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It is hard to believe that Piers Morgan told Lindsey Stirling the world had no place for a dancing dub-step violinist. But being voted off 2010’s America’s Got Talent, at the quarter-finals, turned out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Rejection simply strengthened Stirling’s resolve to be herself. “The same reasons I was told I wouldn’t succeed are the reasons people travel hundreds of miles to see me now,” she laughs. “Because it’s different. Because it’s something you haven’t seen before…”
Stirling’s debut album features twelve original tracks including viral smashes ‘Crystallize’, ‘Shadows’ and ‘Electric Daisy Violin’. She has created a new musical world where the romance of Celtic folk music and modern classical meet the infectious energy of dance and electronica. In ‘Elements’ you’ll hear rhythm programming and “wub-wub” bass recalling dubstep giants Skream or Benga, while ‘Zi-Zi’s Journey’ and ‘Spontaneous Me’ feature all the thrilling, arpeggio build-ups of trance. On stage, Stirling moves with the grace of a ballerina but works the crowd into a frenzy, “dropping the beat” like some strange, electro-pastoral rave fairy.
Like Imogen Heap or Amanda Palmer, Stirling is the model of modern independent recording artist, with a formidable online presence and a powerful, symbiotic relationship with her fans. She is famed for taking “requests” and has recorded unique versions of the themes from Phantom Of The Opera and Game Of Thrones, the computer games Zelda, Pokemon and Skyrim, and songs by Michael Jackson and Rihanna – uploading them all to Lindseystomp, a YouTube channel packed with music videos and short comedy films, many featuring her alter-ego, a ‘superfan’ called Phelba.
It was no conventional childhood. Stirling was raised within a Mormon community in Arizona. As a teenager, the rigours of classical music training stifled her, and she nearly chose to pursue a career in therapy. But the violin would not let go, and it became a comfort throughout her struggle with an eating disorder in early adulthood.
It was her experience with America’s Got Talent that inspired her to start composing. As a motivational speaker in her spare time, Stirling uses her own story to show teenagers that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up. “We give more liberties to other people than we do to ourselves,” she says. ““We put labels on ourselves, but we love seeing people who just don’t care.”
In 2010, Peter was featured on NBC’s The Sing Off season 2 receiving acclaim from The Sing-Off judges Shawn Stockman, Nicole Scherzinger and Ben Folds for solo performances leading On the Rocks, one of America’s premier collegiate a cappella groups. Peter records and produces from his home studio in Eugene, Oregon and recently recorded for Sony and Epic Records.
Pentatonix formed in 2011 and came to prominence the same year by winning the third season of The Sing-Off on NBC, their victory earning them $200,000 and a recording contract with Sony Music. After being dropped from their label after The Sing-Off, they formed their popular YouTube channel and distributed their music through Madison Gate Records, a small independent label owned by Sony Pictures that distributes movie soundtracks. They also made effective use of social media to interact with their fan base.
The quartet also features on "Louder than Words", from Pink Floyd's The Endless River
Bergersen started his musical career as a demoscener, writing tracked modules under the name Lioz in the group Index. The release of a 2007 trance-genre single titled "Remember September" saw Bergersen team with fellow Norwegian artist Boom Jinx.
In May 2010, Bergersen and his business partner, Nick Phoenix, released an debut public Two Steps From Hell album titled Invincible, featuring some of their most popular tracks, including "Freedom Fighters", "Moving Mountains", "Heart of Courage", and others. Several additional commercial album releases have since followed, including Archangel and SkyWorld. Bergersen also performed in a 2013 live concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall alongside Phoenix, confirming at least one future concert planned for Europe, intending to begin touring at some point in 2015.
In 2010 Bergersen composed the original music for the movie The Human Experience. The Soundtrack CD was released on March 29, 2011.