Artist Highlight | For Mallory

Hello and welcome to my newest music series: Artist Highlight!

I generally wanted a space to talk about a single musician or band a month, but back in early April, when I went up north to visit with my family, my cousin’s daughter brought her violin and played us some songs she’s been learning in her class. She did a really great job and after the performance I asked her how she was able to play it and she explained to us in great detail. I hope she continues to play the violin or maybe switch/take on another instrument later on, if she ever does this, I hope it’s the cello! I love the cello just as much as I love the violin.

A little later I asked her if she’d ever heard of Lindsey Stirling before, and she told me no, which really puzzled me but then again, it didn’t, because in school, she’s probably forced to know classic works and nursery rhymes at this stage, so in a way to help introduce her and everybody else who happens to read this, to other violinists!

Let’s start with the lovely Lindsey Stirling.

I didn’t find out about her through America’s Got Talent in 2010, I actually found her on YouTube like most people–but I think I would have enjoyed seeing her on the show a lot! Anyways, the first song I heard was “Crystalize” of course and remember seeing the music video, thinking these two really work together. Although her music was considered hip hop on the show, for this song she had kicked up the dubstep hype that was going around at that time. I was hooked to her channel my whole senior year and honestly believe she cemented my drive for modern symphonic music.

Before Lindsey came into my life, the first violinist I was ever “introduced’ to was back in 2004, this year at its core was a changing time for me. I had just started on my hip hop phase and so I was listening to a lot of unique beats on my own without being heavily influenced by my mother. The song in question was Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity” as it features an actual violist on the track, Miri Ben-Air. I remember watching the music video for the song and was stuck by the fact there was a woman violinist. It seems kind of scary that this was the second time I was listening to two very different genres of music together and absolutely loving and wanting more of it. I had begun this a year before when Evanescence’s debut album came out in 2003.

After the song disappeared, I didn’t find anything like it again until around late 2007 or early 2008. I had found these two girl groups from England, bond and eScala. They were not your average girl groups of that time, they never actually sang, they were a string quartet. This was my first show that if you’re a part of a group, you don’t a singer. Unfortunately, by the time I had found both of them, they were on hiatus and honestly haven’t released anything new for a couple of decades.

Later on in my life, this would sort of happen again as I had discovered Apocalyptica, which was originally a tribute band for Metallica out of Finland! They have three celloists and one drummer and they make symphonic metal music. I’ve talked a bit about them over the years. They have a lot of cool songs like “Broken Pieces” with Lacey Sturm and “White Room” with Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix.

There is another group I found back in 2015 I think, it was when the symphonic metal band Kamelot came out with “Silverthorn” as it was the band’s first album with a new singer. They had a song called “My Confession” and they featured the German group Eklipse and even though they were all woman, I wouldn’t consider them a pop-y, although they have done some covers of David Guetta’s “Titanium” with Sia, and ‘Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake, they do like to take risks and create renditions of popular rock songs, and my favorite is still “Weak Fantasy by Nightwish.

Back in 2017, when I was on Netflix, I had found the Han Zimmer: Live in Prague and was just stunned by the fact that this huge music producer was getting together with his longtime friends and putting on shows for everyone. I mean, he performed at Lollapalooza a couple of years ago! How in the heck does that happen?! Anyways, the show itself was absolutely amazing and I will not lie, I totally cried when Lebo M came out to perform some of “The Lion King” songs on stage! There were a lot of elements I enjoyed but I really fell in love with the violinist Rusanda Panfill and celloist Tina Guo. You may already know Tina’s work without even know it as she is the one who did the Wonder Woman main theme. These ladies really play beautifully and definitely recommend that concert to anyone.

I was never truly able to learn to read music nor do I feel the need to play any instrument, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love seeing other artists become so passionate with their work though, it’s so interesting to see these musicians put everything into their work. Whenever I watch concerts on YouTube, I love to see them basically one eye on the maestro and the other on the sheets on the podium in front of them. They tend to have some intense facial expressions and they always seems to change with whatever tempo they are playing at that moment.

If you would like to check out the artists I’ve mentioned and/or any others (because I had an even bigger list to start, but we’d be here forever!) that fit in this post, click here to the Spotify playlist!


Tune Tuesday | England


I have to say last year I messed up dramatically when I went to do my England post. I didn’t necessarily have one in a way last year, I had a two week UK thing but that’s it! Leave it to me that I’d find out later on that I probably should have added both Ireland and Scotland musicans to it too! So I’m redeeming myself by doing an England tune Tuesday post. Since majority of my music is internationally based and quite a lot are from England that I figured I’d have a lot to chose from and I did! I had a total of three different acts. I wanted to do more, but I’m not doing the whole two weeks thing again no matter what!

I wanted to leave these two singers for my Femme Fatale TT edition, but when I decided to go ahead and start on this edition, So I figured since they’re both English ladies that they’d be perfect for this one. I’m starting on Natasha Bedingfield and Leona Lewis. I’ve been a fan of both of them since 2007. They have very different but beautiful voices! I still remember hearing Natasha’s first single “These Words” playing on the radio and since she has an unique voice my mom and I figured she was black. Sorry, but we did! My mom was really addicted to “Unwritten” and “Pocketful Full Of Sunshine” if either one played on the radio, she’d turn it up on full blast! One time we were at Wal-Mart, I was in my element – in the music department – and I saw her album “Strip Me” in the overwhelming rows of CDs and I was only allowed to get one CD and even though I had only heard of her title track on the radio, I still bought it! It took me maybe six months to get myself to listen to the whole thing. It’s actually pretty great I will not lie! My favorites are “Neon Lights,” “Weightless,” and “Touch.”

Now for Leona Lewis, I didn’t know that she was a contestant and won The X Factor when I heard her first single “Bleeding Love” but I also didn’t hear it on the radio! I actually watched the music video for it first and that never happens anymore! I was pretty addicted to the song when radio stations did start to play it on air! Almost all of my friends were into it! She has an amazing voice! Very powerful! It’s taking me a few years to finally be able to hit some of her high notes. Especially the big one on her song on “Happy” that took me four years to finally get but it was worth it! Moving on a little bit, eScala is a group of mucisians that don’t sing! They are an electric string quartet and members are Victoria Lyon and Honor Watson are violinists, Helen Nash plays the cello, and I’m going by what’s on their Facebook account and Stephanie Benedetti must be new and she might play the viola. They were on a TV show over in England called Britain’s Got Talent but didn’t win. They released their first album in 2009 and I’ve been on the eScala train since then!

 Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis

Happy – Leona Lewis

These Words – Natasha Bedingfield

Tough – Natasha Bedingfield

Kashmir – eScala

Palladio – eScala