How does a dub-step mixing, ballet and contemporary dancing classical violinist become a success in an industry looking for the next Rhianna or Miley Cyrus? She embraces what makes her different and turns to YouTube. In case dubstep-inspired violin concertos aren’t your thing, Lindsey Stirling is a YouTube and musical sensation. She has over 5 million subscribers with over 670 million views. She’s collaborated with John Legend, has made numerous covers of popular songs, is in the middle of a world tour, and her albums are sold on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Target, Amazon and Best Buy. So what is the secret to her success? She embraced what made her different, then turned to YouTube.
On a recent interview on NPR, I heard her say that she tried the traditional route. She sent out dozens of CDs to music labels. But they all said her mix of violin and dubstep, combined with dancing while she played, made her look and sound too different. So she starting making her own videos and putting them up on YouTube. The rest is history.
Embrace Your Differences
In a world where the barriers to entry in this business are so low, your best chance at longevity and success is embracing whatever it is that makes you stand out from a crowd. Go with your gut. The more people tell you your work is weird, or off the beaten path, or not in line with what’s “hot” right now, the better. Embrace that difference even more! Be bold. Be brave. Be different. And if you can dance while you take photos or shoot video, why not.
Of course it didn’t hurt that she had an excellent cameraman, Devin who owned a Steadicam and produced her music videos with a ton of great shots and high energy editing.
Come on Ron, you could at least give the cameraman a little credit…
Ron Dawson says
Hey Alan, if you’re referring to the video I posted in the blog post, that was not the video that made her famous. I just chose a video that demonstrated her playing and dancing. All of her videos now are professionally shot. But go to her youtube channel to see or earlier stuff.
The collaboration she had with her cameraman is in itself a topic that you should be featuring. I was watching her videos long before she was famous because I was looking for innovative use of Steadicam. She is very talented and the dub step violin is original and energetic. But the real story here is how she and Devin teamed up to make high energy videos, of which the Steadicam was the key tool used.
I’m just saying that there’s a great cameraman story here, Ron. You do still run stories about cameramen on your blog, don’t you?
Ron Dawson says
Oh. Okay. I thought you were saying this video in particular was what made her famous. You’re saying it was the collaboration with her videographer to make great videos. Yes, that would be a good story. Thanks for the idea. I’ll add it to my story list.
Two three quick links:
Lindsey B.D. (before Devin):
He’s quite a go getter, definitely pursuing his passions: