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Violinist Lindsey Stirling melds pop, hip-hop, electronica

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Electronic. Rock ‘n’ roll. High-energy. Fist-pumping. These are probably not the first things that come to mind when someone mentions a violin concert.

“It’s not what most people expect,” says Lindsey Stirling of her live show. The 26-year-old hip-hop violinist — a label coined during her appearance on the fifth season of “America’s Got Talent” — recently wrapped a European tour and is headed across North America on a two-month trek.

It’s hard to put a definitive label on Stirling, whose sound crosses over electronic, hip-hop and pop. “You’re the best person when you’re yourself,” she says. “You don’t have to fit into any sort of box in order to be accepted.”

Growing up in Gilbert, Ariz., Stirling was 6 when she started begging for violin lessons. “I was the kid who would play with a toy for five minutes and then be like, ‘OK, I’m done.’ ”

While she dabbled in the flute, she eventually decided to stick with just one instrument. “My freshman year, I was an orc dork and a band nerd,” she says, laughing. “Then I realized it was social suicide to be carrying the violin and the flute to school.”

Violin-infused dubstep is a hallmark of Stirling’s work. Her self-titled album, released in September, rose to No. 1 on iTunes’ electronic chart.

“Crystallize,” Stirling’s biggest hit on her popular YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 223 million views, features sweeping shots of the violinist gracefully dancing while playing in the midst of an ethereal ice castle sculpture, a tourist attraction in Silverthorne, Colo.

But while making the video, things weren’t quite so smooth. “It was slightly embarrassing because it was so cold that I couldn’t play well. And all these people are like, ‘Who the heck is this random girl, playing terribly, in this ice castle?’ ”

Going viral on YouTube — “Crystallize” was its eighth most-watched video of 2012 — has been crucial to her accomplishments thus far.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’m a YouTuber, and that’s how I found my success. I feel a lot of loyalty to those YouTube subscribers who support me because they’re the ones that made my dreams come true.”

Because of her covers of video game music, including songs from “Skyrim,” “The Legend of Zelda” and “Assassin’s Creed,” Stirling has found herself with a large following of gamers and would like to compose original music for video games. “It’s seriously epic stuff.”

Gannett News Service

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