Viral violinist and acclaimed recording artist Lindsey Stirling is no stranger to loss, but on the acoustic version of her latest single “Lose You Now,” she rediscovers grief from a lighter, more hopeful perspective. COLLiDE chatted with the artist on what drew her back to the single, dream collaborations, and what she’s looking to add to her already-impressive artistic repertoire.
Congrats on acoustic release of “Lose You Now”! How are you feeling about it?
It’s been really exciting to release it. I’ve been holding onto it for so long, waiting for the right time to release it. It was such a meaningful song that I knew my fans would connect with and I knew would mean a lot to them, so it was really cool to see their stories that they shared of what the song meant to them. So many of them shared about the people that they loved and lost and that they still keep with them, how they remember them and honor them. It’s just a community moment for me and my fans to express and honor our loved ones.
This is an acoustic reworking of a previously released single. What drew you back to it?
I feel like you can get very different feelings from a song based on arrangement. “Lose You Now” is a pretty powerful song, pretty emotional. When we put the acoustic version together, it added a sweetness to it and gave it a very soft and delicate feel. A feeling like grief, not only does it feel different to everybody, it also feels different to you at different times. You’ll go through all these different stages of it and it morphs and then it comes back, so I thought it was really cool that this song had some different emotions that were presented in it. There’s the more powerful version and then there’s this very sweet version.
What was the writing process like for the original?
I had written a song called “Guardian” that was on my Artemis album. It was an instrumental track, but it was about my loved ones that I had lost. It was about my best friend and my dad and how I believe they’re my guardian angels, how I believe that they protect me and help me. I talked to Mako and told him what the song meant to me, and he was so touched by it that he actually wrote the lyrics. We always thought that “Guardian” would be cool with vocals on it, but I just couldn’t put into words how I felt. It was really cool that he was able to say with lyrics what I was trying to say with my violin. I literally cried, I just bawled when I heard the song for the first time because I didn’t know he was working on it.
Does the acoustic version of it add a new layer to the song?
I think it just brings that rawness to it, stressing a lot of vulnerable emotions. There’s something about the acoustic version of anything that just makes it feel a little more intimate. To me, the acoustic version brings out this intimacy that wasn’t as apparent in the full version. When I wrote my Brave Enough album, it was all about loss, and the emotions that I was bringing into those writing sessions were intense. They didn’t solve grief. I didn’t quite come to terms with it yet. I was in a very different stage where I was consumed by sadness and grief, and now writing about grief has a very different emotion for me. It has an emotion of hope. It’s evolved from “how could they have been taken from me?” to “how can I keep them in my life?”
Now when I think about them, though I’m still sad and I still miss them terribly, there’s also this feeling of gratitude when I think about the memories. I am so grateful that I had such an amazing dad, and I am so grateful that I got to tour the world with my best friend. Those feelings have changed, and that’s why this song has such a different feeling to it than some of the songs on the Brave Enough album that were basically written about the same thing.
You’ve collaborated with many artists throughout your career. What does that bring out of you creatively?
I love collaborating with different artists. All of my art comes from some sort of collaboration — I work with producers and I’m always in the writing studio with at least one other person, so we’re always collaborating. Every collaborator brings out a different piece of you. It’s fun to work with artists because when you’re working with a producer, they’re all about you, they’re all about bringing out the truest form of Lindsey in that moment. But when you work with another artist, they’re also a factor. They’re a piece of the puzzle. They’re not just trying to bring out the greatness in me, we’re trying to bring out the best in each other. You have two voices that are being melded together rather than focusing on just highlighting one, so it really is a different way of approaching art when you’re trying to marry two things together. That’s why every collaboration I’ve ever done has a very different sound to it.
This one was really special because a lot of times you’re working with people you don’t necessarily know, but I’m really good friends with Mako. I was working with a friend to make this song that’s really personal.
Do you have a dream collaboration?
I’ve always said I would love to make something with John Williams. If I could go back in time and help compose the Harry Potter score, yes! I think he’s the best musical storyteller of all time.
You’re known for more of an EDM sound in your music. Is this acoustic side of yourself something you want to bring out more in future projects?
I love classical music, and I love orchestral soundtrack-type music. Cinematic is one of my favorite styles, and it makes me feel so deep. I’ve done a couple arrangement of my songs that were orchestral here and there, and it would be fun to do a full album that reimagines some of my songs in an orchestral tone.
What draws you to classical music?
It’s my roots. I first fell in love with the violin as a child because my parents loved classical music, and they’d always play it in our home. They’d take us to these community events and basically just find free concerts and take us. I would watch these violinists on the stage playing these classical songs and going so fast, so I begged my parents for lessons when I was really little. I was trained as a classical musician all the way up through my teens, and that was kind of what I planned on doing. I was going to be a classical violinist up until I was about to go to college as a performance major, and that’s when I realized “I’m burnt out. I don’t enjoy this anymore.” I had to stray from those roots and find some new ones because otherwise I knew I was going to quit, and that’s why I started to explore different styles and write music. Then I found out that I love EDM and it was this re-awakening of my musical self. At the end of the day, I will always have so much respect and love for classical music, even though my sound has morphed into something other than that.
You’ve touched on so many different mediums — comic books, an aerial show, now acoustic versions of your music. Where do you want to go next?
I’m starting to write on a scripted series. Totally different for me. I think the comic book opened me up to storytelling in a different way, and I’ve always felt like storytelling was one of my greatest gifts as an artist. The reason I think people connected with the violin wasn’t just the music, it was the fact that they related to a ballerina that’s stuck in a music box or a Western duel. Even for a show, I try to take people through an emotional arc of a story. Storytelling’s always been really important to me, and after writing a six-issue comic series, I was like “ok, I can do this!” I’m working on something that I want to pitch as a live-action series, and I’m very excited about it!
Check out “Lose You Now (Acoustic)” below!