Lindsey Stirling: Breaking Free

This article was first published on Youth Central, September 2014.

Lindsey Stirling is a one-of-a-kind young musician. Playing the violin to electronic dubstep beats while dancing like no one’s watching is what she does best – and that’s not something you see every day.

With over 700 million views and five million subscribers on her YouTube channel and having performed all around the world, Lindsey is certainly going places with her unique brand of music. Her 2013 Australian tour sold out across three capital cities.

Shatter Me is Lindsey’s second album, coming hot on the heels of her debut album, which was released in 2013. Shatter Me features 12 tracks co-written by the American violinist herself. Clearly Lindsey is one hardworking musician too.

Breaking Boundaries

Like her first album, Shatter Me is a compilation of electronic-dubstep-classical influenced songs. Unlike the first album, which is a mix of fast and mid-tempo tunes, this album is a bold collection of fast-tempo songs.

Frenzied violin playing can be heard throughout the album. Lindsey’s violin-playing-prowess strongly shines through, keeping time with the strong beats and making the upbeat album a pleasure to listen to.

Lindsey has no qualms about experimenting with her music. In fact, she embraced stepping out of her comfort zone while recording her second album.

“I love to push myself and try new things because it keeps [your] art fresh rather than settling into a complacent rhythm,” she says. “This was scary, but I was able to feel comfortable doing it because I stayed true to my sound and the kind of music that fed my soul.”

Overcoming Challenges

Personal experiences ultimately shaped the messages behind Lindsey’s second album.

Lyrics to the self-titled track “Shatter Me” tell of the emotions Lindsey felt while overcoming an eating disorder. The instrumental “Take Flight” is a song about leaning on those close to you when you are down and picking yourself up, inspired by a hard time a young fan went through.

There is no denying that Lindsey has learnt a lot of lessons in the past. Today she selflessly shares them through her music. Because of this, one can also say Lindsey is an honest musician who tells it like it is. On the significance of her second album, Lindsey explained:

“I wanted this album to symbolise self discovery and breaking free. I hope my music helps people feel empowered to become who they want to be and reach for the dreams they really want.”

Being involved in every part of the music-making process can be daunting. There is so much to do, but it is Lindsey’s passion for music that drives her to take a hands-on approach towards making music independently. She absolutely “love(s) the whole process” of creating music and filming her videos, including choreographing and designing costumes.

Inspiring Young People

It can be hard pursuing a career in the arts. Not everyone may like what you do. Some might even laugh at what you do. This can be scary to some young people who are keen on pursuing their creative passions, but are perhaps afraid of rejection.

As a dancing violinist, Lindsey is different from other young musicians – many do not usually dance while playing an instrument. Yet she is very confident at doing what she does and at only 27 years old has already achieved musical success.

On top of that Lindsey is not always focused on herself and her music – she thinks of others around her too. Every now and then she finds time to give motivational speeches to schools, encouraging young people to follow their dreams. On finding confidence to go after creative passions as a young person, Lindsey offered this advice:

“I think you need to just do it. Yes, you will fail a few times before you succeed – maybe many times – but that’s a part of the process everyone goes through. Successful people just know how to pick themselves up when they fall.”

In other words, having courage, determination and a positive mindset can help you reach your dreams. Surrounding yourself with a supportive group of people can also keep you grounded and motivated to do what you love doing. As Lindsey says, “Surround yourself with true friends. People who love you, who inspire and encourage you, and who will be honest with you for better or for worse.”

Hats off to Lindsey for not only being a hard-working, honest and humble musician but also a musician who works towards inspiring others.