Lindsey Stirling is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel, Lindseystomp, which she introduced in 2007. In 2010, Stirling was a quarter-finalist on America's Got Talent season five. Since 2010, Stirling has released two studio albums, an EP, and several singles. Her debut eponymous album was a commercial success in Europe, selling 200,000 copies in Germany, winning a platinum certification. Three other certifications were given to her by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Her debut album was nominated for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in the section of "Top Dance/Electronic Albums". She performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and hip-hop to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Stirling is also a YouTube sensation: her music video "Crystallize" finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of "Radioactive" with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first YouTube Music Awards in 2013.
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Hey guys, it's Lindsey and I'm back for my 2nd AMA!
So here's the deal: I wrote a book "The Only Pirate At The Party" with my sister Brooke and we cover everything; our childhood, my life as a musician, how I used YouTube to bring you into my passions and thankfully, how I got to meet you all.
I'm ready to do this again, soooo ASK ME ANYTHING!
Thanks so much for joining this is really really fun and hopefully I get to meet you all REEEEEEEEEALLLLLLLY soon XO
Hi Lindsey, my 5 year old has fallen in love with your music and the violin in general. She wants to know how you did the dancing on water in Master of Tides and what was your favorite part of making that video?
haha. it was magic. but we actually built a small stage just under the water. my favorite part was that it was live and we got to surprise people. No one knew it was happening
I have a question,
What do you do with the gifts your fans give you?
The reason I ask is, that waay back in March of 2013 I gave you, Gavi and Drew beads from my 7 month deployment in the Navy, but I never got the chance to explain to you what they meant (Sadly, I did tell Gavi my story about the beads while waiting my turn, since him and Drew were helping you with the meet and greet. Gavi had the chance to tell me your openers, The Vibrant Sound, were from Oahu).
Sorry it's a little long....
I was in the Navy, stationed in Hawaii on a submarine for 4 years. I went on a 7 month deployment, from the end of 2012 to the beginning of 2013. It was a fun experience, but also a tough one. Your music (and music videos) helped me through it. Putting me to sleep, giving me a little comfort of being home, while underwater. Your different music videos would separate the groundhog type days. It's what kept me going throughout the deployment. I shared your videos and music with the crew and most enjoyed it. We would watch your videos from time to time enjoying the music and photography of your videos., while eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, midrats(midnight snack). Every time I pulled into a port (only like once or twice a month, if that), I would check up on your status and download new videos for us to watch.
When we came back after 7 months underwater in and around Asia, to our homeport in Hawaii, they gave the whole crew these beads. I took a couple extra for when I went to see my family back home in MA during March of that year. I saw you were playing and got last minute tickets, plus the VIP meet and greet to your show in Clifton Park, NY.
So, I still had 3 extra sets of beads after giving them to family members, so no one lost out on a pair or anything. I brought them with me and gave them to you guys as a gift from Hawaii and my deployment, because it felt like you were there with me the entire time too. But when it came time to tell you about it, I was so star struck when I went up to meet you, and you had to sign my CD and take a picture, I never got the chance to explain to you how much you and your music meant to me over the past 7 months.
It's okay if you don't have them anymore, I understand you probably get enough gifts as it is at each event, or even just on a regular basis.
Here's a pic I case you need to jog your brain a little.
P.S. You really need to book a show in Hawaii, I know PLENTY of sailors who would definitely enjoy seeing you in concert there!!! Plus you know, it's HAWAII!!
I always look at all the gifts, I take pictures of them, I read all the letters (I really do) and I take the things I can. I actually have a huge closet full of stuff that I have kept in coset at my parents. I also have artwork displayed in my room and crafts on my shelves at home. Sadly I cant keep everything but they all mean so much to me.
what is your favorite in flight meal, and why is it... CHICKEN?!
how many "world's best boss" mugs do you have? it's probably not enough. I'll get you some more.
haha. I know this question is from andy (My lighting guy) And yes, the chicken is always the safest choice when youre eating re-heated food on a plane.
and yes, please get me another one of those best boss mugs. haha
I like what you do with your hair. What inspired the style?
haha my hair keeps changing. I just like to keep it fun and big. I've always liked big hair with lots of personality.
Hey Lindsey, big fan of your music!
How was it working with Lzzy Hale? Did you approach her to do vocals on 'Shatter Me' or vice versa?
I LOVE Lzzy Hale. I wrote shatter me and asked her to sing it. She is the coolest chick ever
Hey Lindsey, I’ve wanted to say this for a while but I haven't had the confidence really. I just wanna say thank you for saving my life, after I went through some severe depression up to a point where I was actually contemplating suicide, your song Electric Daisy Violin really made me smile for once, it was different for me; actually being happy. I then started to learn more and more about you and your lifestyle and ever since I just instantly become happy if I just hear your name. I just wanna thank you because without you I probably wouldn't even be on this earth anymore. Also I have 2 questions: Do you plan on coming to the UK for any concerts this year(hopefully Birmingham instead of london)? Also after reading the chapter about ur depression and anorexia, I was wondering, what do you think helped you the most in getting back to the real world? Was it friends and family sticking with you or the realisation that your emotions have cut you off from a normal life?
THank you for sharing. the thing that made me want to change was the realization that my eating disorder had litterally taken everything from me. It took away my happiness, my relationships with my family, my connection to people in general, my creativity, ect. Id given it all up because i was obsessing over controlling my weight. Once I realized I wanted and needed to change, my family, religious beliefs, and my determination gave me power to change.
Were there a lot of moments that you had a hard time deliberating if they should go in the book or not because they were too personal?
Most of the really personal stuff were the things that I felt were the most important to share. Like the eating disorder and depression chapters and the americas got talent failure... those were the reasons I wanted to write a book in the first place. I wanted people to realize that they arent alone in their struggles.
Do you go to church regularly on tour or even when not? You’re kind of really famous.
I do go to church when I am home and when I am on the road. When I'm on tour I go to Mormon.org and click the visit us tab. Then I find a church meeting that is close to me
Do you know Sean Mackin from Yellowcard? He’s really super talented and kind of the male version of you. Super upbeat performer. I’d love to see you two collab. I’ve asked him about it and he said he’d love to. I really want to see this happen.
I love sean Mackin! He and I are friends and he is the nicest guy in the world. I was a huge yellow card fan in high school and I still love their music
How long does it take to shoot one of your music videos?
i usually do 2 full day shoots for each video now but they take weeks to plan. I usually have to learn choreo, find locations, plan costumes... ect. but its one of my fave things
What was it like meeting and hanging out with NigaHiga and the crew? Any cool behind the camera stories?
Hahaha, i was so so so nervous to do that video. But they were so nice and encouraging. THey promised they wouldnt make a fool out of me. haha. They lied ;) But honestly, they showed the best moments. they were so funny
Hey Lindsey, I met you last year in Grand Rapids at 2 in the morning after a concert, and firstly, gotta thank you for making me feel special even at such a late hour!
i am trying to write another song for me to sing on and I'm thinking about puting firefly on the album. SHould I?
And I actually do remember a lot of little things from meeting you guys. I dont remember everything but i remember certain jokes, or moments, or gifts.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
chocolate chip cookie dough every time. Or a chocolate milkshake
What's your favorite piece you've covered from a video game?
Hey Lindsey! I've been a big fan since your first album. I went to your Music Box Tour show in Chicago and the book signing last Thursday. Love your music and love your book!
I've been playing classical music (viola/piano) for 10+ years now, and I really enjoy it. I wanted to ask, how did you get ideas when you started writing music? Did you have some sort of natural inspiration come to you? How do you work on writing music when you're struggling to come up with anything?
Thanks so much for doing this AmA!
everyone gets writers block or creatively blocked and it definitely happens to me a lot. When i get blocked I try to inspire myself through different mediums than music. I'll look at beautiful art, spend time with family, watch a great inspiring film ect..
What is your and Brookes favorite part of the book and why? And, what chapter do you think stirlingites like the most? :)
Greetings from Mexico, hope you come back for a show soon!
Lindsey: I love the chapter on my dad. It really shows how my parents sacrificed so much so I could become the person i am.
Brooke: "Falling in love is hard to do" because it is so relateable.
the stirlingites will like: "all you have to do is ask" cus it addresses the fans directly
How long approx. does it take you to compose a full song usually? They are all so good! Also congrats with your book :)
Its always different. Sometime it takes 2 days to get a pretty good handle on it, sometimes it takes a month of little changes. Sometimes I have to write a lot of not so great songs before I find the beautiful ones
Is electronic violin easier to play than acoustic?
I believe it is easier to get a solid sound out of an electric violin but it is not possible to get as great of a sound out of an electric. An acoustic will always be warmer but requires more care and attention
What were some of your most memorable parts or experiences writing the book? This can be both the writing process and/or memories included in the book :)
Your memoir is so beautiful, inspiring it has a very special place in my heart :)
It was amazing to write the book with my sister. I would look forward to our late night skype sessions so much because we would laugh so much and even cry occasionally as we worked together. Also, writing this book made me revisit my life in a flash and it made me so grateful for the good and the bad i've experienced
About a year ago your muppets collaboration appear on my social media feed since then I've falling in love with your music especially the orchestral versions.
On the last tour you were the creative director as well as the performer. How did you find all this responsibility and can you see yourself doing it again in the near future?
ps. Come back to tour in Ireland soon :)
i am taking a break from tour to finish my book and my album. I will be touring again in the fall and yes i will be very involved in the creative direction of the show
Lindsey, what's your favorite cereal?
its always changing but right now im loving wheat chex
How do you find the time, and just generally go about, replying to youtube comments with your busy life? I see you replying to people all the time there, I think it's great btw!
i just fill in the holes of my day with a few comments here and there. I think its super important to stay connected with my peeps
Hello Lindsey, Who do you want to collab with the must?
Hayley Williams from Paramore, Zedd, Sia
Hi Lindsey, big fan!
My question is: Who is your #1 inspiration right now to keep you going in life?
Brene Brown. Her books are amazing and they've really inspired me to write from the heart and let my walls down
Are there any video game music covers/medleys you haven't done yet, but really want to do? If so, can you share a few of them?
I dont know about game medleys but I want to do harry potter still and dr who
Do you have any tips for anyone looking to start a career in music?
don't give up after your first, second or third failure. In my book you will see that my road to success had a lot of failures in the beginning. Those who succeed are those who persevere
How did you and Brooke felt when you finally ended writting the book? Were you expecting it to success this way? or how did you think the fans or everyone were going to react? :)
I just want to say that I just read some little excerpts and I love them, I'm still waiting for my copy to come but I know when I finish reading it it will be one of my favorite books!
Greetings from Mexico! :D
it was incredibly exciting when we finished the book but it was bitter sweet to finish it. Its always so hard to close a project that you loved working on. Also, you never feel like a project is fully done. We could have made changes to it forever but finally we had to realize it was done
Hi Lindsey :)
Did you ever feel like giving up on the book and just throw it all away?
P.S I'm glad you didn't :)
brooke says she absolutely did. Especially when we were in the process of finding a publisher. People kept rejecting us. Haha. Story of my life. But we decided to keep working on it even though no one wanted it. finally we found the perfect publisher
Hey Lindsey... again!
Another question popped up in my mind, I know you are a fan of Zedd, are there any plans of doing a Collaboration with him anytime soon?
I LOVE Zedd. I really hope to work with him. SO keep your fingers crossed for me :)
Hey Lindsey, just want to let you know that I love your book so far and I'm reading with my little sister. My question is, what was one of the funniest parts of the book to you?
Brooke say: alot of people are really enjoying the childhood chapters and the drug and alcohol chapter gets a lot of laughs. However everyone seems to find different things funny. What can we say, its a humorous story ;)
the funniest part to me was the dating chapter. Haha... that says a lot about my dating life
Hi Lindsey :) What house would you be in if you went to Hogwarts?
gryffindor all the way!!! Red and gold through and through
Hey big fan here, hope all is well! What was the inspiration to do a song with Izzy Hale?
It was a metaphorical representation of how it felt being trapped inside an eating disorder
Hi Lindsey! I loved your book and it was a blast to read! Thank you so much for connecting with fans and doing things like this! I was wondering, do you ever pray before, during, or after performances, and if so how? Your faith inspires me greatly, and I would love to know how you make room for it into your professional life. Thanks, and God bless!
Thanks so much!
I do pray before and during every performance. Before each show, the entire team: band, dancers, techs, and myself get in a circle and pray together. I also say a prayer before I go into a writing session
Hey Lindsey! How have things like writing your book and doing college work affected your busy lifestyle, and how have you been able to juggle so many things? Also, what’s your favorite type of sandwich?
it was great to work on my book and college as I was touring because I could do it in the hours that I wasnt performing or prepping for the show. THere is always down time on tour that can be filled. And I love a simple peanut butter and banana sandwich. I eat one after most of my shows
Is it true that Drew cut his hair short the day after you gave him the peacock hairstyle in that one LindseyTime? I can't imagine it was easy to undo...
haha, ya know, it wasnt long after that. but he's growing it out again so i have another chance
Hi Lindsey! First off, I've been listening to your music since 2011, you're amazing! I'm about half way through your book and it's very inspirational.
Are you going to come to Montreal any time soon? I'd love to see you live!
hoping to tour the us and canada in the fall