Gilbert-raised Lindsey Stirling celebrates with fans

BY Jacqueline Robledo

When Lindsey Stirling was a young girl, her parents said she could either dance or play the violin. She chose the violin and now has 12.6 million subscribers on YouTube.

Raised in Gilbert, Stirling has always had a passion for music. She started playing violin when she was 6 years old and played in a rock band called Stomp on Melvin in high school.

Stirling first made her mark on music through her appearance on “America’s Got Talent,” where she impressed the judges with her unique style of violin combining hip-hop, pop and classical music. She was knocked out of the competition in the quarter finals but stated in an interview that she felt she had been successful in the competition, as she stayed true to herself and her style, which she likes to call “a fusion.”

“I like involving bits of classical, EDM influence and, you know, pop and rock—like it really is just kind of all over the place. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s a fusion,” she says.

She later played in open mic nights and college shows, trying to gain more recognition.

“There was a pretty long time where I was just trying to figure it out and that can be really discouraging, and you feel like maybe a lot of people, that’s when they give up,” Stirling says.

Finally, in 2012, after years of hard work, she discovered YouTube.

“That was what really kicked it off for me, what actually kind of made an impact and I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. OK, this is my niche. This is what’s going to work for me,’” she says.

As her YouTube channel started taking off, Stirling noticed that not only were her subscribers and viewership increasing, but people were buying her music on iTunes. From that point on she realized that the more YouTube videos she produced, the more tickets were sold to her live shows.

“Ever since then it’s just riding that wave, trying to keep up with it, trying to keep it going and trying to stay creative through it all,” she says.

Stirling’s annual winter tour has become a fan favorite across the country since the release of her chart-topping holiday album “Warmer in the Winter” three years ago. Though touring is not possible in 2020, Stirling was dedicated to keep her tradition going.

“I’m so excited about the holiday special. I’ve been working on it for months now pretty much all day, every day,” Stirling says.

This year, she presents “Lindsey Stirling: Home for The Holidays,” a livestream holiday special, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, December 12. After the second showing, the special will be available on demand for 72 hours.

“It’s a show that no one’s ever seen before,” Stirling says. “It has the seamless flow of a live performance, but we’re going to have the ability because it’s pretaped to have the type of filming that you would see in a music video and the type of props that you know we could never tour with live and certain acts that could, again, never be done on a tour. And so, I really didn’t want this to be just a second-rate experience.”

Stirling explains she will bring something to the show that has never been done before.

“People’s minds are going to be blown. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. There’s a reason no one’s ever done it before, and I think it’s going be really cool,” she says.

More than anything, Stirling says she hopes that people watching will feel uplifted and are reminded of hope during this time.

“Christmas is full of so many different kinds of emotions, you know, be it spiritual, be it missing people, joy, you know. There’s just so many different emotions tied to it, so I’m going to hit on all of those and I hope people feel it all,” she says.