Lindsey Stirling is the critically acclaimed violinist, performer and all round multi-talented lady who blew us all away last year with her incredible Christmas album, Warmer in the Winter.
For 2018, Lindsey has re-released the album as a deluxe edition which includes five new offerings which are guaranteed to make you feel all warm, fuzzy and festive. Not only does Lindsey wow us with her impressive violin technique, but she also flexes her vocal cords on a number of tracks, proving why she is one of the most captivating artists in the industry.
Alongside the album, over the past few weeks Lindsey has also blessed us with a string of incredible visuals for some of the tracks, which showcase her dancing and performance skills in addition to her phenomenal creative ability. These include ‘Warmer in the Winter’, ‘Santa Baby’, ‘I Wonder as a I Wander’ and ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch’ featuring Sabrina Carpenter.
We caught up with Lindsey to discuss the deluxe edition of Warmer in the Winter, her amazing visuals, her holiday plans and hopes for the new year.
You recently released the deluxe version of your critically acclaimed Christmas album Warmer inthe Winter. The album includes five new tracks – how did you narrow down which extra tracks would make the cut?
I absolutely LOVE Christmas music, so narrowing down which songs I wanted to tackle for the new tracks wasn’t easy! Ironically, I knew that I wanted to do ‘Santa Baby’ because I’ve never really liked the original version haha, so I wanted to challenge myself to make a version of it that I DID like. Personally, I think it turned out pretty well! And I definitely had a blast making the music video for it. I decided on ‘Home Alone Theme’ because the movie came out when I was a kid and, at the time, it was the most epic Christmas movie ever! Honestly, though nearly three decades old, I think it has withstood the test of time remarkably well. The 90’s rocked!
How do you go about adding your own spin to some of the well-known classics which appear on the album?
One of my biggest goals is to NOT create music that all sounds the same. For me, that has meant working with a lot of different producers in the studio, all of whom have their own style and spin on the music they create. I usually go into the studio with an emotion or style in mind, and then the producer and I get to work and bounce ideas off of each other. If the result gives me chills, I run with it. If it feels like a dud, we usually scrap it and start over.
In addition to your version of Christmas classics, there are a number of amazing original festive tunes on the album too. What inspired these tracks, considering that you would have written/composed them outside of the festive period?
I’ve literally had to be in the Christmas spirit since about February haha. When I write, I do everything I can to be emotionally committed to whatever theme or story I’m trying to tell. So sometimes, I have even gone as far as getting out my Christmas decorations, and I have definitely listened to a LOT of Christmas music throughout 2018 to get “inspired” and stimulate my creative side. I co-wrote most of the lyrics to the originals (‘Warmer in the Winter’, ‘Time to Fall in Love’, ‘Christmas C’Mon’) and the underlying theme is hope, enduring love, excitement, romance, and joy. My ultimate goal? To create songs that are upbeat and fun and that will give listeners a reason to smile.
Over the past few months you’ve given some of the tracks the music video treatment – it’s so impressive how the visuals you’ve released showcase just how versatile you are as an artist. Having co-directed them, what was it like being a part of the visual creative process?
I have always taken a lot of personal satisfaction in being a part of the creative process from start to finish. I used to literally do everything myself from the costumes to the scripts, the lighting, the editing, makeup, dance choreography, etc. But there came a point where it just got to be too much for one person to handle. Since then, I feel honored and blessed to have a team of amazing producers and artists who listen to my ideas, pitch some of their own, and help me turn my thoughts into reality on the screen. Plus, having a team working behind me is a lot less stressful and a ton more fun!
What inspires you when it comes to matching up a song with the right visual?
When I was a kid, one of my favorite Disney movies was Fantasia. While there were no words used in any of the dramas, Disney featured short visual stories to match what he envisioned when he listened to different classical masterpieces. Even as a child, I did the same sort of thing with my mind that he portrayed in his film. And I still do…in that, when I hear a piece of music, I see colors and feel emotions and imagine what characters in my “play” are doing, saying, and feeling. Once I see what I want to project, I can take those images I see in my head and turn it into reality on the screen.
‘Santa Baby’ is a particular favourite of ours as you show off your violin, singing and dancing skills. Your ballet moves blew our minds – how long did it take you to nail the pointe skills?
If I’m being completely honest, I was super proud of myself for pulling that off! I’m not a trained ballerina by any means, and I was actually really nervous about mastering the skill well enough to get it right for the video.
In contrast, the visual for ‘I Wonder as I Wander’ is simply breathtaking. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind that particular visual?
I actually talk a lot about this in my Behind the Scenes video. ‘I Wonder As I Wander’ is a Celtic hymn and actually my favorite cover that I have ever done. I love contrast…so not only did I use contrast in the music, but I strove to show contrast in the visuals through symbolism of light versus dark, and again through “lost and wandering” versus “free and found.”
We love getting to hear more of you singing on this album. You truly are a triple threat! Can we expect to hear more of you vocally on future material?
I really would like to sing more; yes. I’ve been taking vocal lessons and experimenting with different styles to find my “voice.” I figure that, as I diversify, more opportunities will be available to me and I can create, learn, and grow in ways I couldn’t before.
You’ve been busy touring across the US with the Wanderland Tour. What’s been your favorite moment from the tour this time around?
I’m not sure if I can call this my favorite, but definitely my most unforgettable moment is when we attempted to dye my dog (Luna) pastel pink so her hair would match mine for the show. Well…she ended up neon bright hurt-your-eyes-it’s-so-bright pink. Ooops…. Poor Luna! I was super embarrassed for her, but she has no idea what we did to her, really. All I can say is that it’s a really good thing the poor pup is color blind or she’d never let me touch her ever again.
Your tour ends just before Christmas so we’re hoping that means you’ll get a nice break over the festive season! How will you be spending the holidays this year?
I’m looking forward to chillin’ with my family over Christmas and hitting up some of my besties (friends from high school). Board games, movie nights, afternoon naps, and late-night chats are up there with my list of favorite “to-do’s.” My mom and I are also planning a short road trip.
You’ve had a busy 2018, what has been your personal highlight?
Oh gosh…that’s tough one to answer. I’m so grateful for so many of the amazing experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and the lessons I’ve learned this year. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d have to say that touring with Evanescence was truly a dream come true for me. I’ve literally idolized Amy Lee since I was a kid, so performing beside her each night felt almost unreal. It was truly an honor to co-headline with such a powerhouse.
With 2019 upon us, what are your hopes for the new year?
I’m looking forward to working on some musical collabs, I hope to write and co-star in a Broadway musical, maybe pitch myself to be a judge for a reality TV show, and I’d like to continue honing in on my vocal, violin, and dance skills.
Warmer in the Winter (Deluxe Edition) is available now.