In an industry where celebrities come and go all the time, it’s actually difficult to stumble upon someone whose talent isn’t mere publicity. That being said, there’s still hope for those who want to support unbelievably talented people, while also enjoying the wholesome and compelling music which comes with it.
That could well explain Karolina Protsenko’s rise to fame at such a young age, who in 2020 broke onto the internet with her violin covers of viral songs. However, besides her unbelievably prodigious talent, Karolina’s charisma and love for music was what caught people’s attention back then, and helped her achieve international fame.
So knowing that maybe it’s been a while since you last heard about Karolina, we bring to you all details about her whereabouts, her current projects, and where her still young career is heading. For that and more, stay tuned!
What Is She Doing Now?
If you loved Karolina’s Protsenko’s renditions of the pop songs which brought her internet fame, then you’d be pleased to know that she’s actively still sharing her incredible talent with the world, years later. She was 12 years old back in 2020, when her cover of the world-wide viral song “Despacito” gained her many millions of views on a variety of platforms, but even achieving huge fame at such a young age wasn’t enough to satisfy her goals. Nowadays she’s just as active as when she started, offering concerts in Santa Monica, sharing her videos on YouTube and Facebook, collaborating with artists such as Daniele Vitale and Oscar Stembridge, and overall enjoying her love for music.
That being said, Karolina’s internet fame hasn’t stopped her from being taken seriously as an artist. For starters, in 2022 she performed at A Seat At The Table, a feminist event where Karolina’s impressive talent reached the hearts of attendants, as described by the host, Elle magazine: ‘(she) moved some to tears, it’s likely they were compelling ones’.
All in all, Karolina’s skyrocketing career is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
Recent Performances & International Acclaim
One of the most important career milestones achieved by Karolina is performing on TV with one of her biggest inspirations, the violinist and dancer Lindsey Stirling. This happened during a presentation in “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in early 2022, and was a big surprise for Karolina, who didn’t expect to find Stirling in the show. After being surprised mid-interview by her role model, they performed Stirling’s song “Guardian” together on stage. Needless to say, they hadn’t met in person prior to it, but Stirling openly admitted to knowing Karolina from YouTube: ‘my favorite thing about watching your videos is you sparkle’, she said after being asked by Clarkson.
This violin duet from Lindsey Stirling and Karolina Protsenko is so amazing it might make you emotional! 🤩
Posted by The Kelly Clarkson Show on Friday, June 3, 2022
That being said, Karolina doesn’t necessarily need TV to be praised by the public. Her street performances have caught the attention of people all around the world, including Alaina B Teplitz, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, who praised Karolina’s violin rendition of the song “Manike Mage Hithe”, very famous in said South Asian country: ‘Such a testament as to music as the universal language’, Teplitz espoused in late 2021.
Karolina also took part in 2020’s “Prodigies: A Million Dreams” concert in support of Gardenia Jungle Entertainment’s programs, and also collected funds in support of Ukraine in early 2022, using her still rising fame for good causes.
Online Presence Now
Unsurprisingly, Karolina’s online presence is massive, just as her audience. Nowadays she has two active YouTube channels, the main being Karolina Protsenko Violin, in which most of her viral music covers have been shared, and to date has accumulated almost 7.5 million subscribers, and 1.3 billion views. Her second channel – Karolina Protsenko Vlog – started in 2019, serves as her platform to share more personal, less music-centered videos.
Despite not having such a large following as her main channel, Karolina’s vlog videos have gained her over 200,000 subscribers. Just as impressively, in July 2022, Karolina’s official Facebook page hit the 10 million fans mark, and her Instagram page is close to reaching a million followers. As well, Karolina often appears on The Protsenko Family channel, including Protsenko’s group covers, and also addresses some of the family’s personal topics.
Who’s Karolina Protsenko?
Despite being an internet sensation, many people still don’t know who Karolina Protsenko is, and where she comes from. Karolina was actually born in Ukraine in 2008 – her family moved to the US when she was six years old.
Karolina then started taking violin classes: ‘I just wanted to play an instrument, and my parents asked me ‘what do you want to play? A violin or a flute?’ and I just picked violin without knowing what it was’, as she admitted in “The Ellen Show” in 2019.
Regardless of how uncommon it is for such a young girl to develop such a great passion for playing an instrument, in Karolina’s case her skills mostly result from her dedication. As she admitted, she practices violin two or three hours per day, and has learned over 250 songs by ear, around two songs every week, for her weekend performances.
Considering Karolina’s talent and musical genius, it’s not surprising to discover that the Protsenko family is highly music oriented. Her father Nikolay sings and plays guitar, while Karolina’s mother Ella plays piano and sings, often sharing music covers on the family’s YouTube channel. According to online reports, Nikolay studied at National Pedagogical Dragomanov University and is native of Ukraine; Ella’s educational background hasn’t been revealed so far, but it’s known that she’s a cinematographer, and was born in Russia.
Ella is also known for her street-recorded viral videos, playing the piano as her daughter plays the violin, some of which have accumulated several million views online.
Regarding her younger siblings, Karolina has two brothers named Leo and Nicholas, born in 2018 and 2020 respectively, both holding American citizenship. According to a video shared by Nick and Ella on YouTube, adapting to their new life in the US was hard due to the language differences, but in the course of two years they had become fluent in English. As well, they admitted to feeling welcomed by Americans, and attracting many compliments, which was not a usual custom in their native countries.
In short, the Protsenko family has had a good time in the US, regardless of the initial obstacles they had found in their way.
My family performance of "Let It Be" (original by Beatles)The Protsenko Family
Posted by Karolina Protsenko on Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Rise To Fame
While some people knew about Karolina when her cover of Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” went viral on the internet, the truth is that it’s hard to pinpoint when exactly she became famous. However, her first audience consisted of people who saw her busking in Californian streets, and shared videos online back in 2017, unknowingly helping her become a star in no time.
In 2018, Karolina finally joined the internet and soon enough, her YouTube and Facebook videos were shared by people all around the world. By the time she appeared in “The Ellen Show” in 2010, her content had over 250 million views.
Throughout her still young career, Karolina has made her fair share of important TV appearances. The first important one was in “The Ellen Show” in 2019, when she performed Post Malone’s “Sunflower”, and was briefly interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres, to whom Karolina revealed she was saving her earnings from busking for college, and getting a puppy.
Karolina’s experience in the show was documented in a video on her Vlog channel, in which she revealed that DeGeneres gifted her $1,000 dollars on top of a blue violin for exhibition only.
That same year, Karolina appeared in “Access Live”, where hosts showed her a special message from Lindsey Stirling, revealing that she’d watched many of her videos. Little did Karolina know then that three years later, not only would her dream of meeting her ‘biggest inspiration’ become a reality, in “The Kelly Clarkson Show”, but also that she would get to share the stage with her.
Who Is Her Violin Teacher?
Behind every talented person, there’s always a great teacher leading their way. For Karolina this is no different, as her violin teacher is Sam Fischer, an eminence himself. Besides being a violin instructor, Fischer is a recording artist and performer, who graduated with a degree in music from the University of Southern California, and who holds a Juilliard School Master’s degree. As his profile on Colburn School’s website states, he’s a concert master of the Opera Santa Barbara and Desert Symphony, and has also performed with a wide variety of local Los Angeles’ orchestras such as Riverside County Philharmonic, Golden State Pops Orchestra, and the Caltech-Occidental Chamber Orchestra, just to name a few.
On top of playing his music for several Hollywood productions and video games soundtracks, Fischer has worked with famous violinists such as Joseph Silverstein, Martin Beaver and Anne Akiko-Meyers, on top of forming part of Music To Save The World, a non-profit organization which provides music education programs to non-privileged communities.
Needless to say, Karolina is very thankful to Fischer for passing down his knowledge to her, and has even often featured him on his channel.
While it’s almost unheard of for a child to release their own album, it’s already clear that Karolina isn’t like most kids out there. At only nine years old, in July 2018 she released her first album “My Dream”, which featured her rendition of 12 songs including “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” and “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic”. Only a couple of months later, her second album “Fly” was released, with 11 songs.
At 10 years old, Karolina’s third album “Sunflower” featured some of her most famous covers, such as “Girls Like You” by Maroon 5 and “Shallow” from the film “A Star Is Born”. While she kept busy working on her covers, two years passed before she released her fourth album in 2022, entitled “Finally Together”, featuring duos with the Italian saxophonist Daniele Vitale.
While only four of Karolina’s official albums have been released so far, there’s at least 200 cover songs listed under her name on Last.fm, though according to the thousands of videos she’s shared on YouTube, that number isn’t even close to the many covers she’s played in her young life.
The nice Girl Karolina Protsenko. pic.twitter.com/W0ttYwpT7C
— Neumann, Ralf (@NeumannRalf1) September 29, 2020
Does She Earn Money?
For those who have never seen Karolina Protsenko’s street performances in person, the question of whether she earns money from it is always there. As confirmed by Karolina in “The Ellen Show” in 2019, she indeed earns money from her busking.
It’s really unknown how much Karolina earns from YouTube and Facebook, but according to some online sources, her net worth is around $1 million as of mid-2022, though this fortune mostly comes from releasing her albums, and from concerts.
Karolina has been inspired by many musicians, however, probably her biggest influence is Lindsey Stirling, who just like Karolina, became known on the internet thanks to her immense talent as a violinist. Stirling incorporates rock and electronic sounds into her violin music, while also including dance elements into her performances, something which Karolina admitted to having influenced herself into taking ballet classes.
As Stirling humbly told Karolina during their shared interview in “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2022, she also deeply admired her: ‘I wish I could say you remind me of me when I was a kid, but you’re so much more talented’.
Besides Stirling, Karolina has a list of singers she loves, including Mariah Carey and Celine Dion, but her absolute favorite is Whitney Houston, whom she described as ‘awesome’ and having ‘a beautiful voice’, during a question and answer season on YouTube. Nonetheless, she admitted to having a wide range of favorite songs, which helps her to constantly update her repertoire, so it’s not far-fetched to think her music taste is quite varied.
Despite her young age, Karolina Protsenko already has an idea of what she wants to do with her life. As she said during her 2022 interview with Kelly Clarkson, her plans for the future are bright: ‘I wanna travel the world with my concerts, playing violin and moving in costumes and reaching more people’.
Although the time when she might be able to travel the world hasn’t come yet, Karolina has undoubtedly been touching people’s hearts for a while now, as seen in the many positive comments on her YouTube and Facebook pages.
Karolina has also admitted to wanting to write her own music, and that goal is probably not so far away from her reach, considering the stage her career is at now.
What does Karolina’s future have in store for her? That’s unknown, but for sure there’s many people out there who want to continue on enjoying her music for many years to come.