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301+ Interviews: Lindsey Stirling

26/08/2014 14:28 BST | Updated 23/10/2014 10:59 BST

Some people can make a name for themselves being talented at just one thing, especially things as mentally taxing as dancing or playing the violin. Lindsey Stirling is a violinist and dancer on YouTube who manages to do both with tremendous flair.

"It is extremely difficult to dance and play but I wanted to have fun while I played," said Lindsey. "I wanted to entertain and add fun theatricality and energy to my performance rather than just impress."

Lindsey was a quarter-finalist in the fifth season of 'America's Got Talent' back in 2010. Soon after, she sought other ways to promote her music. "I discovered this interesting world of YouTube and I was immediately so excited that it was a platform that people used to share their art. If a guy could make a career being an annoying talking orange, then I could build a following as a dancing violinist. [America's Got Talent] was just one of my many attempts to get my name out there as a performer. YouTube was yet another one of my attempts but it was the one that finally worked."

"I can't really pick a favorite video. They are all full of different emotions. 'Crystallize' changed my life. 'Elements' was a hundred percent Lindsey production, in that I made the costumes, designed and made the sets, et cetera. 'Moontrance' is just fun and 'Shatter Me' came out exactly like my vision and it tells my story of self discovery," said Lindsey.

For their collaboration covering the Imagine Dragons hit 'Radioactive', Lindsey and a capella group Pentatonix received a YouTube Music Award. "It was pretty awesome to be awarded an award by the platform that made it possible for me to do what I love."

Unsurprisingly, Lindsey spends a lot of time practising. "I have to be extremely prepared before I do any performance. I have to know the song like the back of my hand and then I have to learn the dance so well that I don't have to think about it. It's almost like I have to divide my brain into two different halves then I slowly combine the two. Then it becomes muscle memory and I can enjoy performing and smiling."

As well as making videos for YouTube, Lindsey is also a prolific live performer, which has led to the occasional mishap. "There are so many things that can go wrong while performing. I've had violin strings break, I've had pants that were slowly falling down and I'd have to pull them up in between every song, my hairpiece was falling out so a big chunk of hair was just flapping around as I danced, and I've completely fallen on my butt," she laughs. "I guess that's what makes it live though. You just have to laugh it off and it makes for a great story."

"I definitely get overwhelmed and there are times when I wonder if I can possibly do everything I need to. But I love the hustle and the creative cram. When I have free time I am almost uncomfortable. Haha. Yeah, that's a problem. But, honestly, I just love to create. That's what makes me happy," said Lindsey on her packed schedule.

At a time when keeping an audience online is difficult, Lindsey finds that she can be creative and still please her fans. "I think it is extremely important to do what feeds your soul artistically, because you can't fake passion and authenticity. However, it was important for me to do something that people wanted to hear," she reasons. "What gives my art the most meaning is when I can connect with others through it. When people say that my music has helped them or it makes them feel good, or it inspires them, that is what gives my art lasting meaning to me"

A practising Mormon, Lindsey cites her religion as an influence in her music. "A lot of my writing comes from the themes of my life and a lot of that stems from my faith. I also strive to be a light through which Christ can shine whether it's through the way I dress, though my videos, or through my music."

From post-apocalyptic wastelands to a galaxy far, far away, Lindsey's genre-spanning adventures look set to continue in future videos. "I am about to start working on a steampunk western music video that I am really, really excited about. I am also working on another fun collab with Pentatonix so stay tuned."

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