Lindsey Stirling is now a true symbol of DIY success going from industry rejection to DIY self-marketing on YouTube to that next level with Troy Carter. She's shared quite a bit in her interviews and a recent one for The Washington Post includes much about the power of going DIY and finding success on YouTube after being turned away by music industry pros. She's definitely a unique case but, as she notes, it's her difference that got her to where she is today.
Yes, she had visibility due to an appearance on America's Got Talent but it was a disastrous experience and things didn't take off until she found YouTube.
With YouTube: "I can be the kind of artist I want to be"
"I’m very grateful to YouTube. I was told "no" by every other platform — I auditioned for talent agencies; I went to agents — and no one could capture the vision I saw in my head."
"Thankfully, I found YouTube. And I thought, 'Wow, I can do this myself on this platform.' I can be the kind of artist I want to be."
Turning Away From the Old Music Industry
"I’d been told "no" by so many people, and I was reading books on how to make it in the music industry. I remember at one point being so discouraged by hearing that it's likely going to take several hundred thousands of dollars, if not more, to make it."
"I was a college student. I was working a job to pay my way through college, thinking, "How is this ever going to work?" So I put up my first video, and suddenly people were listening to my music, my music that had just been sitting there on iTunes. And this lightbulb went on in my head. And I decided that I [was] going to work with all my might because I've come upon a gold nugget here."
Empowerment Through Self-Marketing
"I started to put all my energy into learning to market yourself on YouTube, and I talked to people. I learned from Devin Graham, other YouTubers, and really learned how to market myself. It was a very empowering feeling, because for the first time I could do what I wanted. And I could do it my own way."
On YouTubers and Industry Legitimacy
"It's really exciting, because I think the music industry is changing, and one of my goals was that I want to be one of the artists that bridges the gap."
"There is a connotation to being a YouTuber: that you’re a cover artist, or you're not legit. I'm very proud that I came through YouTube. It's exciting to be a part of this wave and to say, 'Hey, this is a legitimate platform.'"
Old and New Music Industries Will Fuse
"The traditional methods of the record industry are crumbling away. And they will learn to adapt to this new program where people can kind of do it themselves. I think they will team up, with people building themselves and then creating themselves into the artists they want to be. But I see it as a fusion of the two, rather than one beating out the other."
Don't Be Afraid To Be Different
"I love to do motivational speaking and to point out that the reasons everyone told me that I would fail was because I'm different. I don't think anyone should be afraid to be different and to share it. It took me a while to learn that, but I'm so grateful. It's worth it."
See the full interview in The Washington Post for more.
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