stage – it’s kind of fun in a way because you’re hoping to gain new fans. You’re hoping to bring new people to what you do, and that’s kind of the reason I like doing festivals. It’s almost like an uphill battle."
She says when she does her own shows, she feels she can be more herself. “My fans like me for being me.”
But the radio festival? “This is kind of like a first date. You’re on your best behavior, but when I’m with my fans I can be a little bit goofier. It’s like… we’re dating.”
I interjected - my attempt to make her smile and put her at ease: "honey, I’m gay."
She laughs, "Dang it!"
I jump right into the next question to avoid any awkward silence, asking Lindsey to describe her experience working with the Pentatonix, an American-based acapella group signed with RCA.
“The song is called ‘Papaoutai.’ Super awesome guys, super artistic. I love his music and I was really excited when Pentatonix reached out about doing another song together."
Lindsey also recently participated in an interactive, personalized performing experience on the music-streaming website Pandora. Eight listeners were connected via FaceTime for a personal chat with her. They could influence the aesthetics of her performance using hand signals and colors.
“That was amazing. That was so fun. Through Pandora, if people ‘liked’ a song on this particular afternoon, they would get the option to do a live chat with Lindsey." (She spoke in the third person). "Of course they really didn’t believe it. It was like, ‘do you want to talk to Lindsey?’ And then I would pop up on their screen in a live chat, and I would talk to them for a bit and then play a song, and it was really cool to just be able to see fans. Some of them cried as we were playing. It’s just very intimate and really cool."
I noticed she said it was very intimate, yet it was via the Internet. I asked her if the web, particularly social media, helped her connect to fans.
“I am a completely biased opinion on that because I’ve made my entire career off of social media. I never would have made it if it wasn’t for social media. I tried to go the traditional route first, and no one would take my music, no one thought it was marketable. A dancing violinst? Like, what?”
Right then, her rep swirled their finger notifying me to wrap it up.
“My fans have made my career, changed my life, I love them.”