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10FROM10 | Twitch Music Streamers (Part 10)

On this blog post, both Tina and I will continue on with this new regular series where we ask 10 Twitch Music Streamers 10 questions relating to Twitch itself and all about their personal experiences on the platform. I think that with such an amazing Twitch live Music Streaming community, this is continuing to be a really interesting blog series. If you would like to check out any of the featured streamers, click on the links in the bios to go to their Twitch profiles.


Bina (BinaBianca89) is a 31 year old singer-songwriter from Germany who loves music and gaming. On Twitch you will mostly find Bina making music but also from time to time you can catch a gaming stream.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I joined Twitch several years ago (I think it was 2013) and started streaming Games. The first game I ever streamed was "Shadow Warrior 2". I started making music on Twitch, when people asked me to sing on stream. Back then it was still tricky to make music on Twitch because there wasn't a category. I would always stream on the "Singstart" category and hope not to get banned.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Not at all. My streams are very spontaneous. That's also why I am not yet a partner, because my head gets very heavy sometimes and sometimes I don't stream for an entire month. I don't want people to be sad when they pay for the channel and I don't stream as much as they hope I would.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

Since I also have a full time job, streaming became the time where I could practice making live music. So it's more of a practice-session for me. Singing makes me happy and making people happy with my music is what motivates me the most!


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

Honestly, I can't think of a challenging experience. At least I don't remember anything.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

YES! Especially when I started getting to know people, the support from other streamers was huge. I am always happy to meet new musicians on Twitch because the music community is awesome.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

I had more time and energy for streaming since I was working from home! Especially when my relationship ended. I don't need to make time for someone else but me and I really like spending my time with things I LOVE doing.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

Yes and no. I know that the content is more important than looks, but I also find myself comparing my stream to other streams from time to time. But I keep reminding myself that content is more important than a high end setup.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

My music skills improved, I made wonderful friends and I got lots of my self-worth back after my last relationship. I am good enough. I am loveable and I am a good musician. I can be proud of what I've achieved and I don't want anyone to take that away from me anymore!


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Do it, because it makes you happy. Don't be a try-hard person. People will notice. Don't do it for the money or the fame. Do it to make people laugh, to make them happy and most of all to make yourself happy. If it boosts your confidence - even better!


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I don't have any future plans! I have already achieved so much more than I would have ever imagined. Everything that's coming is just a bonus.


Jasmijn (jazzvke) is a 27 year old self-educated singer-songwriter from Belgium who sings and plays the guitar, piano and ukulele. Jasmijn streams on Twitch 3 times a week (mostly with music requests) but also with some gaming streams on the Nintendo Switch, PC and PS4 platforms.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

My journey within online music started in 2012 on a platform called karaokeparty, which shut down after three years. I was an insecure, shy kid with a lot of questions about life, Singing online was my way to escape and enjoy myself while meeting new friends with the same passion. At the time I was trying to get out my comfort zone and start sharing what I love doing most, singing. After karaokeparty went down, I searched for other ways to keep singing online and continue to challenge and improve myself. That’s when I found out streaming music actually existed and I started to watch music streamers. That’s when I met Emma McGann - she and many others inspired me to start music streaming myself, firstly without camera, then trying it with a camera, step by step getting more comfortable. During this journey of getting-out-of-the-comfort-zone, I got into playing the guitar and ukulele as well. I had a lot of ups and downs with motivation, mental health and my insecurities, I continued to search for different streaming platforms to find that little place that I felt was right for me. Streaming made me happy and became a little place full of love and happiness. A place where I can actually be the real me and not who I’m supposed to be.


Back in 2018 I learned about Twitch, but I wasn’t convinced to stream as I thought Twitch was mostly for gamers and I didn’t play many games back then, let alone stream them. I was purely focused on getting out of my musical safety net, improving the stream and all aspects of my musical skills, although I didn’t have a clue at all where to start. I was part of some lovely smaller platforms, which were purely made for musicians. Sadly, those platforms shutdown, however most of the people I met there eventually switched over to Twitch. HamzaZik92 convinced me early 2020 to give streaming on Twitch another try. In this past year I met so many wonderful and kind-hearted people who have been there to help me get the technical side of streaming set up and have been unimaginably supportive. They kept on motivating me and somehow we created this warm online space that I’ve been seeking again from the beginning. We reached a bunch of milestones and had a lot of fun! We’ve reached affiliated, made a discord, I restarted writing songs and even restarted making YouTube videos again, thanks to all the amazing people I met on Twitch. I’m so so so grateful to this lovely Twitch Community and look forward to what the future holds!


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

I don’t have a lot of routines before stream, but by streaming a few different type of streams, I do have a few different setups.


Next to streaming music and sometimes games, I work 40 hours a week as a social worker. So, when I arrive home, I eat some dinner, while watching my daily TV or Netflix show to regain some mental energy. Afterwards, 20 minutes before starting time, I rush to prepare for stream by putting on some make-up, setting up/cleaning my streaming desk and background, installing and tuning the guitar/ preparing the piano decently and getting Pingu on the screen. I put on some Twitch Soundtracks or play around with something and connect my streamdeck on my phone. For gaming streams it’s a little different but not so much. My parents are divorced, but I’m still living with them, so what I stream, kind of depends on where I am at that streaming time. When I do a gaming stream at Dad’s place, I just start up his PS4 and stream from there. When I stream from the Switch/PC at Mom’s place, I do all of the above and select my gaming setup in Streamlabs instead of the music scene.


Whatever I stream, I always forget to check if everything is set up and working correctly in Streamlabs and get myself some hydration for the channel points used during the stream though.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

The energy, kindness and vibe from the community. I’ve struggled with my fair share of mental health issues. Before joining on Twitch, I thought about quitting streaming many many many times before, due to that. I did more than once. I’m a highly sensitive person and that makes me lose so much energy on a daily level - the energy I get back from streaming and interacting with the people in chat helps me as a person on so many levels. I’ve never felt good enough and somehow because of many people I met in the past few years, I’ve slowly become more comfortable with myself and with showing my music online, and I saw a positive change in how I look at myself and the world. I somehow kept coming back to this experience called streaming. I love music, I love creating and practising, I love the improving, I love the energy it gives me, I love how it helps me ground, I love the interaction with the audience and I love how real, supportive and kind people are and how much energy I get back from the streaming and interaction with everyone. I am super grateful and hope to keep on doing it for a long time and somehow make it so I’ll be able to give back to all the people who helped me change for the better.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

Finding the time to watch all the amazing streamers I’ve recently discovered. I want more time to get to know them better. There’s so many of them and I’m finding out about new people and communities to check out and hang out with on a daily basis!! Many of them stream at the same times and I wanna be there in all of them to talk and get to know them!! But yeah, also keeping a healthy work-life-stream-balance has been a challenge, I would love to stream a whole lot more, but at some point I was streaming 6 days of 2-hour streams a week. That was a bit too much. And after all this time, I did learn a little bit more to make priorities. I figured having a schedule isn’t only useful for viewers, but also for myself to keep the balance healthy.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

Yes. I haven’t found a streamer or viewer who isn’t supportive or encouraging! I’ve asked many people about so many things, and they’re always super kind and helpful. Never do I get the answer to figure it all out on my own. I still have so many things to learn and I’m 100% sure that whenever I ask in the future, people on Twitch will help out. I want to say thanks to all the lovely people that gave me tips to improve, helped me grow and stayed from the beginning or joined in later on, for everyone who requests songs and keeps the chat going, everyone in Discord and everyone who has been kind to me on and off stream.


A special thanks to the most wonderful mods that I could wish for: Zolidus, Scyla82, MickeyFez, thelena, and most importantly Hamza! I’d also like to say thanks to the entire community, I love you guys from the bottom of my hearth, thanks for being your awesome selves. Here's to many more years, friendship, music, gaming and events!!


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

In the beginning of the Covid-19-period I had more time to stream due to working from home, but since society adapted to the virus, I have been working non-stop. I had to shift in balancing the work-life-stream-schedule due to work. I went from 4 stream-days to 3. I do feel that I got more dedicated through it though. I kept having fulfilling social connections through the community and I still do some things for stream on that 4th day, but just not on stream itself.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

The tech-part has always been a struggle for me. I’m completely not a technical person. I was trying to do it step by step before in the past 6 years, but I couldn’t manage to see the separate trees in the forest full of them, or which tree to look at first. With some guidance in the past year, I was able to upgrade it a little bit and I’m so grateful to everyone who has guided me to figure these things out a bit more. I would love to start doing the tech-part of streaming a little bit more professional and I feel that with the help of so many Twitch streamers and kind and supportive people, I’ve actually managed to make everything look and sound so much better than I could do before. At least now I know the connection between the bitrate and the lag, lol.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

It has completely changed my view on live-streaming. The community is kinder and more supportive than any place I’ve streamed before. Because of all the amazing people I met and keep meeting on Twitch, I managed to get out of my comfort zone, I managed to not be the shy and insecure girl I was in 2012 and look up to the future and see things to work towards. There’s things now that I want to reach and work towards. I also want to thank everyone who said my music and streams mean something to them and help them to stay positive, because I never could have imagined, or believed until a few years ago, that I could do anything to make this world a little bit better. I’m endlessly grateful for sharing the love inside your hearts with me! It made me love you all so much and I even started appreciating myself! Also, I have a lot more social contact and friends then I ever had before!


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Ask for help with things you don’t understand. There will be people who will want to help! Don’t give up when no one is watching, that is a place where every streamer starts and eventually the right people will find you. I’ve recently started putting out YouTube videos again and post streams and stuff and the schedule on Twitter and Instagram, to expand the reachability. Furthermore, a schedule helped me plan better, be more consistent and the viewers also know when they can expect the stream. I also started posting that schedule every Saturday on Discord to make sure if there are known changes, my friends know them. A schedule (due to Covid-19) helped me maintain my balance between the things that are important to me in life. Also don’t look at the numbers, if you’re insecure, it’ll bring you down and it’ll affect your personality on stream. Twitch and Streamlabs OBS have this feature where you can put the counter off. After I’ve put it off, I felt a lot more relaxed and authentic on stream. And lastly love what you do on stream, if you don’t, it’ll show. I’ve been streaming for a while and when I didn’t feel it, it just wasn’t there. Even now, when I have a bad day, the community notices it and bad days are part of life, but your (mental) health always comes first. To finish off, streaming is not the goal, it’s a way of living.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

Firstly, I’m planning on moving from my parental homes to my very own Tiny House with a built-in Music/Streaming studio in it. In that way I will be able to start streaming longer than the evening allows me to. It would give me more time, freedom and more space to actually organise some stuff and work on new things, prepare Discord events, write more songs and figure out where I wanna go with the stream. I’m planning on upgrading my gear step-by-step to get a better viewer experience and learn more about how to stream and play music in general. Next to that I plan on taking it on a little more professional road. I aim to call myself a part-time streamer/part-time social worker in the future and keep on creating new stuff. Eventually write enough songs to put them out on the world wide web and grow more and more into the person I want to be. I just want to keep on improving, making and streaming music for the rest of my life!


Born and raised in Manchester UK, Jenem (JenemMusic) has one aim... to bring some positivity to a listener's day! A year like no other, 2020 had a very different outcome to how most of the world expected! For Jenem, it was a year of developing production skills and releasing 5 self-produced and collaborative records. 2020 also saw Jenem develop a channel on Twitch, with a weekly original music and songwriting show dubbed, ‘Let’s Get Lyrical’. Whilst the unknowns continue as 2021 begins, for Jenem the year is set to bring more new music, with a dance pop sound, and a continued exploration of the live music scene (both in the virtual world and maybe even in person again soon!).


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

My friend and fellow music streamer Courtney Visser had started streaming on Twitch and told me how great it was as a platform. I watched some streams and loved how friendly everyone seemed and whilst live music in the UK was on hold due to Covid-19, I knew it would be a great way to continue performing whilst reaching a new audience. I also loved the interactive nature of the platform and felt that for a live songwriting show it would be perfect!


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Not an exciting one but the main thing I do is ensure all my equipment is setup, plugged in and ready to go, and also ensure that I have either fruit tea or water ready to drink and cheers during stream.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

I think there’s a few answers to this. Firstly, the incredibly warm welcoming nature of the community on Twitch makes streams go by extremely quick and actually normally gives me energy rather than takes it away! It’s that buzz of live performance that whilst harder to recreate virtually definitely does happen! Secondly, the desire to continually improve is another motivating factor. By having a live audience it ensures that you’re building your skills to make the streams better than before, continuing to work on stage craft and all other skills that once live gigs return will be equally important for that setup. Finally, it’s the ability to reach people globally. Few other opportunities reach such an international audience and so live streaming provides an opportunity to build a truly international following and it’s interesting to see the impact live streaming has had on streaming numbers on Spotify and YouTube subs where it definitely does translate into a wider reach there too.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

I don’t think there’s one experience in particular so much as learning how it all works! Even now I’m still learning so much every time I stream and I remember the first time I was raided and had no clue what was happening, and the first time I had a hype train and was equally surprised! It’s definitely a steep learning curve, including on the software used to run the stream side of things but I think that the more time you spend as a streamer and a viewer the clearer and easier it becomes.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

100%!!! It’s the best part of streaming on Twitch! Twitch has such a wonderful community of supportive, kind and caring streamers and it’s great to watch so many of these talented people showcasing their skills!


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

I’m not sure I would have started streaming had Covid-19 not happened as it was only with the time that would normally be spent playing live that I started doing it (although once live gigs do return I fully intend to keep up a regular streaming schedule). Overall, I think I’ve learnt to find the right balance between streaming and other activities. I’ve had to find other ways to make an income during the pandemic and I also write, record and produce music for myself and others so whilst Covid-19 has provided more time to stream I try to keep the hours manageable and keep a good balance between all the activities I’m working on.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

Yes! I find that whilst I have lots of ideas, juggling various activities means that time is still limited and so I have to try and prioritise upgrades. Also financially there is plenty I’d love to do but will have to wait to do until it’s financially viable, but I’ve never found a lack of tech upgrades to put off the community and I’m grateful that they support the streams through the process of upgrading. I have started adding more in recently though and I think I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to just take a leap of faith and see what does and doesn’t work.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

As I’ve mentioned a few times I’ve met people from all over the world, which is truly incredible! It’s offered a chance to perform during a year that has had few opportunities for that and so I am extremely grateful for that and also has provided some income which goes a long way to help with paying the bills!


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Just do it! Cheesy but true! If you’re in the position to do so then invest in some equipment such as a webcam, mixing desk, interface etc. but even if all you have to use for now is a phone then still do it and you can upgrade your equipment when the time is right to do so.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I want to continue to improve the quality of my streams! In the short term that includes more looping, piano playing and games with chat. Also soon I hope to reach a milestone of 1000 followers, and more importantly hopefully create a community that people enjoy hanging out in! Long term I’d like to connect and collaborate with many more Twitch musicians on and off stream and hopefully be able to spend more time streaming by earning more from it. Perhaps one day even reach partner level.


Jess Novak takes no prisoners. With a fiddle on fire, powerful vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, looping and endless charisma, Novak brings passion to every performance. Whether performing solo, duo (with her boyfriend, Ben Wayne) or with The Jess Novak Band, each show is filled with energy, superb musicianship and engaging songwriting. Having touched audiences across the country – from Burlington, VT to Key West, FL to San Diego, CA – and having released nine original albums since 2013, Novak is a musician on the rise. For more, visit www.jessrocknovak.com and twitch.tv/jessnovakmusic.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

When the pandemic hit I was looking for streaming platforms, but only knew Twitch to be for gamers. I'm also a journalist, so it was only after I wrote a story about JustJoeSyracuse that I thought to start streaming on Twitch because Joe said I should absolutely give it a try. I'm so glad he told me to get on there.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Every stream is different, so it depends. I debut songs, cook on stream, draw, paint, workout - all in addition to playing, so it depends on the day! I do my makeup every day for Twitch, which is actually nice because it gives me a routine. I really don't leave the house often, so streaming gives me a reason to get dressed, do my hair and put on a show again. That's when and where I feel best, so I love that process of getting ready to perform.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

The community that has naturally come together for my shows is everything to me. It's easy to say I ONLY have 10 viewers, 20 viewers, whatever viewers and compare yourself to others, but I look at it the other way. I can't believe 10/20/whatever people are taking time out of their day to watch me every day!! It blows me away and I couldn't be more grateful! That is the best motivation in the world: a dedicated, beautiful, amazing, supportive community and I'm lucky enough to have one that loves and asks for my original songs. It really doesn't matter if it's two people or 200. It's the fact that I have people there listening every day and though I haven't met so many of them yet - I already adore them. Creatively, I've grown so much just because of the community. And personally, I honestly feel such tremendous love from them, it's incredible. I hope they feel it back.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

Technical stuff!!! It's such a huge learning curve to figure out how to run great sound, get all the equipment, make commands, the songlist, running OBS, emotes, video stuff, etc. - it's never ending! And then, physically, I have a lot going on during the stream (violin, guitar, piano, etc.), so to get comfortable with headphones on and stuff everywhere in a limited space - it's definitely a challenge. Playing live feels so easy to me now because I know what's coming through the speakers. Playing online - you really are never totally sure.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

Oh my goodness, yes. I've noticed so much camaraderie, which is a welcome and very nice change from a small, competitive local scene. On Twitch, it feels like there's space for everyone, whereas in a local scene - there are only so many venues, so many people. On Twitch - the whole world is at your fingertips and everyone started right where you did, so they seem very willing to help. I also love it because I NEVER would have met or heard so many artists without Twitch. As a music-lover, that's easy to get excited about, not jealous of. It's invigorating, not threatening. I love it.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

I'm busier than ever, but it's more in my control. I'm not depending on playing six shows every week. I'm choosing how and when I stream, how many gigs I take, how many lessons I teach and I'm spending a LOT less time travelling, setting up and tearing down. It feels like I'm maximising my time more, which is a welcome change and I find myself feeling a lot healthier. I'm sleeping more, eating better and not spending so much time packing the car and dressing up for shows. It feels busy, but better.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

It was a huge challenge, but I feel pretty good about it now. It's expensive to get started. You need a great camera, a mixer, a computer that can handle it all, a whole home set-up, etc. That took me months to gather and now, in terms of additionally techy stuff - I just do my best! It is a challenge and it's wild to see what some people are doing, but I try not to look at it as something to get frustrated about. I know people come to my stream for a genuine smile and songs from the heart - and they always get that!


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

Oh man. It's opened my eyes to the opportunity and potential of an entirely different kind of life. To think that I might be able to operate as an artist, but NOT need to be gone every night is incredible. Honestly, I was burning out prior to COVID. It was too much. I wanted to be home with my boyfriend and our dog. I wanted to cook, to sleep, to create freely, not because it was literally the only day that month I could dedicate to writing. Twitch gives me hope that I can create a different kind of future and reach people I never knew or thought I could.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

DON'T GIVE UP. It's difficult to get used to, it's expensive to gather the right equipment and it can be frustrating building your audience, but like anything else - you have to keep going. You're only going to get a bigger audience if you keep turning on the camera. Keep trying. Your community will find you if you keep delivering great content. It might take years - but it will happen.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I look forward to growing the community and spreading the love! The rest, it's fun to just see what happens. All of my special themes and challenges are directly influenced by my audience, so I can't wait to see where we all go together.


Lisa (LisaMachine_) is a passionate Belgian singer who mainly performs covers of modern ballads and nostalgic songs over on Twitch. Lisa has appeared on the TV show The Voice, sang in many choirs and studied at the Conservatory Of Music in Belgium and is now fully focused on making beautiful music, pop music mainly and ballads, singing on request.


She loves to truly connect with viewers and build The Machines community together. Lisa describes her humour as 'slightly awkward..... long pause ..... and I also laugh at my own jokes'.


Anyways... Want to be a Machine? Join them on the team! <3


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

During lock-down I discovered Twitch as a platform where lots of interesting streamers interacted with their viewers. I experienced being a viewer and started building relationships really fast. I was drawn to the platform and my interest grew every month.

I have been performing music since I was 8 years old, it felt like the ideal path for me to take since it's always been my passion to sing. There was a possibility for me to show people what I really love and connect with new interesting people. Really happy I took the step!


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Before I go live I usually check all the technicalities, to see if everything works properly. I do my make-up and clean my room (at least the part that's shown on camera).


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

It is a way to express your feelings and connect with everyone. It doesn't feel like something that's consuming at all, it feels like I can express my creativity and get friendship in return. Great deal!


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

Since I work full-time and have other hobbies it can be hard for me to stick to my schedule, so sometimes I have to postpone. It's hard not to feel guilty when this happens.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

I have in fact. My first subscriber was another Twitch music streamer, named Sabyspark. I feel like the Twitch music community is very supportive and strong.

Lots of streamers understand what it takes to get your content out there and are willing to help you. Of course, I am open to others as well, so don't hesitate to chat with me if I can be of help.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

The impact it has on my life is mainly that I can work from home and lose less time travelling.

This means I have more time to focus on my stream. So actually a good thing! Not the virus, but the impact on me personally, just to be clear.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

The technicalities of streaming are pretty challenging, it took me a while to get the set-up to work the way I want. But now everything works, so I don't have to update it quite as much.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

A LOT. I think about my stream every hour of the day and always want to perform well. I have a purpose with my music and this motivates me a lot to grow as a streamer, musician and person.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Ask for help if you need to. Don't expect immediate growth. Work on different platforms and get your content everywhere. Don't be scared, smile and most importantly: be you.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

Working on my playlist every day. Until I have a playlist that rocks! Make my own music and produce it for Spotify.


Based out of Los Angeles, Lisa Ritchie (lisaritchiemusic) has garnered a significant reputation among the beach cities. From residency gigs at 5 star resorts such as Terranea, to intimate songwriter showcases at The Hotel Cafe, to summer concert series and city fairs, she has continued to build a solid network of opportunities. In 2015, she released her debut album (Expectations) in Ann Arbor, MI. Since then, she has released two singles, EST and Papers & Receipts and is currently working on releasing an album, while simultaneously gigging around LA.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I found out about Twitch through a fan that came to many live performances. He really nudged me to create an account and try it. Then, my music friends in London started finding their stride with it and encouraged me to stay consistent with it.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

I don't have pre-stream routines really aside from taking care of basic needs aka coffee and bagels.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

Live streaming has not hit that point for me... yet. I'm only streaming 2 hours a week. Before Covid I was playing live about 15 hours a week. I plan to do more with Twitch but I'm still a newbie, so I find my motivation in the action of getting started on a new exciting frontier.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

Twitch has been a very challenging medium for me to understand. There is still so much lingo I don't understand... as well as etiquette.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

I have been shocked at the amount of support I've found from other Twitch music streamers. Just shocked. The kindness and effort expelled to create a community that is real is really like stumbling into a haven of musicians. I'm extremely grateful.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

Covid-19 is the main reason I'm pursuing Twitch. I still have a good stream / life balance, but I'm sure that will change if things continue to progress.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

Yes! I find the tech side of Twitch very challenging. I can barely keep up with the basics, please don't tell me things are changing, haha - but seriously, they're not right?


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

It's changed my life to find a new door that has an audience on the other side. Covid has been very difficult for gigging musicians and I'm still in disbelief that there exists a space to perform and interact like this online.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Be consistent and think of ways you can genuinely help promote other Twitch musicians.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I hope to get affiliate soon and to continue to keep growing my community. I also hope to repay Cerian Music for all the advice and guidance she's given me with a GIANT raid.


Mandy Prater ("PRAY-ter") is a Texas-based musician and songwriter. She plays original music inspired my her grunge, classic rock, and pop idols, as well as a variety of covers, in her mainly acoustic streams, with guitar and vocals. She was happy to find the Twitch community to continue to bring people together through music while not being able to play regular gigs due to Covid.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I had already had a weekly livestream series, called "Free Parking", on my Facebook page (Mandy Prater Music) going for about a year, when I heard about Twitch through another streamer Libbaloops who suggested I try it... then another friend mentioned it, so when the pandemic started, and I began to have all my live shows getting cancelled, I decided to. fully give it a try. My first Twitch stream was on August 7, 2020, and some of my regulars from Facebook followed me to Twitch, so that also really helped me start my channel on the right foot.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

I make some herbal tea, fill my water bottle, do my hair and makeup, tune my guitar, and sometimes I'll play some upbeat music to get into the right mood.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

I love the connections I've made with my Twitch community. To have a crowd of people show up as soon as you're live is a musician's dream come true. On the rare occasion I need a little extra motivation to do my regularly scheduled stream, I'll think about the people who might be looking forward to the show, and that reminds me why I do what I do. On the practical side, I'm also motivated by the fact that I'm a full-time musician, and Twitch has been one of my main sources of income for a few months now, with not playing any live gigs due to the pandemic. So I've started to rely on it that way as well, and I want to stream more to continue building my community and hopefully giving others a fun place to spend their time.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

There were a few times before upgrading my computer, where the stream would freeze or other technical glitches would happen - one happened during the largest raid I'd ever received, and that was very frustrating!


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

Yes, I think Twitch music streamers are especially welcoming to new streamers who are just starting out, and it really encouraged me to keep going when I first started. Now that I've been on the platform for several months, I feel like I found a niche of similar streamers, and especially with some of my favourites. There's a lot of support back and forth with raids and promoting each other when we're close to reaching a milestone or celebrating a special event. It's really nice to feel the support, because music can also be a very competitive business.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

Despite this past year being challenging and sad at times, Covid has actually afforded me the opportunity to be able to devote a lot of time to trying something new like Twitch, with the lack of other outlets for performing in person resulting in me having nothing to lose by investing a lot of energy into building my channel. So the combination of Covid and Twitch entering my life around the same time, and the fantastic people I've encountered from all over the world, has been a silver lining of this whole crazy era for me.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

I was lucky enough to have a friend and musical collaborator who was already familiar with OBS and how to integrate the necessary elements of a streaming setup. Without that mentoring, I would've found the learning curve very intimidating and may not have moved beyond streaming from my phone (which is what I did for over a year!). As it was, I soon found out I needed an upgrade to my 7-year-old laptop in order to stream smoothly. But partly due to the generous support in my channel, I've been able to do that and other upgrades along the way.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

As someone who has experienced a lot of ups and downs in their musical career, both personally and financially, and has seen how difficult it can be to make a living playing music in the gigging, touring, and radio spheres, I'm very grateful to have found this platform. It's given me a new sense of independence and a new confidence as far as making a living without relying on a record label, or bandmates, or local venues that honestly don't pay very well. As my city has begun to open back up, with more bands beginning to play live again, I've actually turned down live gigs because I didn't want to cancel my regular streams. The regular viewers in the music community on Twitch are some of the most generous and supportive music fans I've encountered anywhere in the past few decades of playing live music, and I'm immensely grateful for them and for the opportunity to be able to continue to perform safely from my home studio.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

There's a lot involved with learning how to navigate the Twitch culture, as well as the technical aspects of streaming. Luckily, there's a YouTube video for almost anything you need to learn to do to stream, and people that will be willing to point you in the right direction. I feel it's really necessary to spend time in other musician's streams, to learn the intricacies of how to operate successfully as a streamer, and also because networking can be a big part of your success. Twitch gives back what you put in to it. It's a mixture of how talented/entertaining you are, and how many hours you're willing to put yourself out there, that will determine your success. Since last August, I've streamed over 200 hours, but I have definitely spent more time than that working on the technical side like my overlays, songlist, lighting and sound, and watching and supporting other streamers. So I've advised people who have asked me about it, to be aware it takes up a lot of your time to do it right, and decide whether you have the time to invest in it. If you just want to stream once in a while, and make money from Day 1, a different platform might be a better fit. But I really don't have many regrets, so far.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I typically stream with one mic and one camera, and play acoustic guitar and sing. I would like to eventually incorporate other instruments, other cameras, and possibly tracks from my own songs or backing tracks I would create for the covers I do. I currently do a weekly song swap duo stream remotely via Zoom with my friend Dan from @FingerpistolBand, but I would also like to (maybe post-COVID or post vaccine, at least) have other musicians and guests on my stream in person and do more duets or collaborations.

I've also been raising money on-stream for recording new singles, and am looking forward to reaching those goals so I can release more of my original music.

I recently signed up for Saving Music LIVE's 5th annual Streamer Song Swap and I'm looking forward to contributing my cover of another streamer's song to the next charity compilation (as well as hearing another streamer's version of the original song "Keep Calm" that I submitted). The resulting compilation will be used as a perk or reward for charity streams on Twitch, and I'm excited to be a part of that. I've previously raised money for St. Jude Children's Hospital, Central Texas Food Bank, and other charities through my musical performances and would like to do more.

People have asked me if I plan to continue streaming when things open back up and are back to "normal" - if normal is a thing - and I say that as long as the audiences are there on Twitch, I don't plan to stop. In fact, I've said I don't know if I will be so eager to go back to the old way of packing up the car, driving to the gig, with all the setup and tear-down involved, rather than walking a few steps to my studio and doing a livestream from home for very appreciative viewers. I do miss playing live in-person at some of my favourite venues, but Twitch has definitely changed the equation a bit, for me.


Marina V (MarinaVmusic) is an award-winning Russian-American singer/pianist/songwriter with a "hauntingly beautiful" voice (LA TIMES). Born in Moscow and now living in Los Angeles, Marina has performed over 1,200 concerts worldwide and self-released 12 critically-acclaimed albums.


She's written & licensed multiple songs for films, TV shows and ads (such as PEPSI) and has collaborated with numerous GRAMMY & EMMY winners, platinum-selling artists and legends like Jack Douglas (producer of John Lennon & Aerosmith). Marina has received several awards (including one from Sir Bob Geldof) and has been praised for her work as a cultural ambassador by Senator Bill Bradley.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I have been touring a lot for the last few years (over 1,200 concerts around the world) but when I was expecting my first child in spring 2019, I knew I wouldn't be able to tour as much, so I wanted to figure out a way to perform online. By chance, my friend Karen Allen (she wrote a book, Twitch For Musicians, which I highly recommend!) contacted me to see if I'd ever heard of Twitch and if I wanted to start streaming. It was meant to be!


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Before the baby, I would work out, shower, get ready and put make up on, then launch my Streamlabs OBS, turn on all gear, then soundcheck for 10-15 mins, and then relax and stretch and meditate to put myself in a good psychological space to perform. That routine was about 3 hours. Now, with the baby, I do all this in 35 minutes. But somehow it all works and falls into place.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

I absolutely love performing and can't imagine my life without it. Streaming is definitely not easy, and especially when I am already tired from being a mom of a one year old baby. But performing gives a me wonderful energy and inspires me, even after a long day.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

The learning curve with OBS and Twitch itself, and occasional tech glitches. Also it's been hard getting my fans to Twitch. Over the years of touring I have a global fanbase, but very small percentage ever tuned in. I realise that watching live streams (even of artists whose music you like) is really not for everyone. While I wish more of my fans would tune in, I have found a whole new wonderful community on Twitch and we keep growing!


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

Yes, absolutely! The Twitch artist community is amazing, which was the most pleasant surprise on Twitch. I've made new friends and it's been incredible. And I love love LOVE raids!


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

Weirdly, nothing has changed for me because before the pandemic I was a work from home new mom streaming twice a week. Same now. But my wonderful fans and our online community on Twitch have been amazing through all of these stressful times, we share our troubles with each other and support one another. Lots of virtual hugs during my stream.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

I am not very techy, it's always a challenge for me, haha, but I try! I am very lucky because I have a very good friend/my show producer, Karen Allen (the one who wrote Twitch For Musicians), and she helps me with that (remotely).


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

I would be heartbroken not being able to perform and communicate with my fans when I had to stop touring, so livestreaming has enabled me to do this. Also, I keep up my chops and keep learning and writing new songs. Our amazing online community (they call our chatroom Marinawood) brings so much joy to my life. And having this community has been very helpful during stressful times of becoming a parent and then through the pandemic.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Just do what you do, be yourself and have fun!! I love that these days anything goes! There are no rules and it's amazing.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I hope to start streaming more than twice a week and keep growing my Twitch community.


Mike Bass (mikebassmusic) is an acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter based in Michigan, USA who plays percussion on the guitar while playing and singing in both English and Japanese. Also you can find Mike as 1/6 of the band Creature of One. 🎶❤🌍


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I first started streaming on Facebook and Instagram when all my gigs got cancelled in 2020. I knew Twitch was a streaming platform, but didn't know they had musicians on there until I made an account and started searching for musicians. The first streamer I saw was a_couple_streams, and while I didn't understand what felt like chaos at the time - all the emotes, interactions, commands with an exclamation point in front of them - within minutes a lightbulb went off in my head. It was clear that these people had built a real community and career by streaming, one that felt richer than anything I had seen on other platforms. I knew right then I wanted to try it. My first stream on Twitch was March 25, 2020.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

I use my iPhone as the camera for the live bird cam, so about 45 minutes before streaming, I give everyone in my Discord a heads up, set up the tripod for the bird cam, turn on my mixer, check the levels, and pick a streaming t-shirt, which tend to be one of my girlfriend's amazing thrift finds.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

The idea that I can build a community together with people who I enjoy hanging out with regularly, and how that community supports me to the point where I believe this can be a career, keeps me motivated.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

The Art of the Gathering by Priya Parker is a great book I read when hosting an open mic night a couple of years ago. It's about how the best gatherings have clear boundaries and expectations. If someone violates the expectations, and the host of the gathering does nothing, it can make the other participants feel uncertain about the gathering, and ultimately not sure if they want to be there. If the host takes action when someone violates the expectations, it helps the participants feel more safe and certain about the space.

I've been very lucky in finding two incredible people as mods - tonjatekenshow and mymanevans. Both of them have hung out in my channel since early on, and both of them understand the art of the gathering (my channel in this case), and how to respond when someone violates the boundaries and expectations of the gathering. We work as a team to make sure the expectations are clear, and take action when they are violated. As a result, the experience in the channel is a very positive one. If someone tunes in and violates the boundaries and expectations of the channel, they don't last long.


I bring this up as a major challenge, not because I don't want to do it. I absolutely do! I bring it up because it's something that requires constant checking in and communication, and also conflict at times. As someone who historically hates conflict, it is not easy for me to do. It's so important, though, that I'm willing to sit with the discomfort of conflict so my community can feel safe and enjoy their experience in my channel.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

100%! The Twitch music community has been incredibly supportive. I love that the music community on Twitch operates from a Your success is my success. My success is your success. mentality. Everyone's journey looks different, but the support for each other is unlike anywhere else I've seen.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

Streaming on Twitch has truly been the silver lining to the pandemic for me. It's a weird feeling - I'm heartbroken at the devastation the pandemic has caused to people's lives, and at the same time, I don't know if I ever would have found Twitch had all my gigs (the way I earn an income) not gotten cancelled.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

In the beginning, yes, not as much at the moment. I started streaming with my 2015 MacBook Pro, and quickly found out that it was not the best for streaming. So early on, I decided to build a PC for the first time, and do so in a way where I could upgrade various parts later without having to build a whole new PC. Since then, my streaming experience has been much better, and it has already paid for itself. I know the possibilities of upgrades are endless, but I don't feel in a rush to upgrade a tonne right now.


Side note on music gear. Luckily, I already had some good music/podcasting gear prior to the pandemic, so much of what I did in the beginning was convert my gigging gear into streaming gear. Even though my mixer isn't the best for recording in a DAW while streaming, for example, it still works well for what I need it to do at the moment.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

Not only has my Twitch Fam (and Twitch, itself) changed my life, they continue to change my life with every stream. When people gradually started hanging out in my channel, they began requesting my original songs. Now they regularly request my originals and ask when they'll be uploaded to streaming platforms. That isn't something that happened to me at IRL gigs.

With IRL gigs (bars, wineries, restaurants, etc.), I generally know I'm signing up to be background music, which is fine, but it is what it is. If people like me a lot, they'll tip me, and maybe follow me on social media, but they don't usually know me well enough to request my original songs.


Twitch changed all of that. While building a community of people I enjoy hanging out with regularly, and who also like my original music, it has transformed what the grind of pursuing music even looks like. I used to think I had to gig for years before finding a community. Twitch linked something that I feel had been missing from pursuing music - a way for people to authentically find and support live music they enjoy.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Just start with whatever equipment you have! You can upgrade equipment later. Also, for me, the biggest thing has been just staying consistent. I just continue to show up. There are weeks when a tonne of people tune in, and there are weeks when not many people tune in. It's all good, I just keep showing up for whoever is able to tune in.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

Even when things begin to open up, I still want Twitch to be the main thing. I still want to do IRL gigs, but want to bring my Twitch Fam with, live stream the IRL gig, and let my Twitch Fam request songs. I already experimented with it at an outdoor gig this past summer and it worked, so it'd be great to continue that in the future.


Mira Goto follows in the footsteps of today’s country songwriting superstars, driving powerful lyrics along with catchy choruses throughout her catalogue. Her music journey began at the young age of three years old when she started playing and performing the violin. She traded it in for the guitar as a teenager, and while studying in college for a degree in nursing, she penned her first song. She recalls she would study during the day, and go to open mics at night. Mira recalls it felt more like a hobby at the time, and took several years to evolve into a career. She saved money for her first EP, under the name Mira Parfitt, by waiting tables and saving her tip money in an empty tissue box in her closet. Since then, she's played in cities across the country, even taking her show across the pond to her wide fan base in Europe.


1. How did you find out about Twitch and what made you take that step on to the platform?

I've known about Twitch for a long time, but what made me jump on the bandwagon was the pandemic. I wanted to try out every major live streaming platform, and Twitch was the most versatile. Once I realised how many different things you can do as a streamer on Twitch, all the bells and whistles.. I was hooked.


2. Do you have any pre-stream routines or rituals to prepare for stream before you go live?

Not really anything besides check to make sure there's nothing in my teeth! I like to keep it casual, so people watching feel like they're in the same room as you.


3. With live streaming being very time and energy consuming, what is it that motivates you?

Honestly... at this point it's boredom. Or trying to not lose my mind from boredom. It provides an escape for me, and I would be lying if I said I do it to entertain everyone else. I do it just as much to entertain myself.


4. What has been your most challenging experience on Twitch to date?

The most challenging experience is definitely getting my setup to work properly! "Technical difficulties" was the state bird of 2020.


5. Have you found much support and encouragement from other Twitch music streamers?

Absolutely! That might be my favourite thing about Twitch is the supportive environment. The 'raids' you can do to fellow streamers really foster that welcoming environment. I've made a lot of new friends and fans that way, and I'm so grateful.


6. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your streaming / life balance?

Given that I cannot tour at the moment, streaming is all I have available to me. The music industry was affected in a big way, and we'll be recovering from this for a long time.


7. Do you find it a challenge keeping up with stream tech and with upgrading your stream?

So far, not yet. I'm just trying to get my setup to work consistently. Once I get there, I'll start looking for ways to improve little things.


8. To what extent has live streaming on Twitch changed your life?

This may seem silly, but I purchased a fog and bubble machine at the beginning of the pandemic. It was an impulse buy, since I always wanted one on the road but my tour was cancelled overnight. It wasn't until after it arrived that I learned I can connect it to my Twitch stream. Since then, I've played two in-person shows in my hometown, and I've live-streamed both of them with the bubble machine! People watching from around the world can now control the on stage bubbles and fog during my live shows. It's been great fun - I love it, the audience loves it, and the viewers online love it. I'm pretty sure that will be part of my show for a long time to come.


9. Is there any advice that would you give to anyone who is looking to start live streaming?

Just do it! People want to get to know you more than they want to see you perform. Be yourself, and don't worry about getting it perfect. Just give it a shot and have fun!!


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans for your own Twitch stream?

I'd like to incorporate more 'bells and whistles' into my stream - things that viewers can control in my room, but I want it to be something nobody has done before. Still brainstorming that one...

Tina and I would both like to say a huge thank you to each of the 10 music streamers: Bina, Jazzy, Jen, Jess, Lisa M, Lisa R, Mandy, Marina, Mike, and Mira for being a part of this blog post and for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to share their replies. We hope to continue this series as we are really enjoying it and look forward to bringing you more updates with more Twitch music, gaming and variety streamers. Watch this space folks.

Please click on the image below to check out all the other posts in this amazing blog series...


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