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10FROM10 | Twitch Music Streamers (Part 2)

Updated: Nov 12

On this blog post, both Tina and I will continue on with what we hope will become a regular series where we ask 10 Twitch Music Streamers 10 questions relating to Twitch itself and all about their experiences on the platform. I think that with such an amazing Twitch live Music Streaming community, this will 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.


In this edition, we discover how streamers deal with the dreaded analytical side of Twitch, how sometimes having the basic streaming equipment and allowing the stream to develop organically can be the most beneficial, and how Twitch has affected their musical and personal development.


Based in Toronto, Canada, Alanna Matty writes music to analyse and work through feelings and difficult moments in her life. Having written and been involved in music since a young age, her latest release “This Past Year” is a more mature take on the soft acoustic vibes that have always been her favourite thing to write. Alanna’s music was featured in the CBC show “How to Buy a Baby” as well as in the 2016 video game “Watch Dogs 2”. She is a seasoned performer, and has been featured in numerous showcases across Ontario including Indie88’s Nu Music night, and Indie Week. More recently she has taken her live performances online, and performs four nights a week on her Twitch channel, playing covers and originals for viewers around the world.


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

I knew about twitch from a gaming perspective - some of the YouTubers I followed had begun streaming there. I actually streamed games a few times before deciding to stop procrastinating and get set up to stream music.


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

Other than the normal setup of technical things, my husband and I look at each other and he says "Whatcha gonna have?" and I reply "A good stream!". It's a small thing but it helps shake nerves or anxiety and reminds me that ultimately it's just going to be a good time. 


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

I love playing music, but I'd be lying if that was the whole reason. My community is really what keeps me coming back - people who have found comfort and things they can relate to within the music I play, and who enjoy the little escape the channel can provide. 


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

Numbers. Numbers are so tough to get used to because they're something that is somewhat out of your control. In April I had really low concurrent viewers all of a sudden, and I couldn't figure out why. I nearly took it as a sign that I was wasting my time and should move on with my life, but I didn't and I took the opportunity to tweak my setup a little and look at my content and thank goodness I stuck with it because it picked up like crazy in May. It really drove home that you can't put your worth in your numbers, and that you have to find that worth within yourself first.


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

My goodness yes. Whether it's just in raids, or through conversations with people, the other streamers I've met have all been wonderful. I have a few ongoing projects with some of them that I'm so excited about, and it's so cool to be able to collaborate with people around the world


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

I think I'm lucky because Covid hasn't impacted me too much. I was already working outside of an office, and have a wonderful boss who supports my streaming efforts. I did add a stream day since Covid started, but I can honestly say it hasn't had too much of an impact on me for which I count myself incredibly lucky.


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

I find stream tech in general a challenge - it's a bit of a rabbit hole once you start it's hard to stop when it comes to upgrades and whatnot. I think I've finally reached a point where there isn't really anything else I'm itching to add, but when I started there was definitely this need to constantly be striving for better tech and toys for the setup.


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

My life is completely different now. For the first time, music is my number one priority, and something that I have scheduled time for each week. Not to mention that I've been able to leave side hustles behind due to the generosity of the community and have had an excuse to perform and practice more than I ever have before. My life very much revolves around streaming now, which was not something I expected when I started.


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

Be patient and kind to yourself. Understand that things take time and that growing is a process. Get to know the other streamers on the platform and learn how things work. Make genuine friends. Most of all enjoy yourself.


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

Just keep going. I want to keep learning new songs, getting better at looping and Ableton. I want to collaborate more with other streamers, and release more original music. I want to continue to provide a safe little space for people to come to when they need it. 


Bethan (CornyEars) is a singer-songwriter from southwest England. She plays piano, guitar, cello and Celtic harp and streams covers and original songs three times a week on Twitch, along with a good deal of nonsense. She has released an EP, an album and two singles this year, with more projects in the pipeline. An archaeologist and historian by training, and a keen linguist and cook, she can be easily distracted by any mention of long barrows, Harry Potter, or the intricacies of Arabic pronunciation.


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

My boyfriend put on SanniMaya’s stream and said, “You should do that.” I said no, I play music for myself, I couldn’t do it online… and then the next day did my first stream.


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

Nothing particularly magical. I make a cup of tea, fill my water bottle, do 10 minutes vocal warm up as I fiddle with my camera settings. And I’ve always eaten within the hour before stream - hungry streaming is not fun for anyone.


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

Dollar billllz. Nah, it’s the fun moments (and there are lots). The jokes, the energy from chat, the songs that go really well - and not every song is going to, but I think if you’re hunting for musical perfection in every moment, live-streaming is not for you. And it’s important to remember that your audience knows that - if they wanted to hear a flawless performance, they would go to YouTube or Spotify. That’s not to say that Twitch musicians aren’t good - they’re excellent - but the energy is one of interaction, live performance, exploration.


Otherwise, I balance the tiring elements of Twitch by streaming 3-4 times a week, knowing that more is not sustainable for me, and making sure I have other projects and hobbies in my week so streaming doesn’t feel like an endless process, and I can feel excited and lively every time a stream comes around.


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

I guess I’m fortunate that I haven’t had any serious experiences. Most trolls I have - and there are fewer than I imagined before starting streaming - are quite amusing. The biggest thing for me probably was - and honestly continues to be - moving away from thinking about growth and my trajectory and numbers and other streamers - if I change this one thing on my setup maybe I’ll… etc. If you want to really focus on growth then analysing these kinds of things is probably important - although big success comes with a helping of luck, too - but for me it’s just stressful and diminishes the best bits of Twitch streaming.


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

For sure! It’s a lovely community, as everyone says, as long as you keep your head out of the competition mindset. The way all internet media revolves around data will try to get to you; I don’t think looking at the numbers makes you a bad streamer, but personally it made me enjoy it less. Twitch is live 24/7, and from my experience most music streamers don’t stream more than about 16 hours a week maximum. So the concept with which we’re competing is flawed, because you’re never streaming at exactly the same time as somebody else, week in, week out. Plus it will make you grumpy in your head towards lovely people who produce great content and are very friendly!


I think raiding is a huge bonus to Twitch - it’s one of my favourite things about the site, and makes it feel more like a community. As a streamer, you spend a lot of time with your chat, but depending on how much you use Twitch in your off-time, you might not see that many other music streamers. So being able to go say hi to somebody at the end of your stream and be engaged back into a dynamic environment rather than just watching your viewers drift away is fantastic. It’s a lovely streamer-to-streamer moment as well as great for chat.


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

I left my job in March to focus on streaming over the summer before my Masters… Turns out everyone suddenly had more time to focus on streaming. Being so consistently at home for the past five months has enabled me to stick to a schedule, which is helpful both for me and the stream and so I have a vague idea what day of the week it is. COVID has meant my Masters is postponed a year, so I will be streaming my ~12 hours a week for longer than I thought, so there’s that future impact.


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

Yes and no. I get easily frustrated when things aren’t exactly how I would like them to be, and wish I could get an audio-and-lighting wizard in to just tell me precisely how to do it, but a lot of these changes come with a hefty price tag, and require a larger room than the one I stream in. I started streaming on my mobile phone, no OBS, no mic other than my phone mic, and I really enjoyed it, and built a small community over 3-4 months that way. So I know from experience that you don’t require anything fancy to have fun and engagement on Twitch. Over the last year I’ve upgraded, and now have a fairly shiny setup, which enables me to use more instruments, which is the heart of the stream, really. So I’m learning not to worry so much about the in-shot curtains or the fanciness of my LEDs. Changes will naturally come with time!


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

It has opened up a doorway to a realistic way to earn money through my creativity. I’m not at the point where Twitch could be my sole income - that would be a long, long way off, realistically. But I’ve always played music, written songs, written poems and books, and wanted to be able to be ‘a creative’ but seen the only way to make money from it is through getting a big break. Twitch has certainly changed that, and it enables me to dedicate way more time to my music - because I get some money back, and because there are people engaged with my music, and that’s amazing.


The kit I’ve bought for streaming (lots of which was funded by chat) has enabled me to record at home as well, and I have fallen in love with that and released an album and an EP this year - another EP out at the end of August, just sayin’.


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

I didn’t spend time on Twitch before I started streaming, which is something I would recommend - there are quite a few elements of the site and of the music community that are fairly unique, so it’s helpful to know the lay of the land before you start - and you’ll have already met lots of friendly faces.


Otherwise, don’t stress the gear. If you already have it, great. If not, don’t drop lots of money on mics and mixers and cameras. Just see if you enjoy it, and go from there.


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

I’m not thinking, in a year I’ll have this many followers, or in two years I’ll be able to go full time, or wondering about if I’ll get partnered. I just want to keep hanging out with good people, playing music and hopefully things will build from there organically. I would like to do more collaborations with other streamers, though! I am always impressed by the range of ways people approach music on Twitch, and by the sheer talent out there, as well as the pure friendliness of the people who make it.


Flip (FlipOfficial) is a singer-songwriter from Macedonia, but is currently in Philadelphia to pursue his passion of making music for as many people as possible. With over 24 years of music knowledge and 15 years of producing, he has found his home away from home on Twitch Music.


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

I found out about Twitch a long time ago (like 5-6 years ago or something like that) and I always saw it as a "gaming place". I never thought of playing Music on Twitch, until I saw what ortoPilot was doing. The thought that pushed me into streaming happened during an ortoPilot stream. I said to myself, "I already to this in my spare time when I'm not out playing in bars, concerts, etc. Why don't I just stream all of it?". And from that point I just took off and never looked back.


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

My pre-stream routine is different every time, but there are a couple of things I do before every single stream without miss.

- Get myself cleaned up - shower, get my hair done, pick out what I'm going to wear, etc.;

- Check if I have a drink/water near me;

- MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS WORKING - I could write a Thesis on the things that can and will go wrong if you don't check beforehand;

- Warm up with some singing exercises and I'm pretty much good to go.


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

There are a couple of things, but mostly it's finding new things by myself - whether that be learning a new song, or new effect and so on - and wanting to share that with the people that are a part of Twitch Music and that enjoy listening to new stuff. I would also add that I find motivation in other streamers and watching everyone do their magic online. I would see someone a day before I am supposed to stream and just by watching their stream makes me want to jump on right away.


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

The most challenging experience to date is figuring out the dynamic of the chat! As you stream and more and more people join in to watch you stream, the dynamic starts to shift and you need to be prepared for the fact that sometimes you can't keep up, so you have to learn to let things go.


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

Yes. At first it may seem a bit daunting and overwhelming, thinking that nobody will support you in what you are doing. But the fact of the matter is that all the big streamers know where they started from and they are more than happy to help out smaller streamers. I remember getting raided by some of the streamers who I considered to be huge on the platform that are now some of my closest friends.


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

Considering I am from Philadelphia, my whole world "flipped" (see what I did there?) upside down. But because I am doing my part and staying at home it kind of made me and the stream go from 40% to 110%, full speed ahead and don't look back. It's been like this since January.


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

I don't really know. Because I already had the technology for streaming, all I needed to do is just start doing it. But upgrading stuff is a whole different beast in itself. I would love to upgrade everything because I want my Hoomin Family to enjoy the stream even more, but I am also aware of my limits, so it's best to take it one step at a time.


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

There is no short answer to this question, so I will try to sum everything up as much as I can.

I perceive the world differently, I look at interactions differently, I listen to music differently and I look at life differently. That's as short as it gets.


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

If you want to stream, make sure to love what you do, doesn't matter if it's knitting/music/gaming. Just find that love for the thing you are passionate about and keep the flame going. It will reward you, I promise you!


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

The only thing I would like is for this to become my full time job and I am bringing as much content and possible to get to that level. So in the future all I see is a lot of streams, a lot of laughs and many wonderful memories.


Hammeta is a 27 year old musician from the United Kingdom, who has been a busker since the age of sixteen, with a large repertoire and some stories to share, from busker to metal front woman, and back to being a solo artist. She decided to settle on Twitch because in her own words "it seems a damn lot snugglier than on your local curb".


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

So Twitch has been in my friend circle for a while, as we would always have streams on in the background while we chatted, hung out, and maybe from time to time had a few drinks. I found myself often being distracted from the conversation and watching - though that could be blamed on the ADHD. So one night a few years ago, I was looking through the directory and found a few streams that I liked, and I came across lizsinger’s stream and was like, "People are doing more than games and art on this platform!".

A few years prior I was doing some streams on YouNow and really wanted to get back into something like live-streaming - we had just moved house as well so it seemed perfect because I had my own room, even though it is connected to the neighbors. So I ordered a cheap webcam and a Blue Snowball and just started, though it took me a while to get the guts to do music streams - ten months to be honest.


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

So everything is boosted up and ready to go because updates are totally a streamers best friend. I make sure I have a few songs that I want to play loaded up - the basics - but in my stream in the back you can see a sign saying “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.” And I have to focus up a little and try and think, everyone who comes to my stream will have a good time, and will enjoy themselves because I have to give that energy out. If I’m doubtful or sour about anything, it reflects on the stream.


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

I’ve had a lot of struggles through my life and it has always gotten better. Ten years ago I had been homeless for a year, and was looking forward to another two. And that’s always been my motivation, that whatever happens it is a thousand times better than what happened. And I want to make 17 year old me look at who I am and be like, "I did that?". I’m passionate enough to eventually get my goals, and granted there are days when it doesn’t seem worth it. But I know that the main thing that has been progressive for me is pushing through. It’s so easy to get swallowed by the cement and get stuck and actually adapt to feel comfortable there. But you have to tell yourself you’re worth the push.


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

After TwitchCon Berlin 2019 I was told by the doctors I had carpal tunnel, which was a huge hit to take. It meant that I wasn’t to play any instruments for a few months or maybe at all unless I took time off to hope it healed, so it had a huge impact on my confidence, and my stream. I was convinced at some point I would never play again because my hand was in agony at times. But I had some really good mods and friends who kept saying that I had to lay off and not play in order for it to get better. 


I know it sounds really silly because there are bigger problems in the world than that, but my whole life revolved around music, I was gigging and busking and I was so worried I was going to lose it all.


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

The Twitch Community has been so incredible, and when I turned to becoming a music streamer I was accepted into a group rather quickly and TwitchCon was a huge help in finding Twitch Streamers who I vibed with very quickly. There have been times when I’ve considered not Twitch streaming anymore or to take a long break, or even just when I’m having a really bad day. And we talk each other through everything that’s going on and support each other with choices and discussions. We openly assist into making our streams better. 


They have been my lifeline on this platform, and I hope that I do enough for them as they do for me.


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

Before the virus hit I was busking and gigging weekly which also made for some good content as well and I was hoping to develop into doing some busking streams. I was going to open mic nights and seeing friends, and since the pandemic hit I haven’t been able to connect with local folk as much as I had before, and a lot of those friendships have fallen through. So a lot of my time has been dedicated to fixing up the stream and trying to get some practice in. 


It has made me rely on my community more for company and it also means that I have more time to watch streamers I usually don’t get a chance to watch.


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

OH LORD! I have lists and lists and lists of dreams! Legitimately five or six lists for everything related to streaming, one for tech, one for things I want to wear on stream. I am hoping to get a new job soon so I can start knocking items from the list including a new streaming space.


But there are a lot of YouTube videos to watch, and finding reasonable items to purchase and not just the biggest and most expensive, you know? At the moment we’re trying to upgrade my PC which is hanging on by a thread so I have spent most of my days with my nose pressed against my phone looking through Reddit and getting advice and talking with streamers and some of my awesome moderators. Tech is always changing and it can be a nightmare to keep up with. 


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

I’ve been a busker for 11 years now and I am used to people walking by and you measured how well you’ve done by the tips left in your guitar case, and while expressive, it was quite lonely. You spoke with the other buskers, but it was usually along the lines of “When you finishing up?”, “How long are you going to be?”, or “Are the pickings good?”.


And then you’ve had gigs where people are having drinks and you’re hired to be the background music, and that’s great. But I always felt intrusive on people’s nights out, I obviously had a following that came to the gigs, but sometimes you get calls because an act cancelled or someone hadn’t organised and you were just in the phone book. So it sometimes felt like you were competing to create and be the atmosphere when the room already had an atmosphere. But with Twitch, it’s like you have your own room and people can come and go as they please, and people can relax without having to buy rounds of beer for their friends, or be worried when they can’t afford more and the venue wants them out.


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

Turn off your view counter. It’s just not worth the stress, and if your community isn’t growing as large or as fast as you want, that’s a good thing. Because the people that come in and stay are in it for the long haul, slow and steady. 


Be kind and supportive of each other and when you find new streamers, give them some hype, give them the introduction to the music community that you would have wanted when you first started. 


And finally, please don’t compare yourselves to other people, it’s a horrible rabbit hole and it doesn’t do anyone any favors. Everyone has their own lanes, rule them and be Queens and Kings.


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

Oh lord… I have so many plans, I want to get people’s Spotify playlists and just listen through them and learn songs that we both enjoy. I want to create games and involve everyone who comes to my streams. 


I just want to make my channel the third place on the internet.


Katie Dwyer (mama_katie) is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and blossoming music producer from Pierre, South Dakota. Her music has been described as folk, pop, and indie rock. She collaborates regularly with other artists in a variety of genres and performs with her husband as Moon & Sea.


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 some friends who I played Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with. I watched PS4 streamers to see what was coming to PC occasionally - they got new content first for some reason, but I didn't realise there was music on Twitch until several months later, when I stumbled upon RandomGirlSinging when she was on the front page. I followed her, found the "Music & Performing Arts" page of Twitch, and I was hooked!


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

I just make sure my kids are well taken care of to minimize interruptions!


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

I love connecting with others. Twitch lets me connect with an active audience that likes what I do. It's also a way to hold myself accountable to practice my skills on a regular basis and learn new material requested by viewers.


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

Like, while being live? Probably having a crying baby interrupt me and then having to put her in a baby carrier on my back in order to continue the stream - it's always a gamble whether babies will cooperate. Things can get really cute or really ugly really fast, and the stress of not knowing how the baby will react along with the stress of being judged on my parenting techniques ends up being a lot of pressure to perform under.


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

Yes. I enjoy watching many of them, and receive shout outs when I show up in the chat.  When I raid someone they ask me how my stream went and ask me if I'd like to request a song. Of course there are some channels that are less friendly/socially active, but most music streamers are supportive.


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

I was really sad about my schedule disappearing when the pandemic first hit us in March. All of a sudden, the times that I had been streaming were taken up by me facilitating distance learning for my kids. My webcam was constantly being used for my kids' zoom calls, and I was literally never alone. My husband works weird, inconsistent hours/days, so even when I can stream, there isn't a consistency to it that I had worked hard to achieve before. I've been streaming sporadically, roughly every couple weeks, which is WAY too long, in my opinion.


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

So far, I have learned everything I wanted to know pretty quickly. My setup is still relatively simple, but eventually when I add a camera, get some fancy colorful lights, or anything else, I'm not afraid of taking on the tech and figuring out how to incorporate new gear. It's actually pretty fun to customize alerts and things like that.


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

Twitch is allowing me to be a paid musician, without having to travel far from home and set up tons of gear (alone), and perform in sketchy venues, etc. I'm a mom of 4, and this year I'll be a homeschooling parent too, so being a touring musician doesn't really work well with my lifestyle. I quit my job when I was pregnant with my daughter a couple summers ago, so that I could be home with my kids all summer, not pay a daycare, and I scheduled as many gigs as possible to make up for the lack of income. It was really fun! But then my baby came and I wasn't willing to leave her to travel to these venues, and so I started looking for ways to be a musician from home. Twitch was the first thing I found that made me think MAYBE it's possible to pursue music, even though I'm a mother, even though I'm not famous at all, and even though I don't want to tour.


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

Just do it. Just start. Watch other streamers, and then give it a try. You have literally nothing to lose.


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

I've been teaching ukulele lessons on zoom this summer. While it's been going well, I just won't have enough time to take all these private lessons. I've decided to move all my students to my twitch channel and host a weekly beginner ukulele lesson! The thing that's most exciting to me is that it'll be so much more inclusive this way. I know a lot of families are struggling financially and may have been interested in lessons but couldn't afford it. Now these lessons will be free, and those who find it valuable and want to pay can tip and/or subscribe. I hope to get my streams back up to twice a week by doing one ukulele lesson and then at least one performance, hang out, or music production stream every week.


Matu is a 24 year old singer songwriter from Patagonia, Argentina. About 5 years ago, Matu started writing songs in English, rather than in Spanish. "By writing in English it was a lot easier for me to be 100% honest in my music". Matu live-streams on Twitch 5 days a week and this year released 2 original songs called The Days Don't Come Back and Strawberry Winds both of which you can listen to on all of the popular streaming services.


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

I started streaming on a site called Krue that I found on a “top 10 streaming web sites for musicians” list. Krue closed and I then moved to YouNow but never really liked the atmosphere there. After a month I decided to try Twitch and immediately realised that it was the correct place for me.


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

I do! I love doing yoga before streaming, I feel like it’s the perfect warm up before sitting down on the computer for a long time. It also helps with warming up the breathing which is very important for singing.


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

I think that the community that is formed because of the channel is what motivates me the most.


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

I think the toughest challenge for me personally and probably for a lot of other streamers comes from the over-focusing on the numbers. Every time you finish a stream you get a complete summary of the stream filled with numbers which can be not only misleading but very taxing for your mental health. As I answer this question I am still having difficulties dealing with this challenge, but if I would have to give advice on it I would say focus on the community that surrounds the channel and try to avoid putting so much weight on those numbers.


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

I have nothing but great things to say about every Twitch music streamer I interacted with, the amount of amazing human beings on the platform is huge. And a lot of them have helped me on this journey.


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

Covid has been a crazy experience. With isolation comes a lot of different struggles and streaming helped me so much with that part of it. It really gave me a new perspective on how important these online relationships that we form through streaming can be. Even though I believe that they can’t replace a “physical“relationship, talking with someone online can help you in so many ways.


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

I don’t think it’s something that you have to “keep up” with, I believe that every streamer has their own minimum tech requirement that they want to fulfill and that once you get there and once you are comfortable with what you have it’s not something you should be spending a lot of energy on. I don’t think tech “makes” or “breaks” a stream once you surpass that minimum you believe your stream needs. The tech improvements should come naturally whenever you feel like some gear you miss is really pushing back your potential to improve the quality of your stream in my opinion.


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

In so many ways, Twitch has made me not only a better musician, but a better human being. I learned so much about myself, about other people and to deal with different situations. Streaming puts you in a lot of uncomfortable positions and that’s where I believe you grow and where you learn a lot as well.


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

When I first started streaming I remember going in with the mindset that the viewers were the audience, and that I was playing a music show for the audience. But then I realised that that is not the case, I believe that every time you are streaming you are building a community. But it’s not only you who is building it but the viewers as well - this change of perspective really helped me a lot, I hope it helps someone else!


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

For the time being it’s not on my plans to change something drastically about the stream. I think it’s more about constantly searching for the perfect balance where I can be happy with what the stream offers, the community that surrounds it and most importantly my own well being.


Paul (PaultheBrave09) is a singer-songwriter from Scotland. He plays guitar with a little bit of harmonica and some live looping. You can find him on Twitch on a Saturday night playing originals and covers. He is currently recording a debut EP due for release soon. An Armed Forces Veteran, Paul donates all money received on Twitch to Help For Heroes.


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

I found Twitch through a wonderful Resident Evil gaming streamer called Katastrophe. I followed her on YouTube and she made the switch over to Twitch. I first found out about the Twitch Music Community through ortoPilot. Again, I had followed him on YouTube for years and saw a post on his Twitter saying he was live on Twitch. It was music streamer Liv Harris and her community that gave me the push I needed to actually start streaming myself. We were having a movie night where I mentioned that I was thinking about starting streaming. They were all really supportive and said I should just do it. So I did and here we are.


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

I do, although it isn’t something I would necessarily recommend to anyone else. I have a pint of vodka and diet coke before every Saturday stream. If I do a midweek stream, I don’t have anything specific I do to prepare.


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

I currently only stream once a week so it’s honestly something I greatly look forward to on a Saturday. Hanging out with some incredible friends and getting the opportunity to play music for them is all the motivation I need.


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

Dealing with imposter syndrome. I find myself constantly fighting a battle in my own head that I am not good enough to be doing this. I also find it really difficult to accept compliments from people as I genuinely don’t feel that I deserve them.


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

Yes absolutely. I feel that most music streamers on Twitch are incredibly supportive of one another. A special mention must go to Matty Twigg (CallsignScarecrow), Liv Harris and RAYMmusic. The amount of support and encouragement I have received from these 3 people in particular has been incredible.


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

Honestly, for me not a lot has changed due to Covid-19 except that I can’t leave the house as often but I didn’t really leave the house very often anyway. It is tough not being able to see my family so much, especially my niece, but with restrictions easing off hopefully I can see them a bit more often.


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

I do indeed. I am not the most tech savvy so I have had to do a lot of research and get help from a lot of people. It is always such a nice feeling to get new tech and music equipment for stream though even though trying to keep up with it all can be tough.


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

It has completely changed my life for the better. It has given me more confidence within myself. I am doing things I would never have even imagined I would be capable of if it hadn’t been for the music community on Twitch. I’m looking to release my first ever EP this year. Again, this is something that I would never have had the confidence to do if it hadn’t been for the support from viewers and other streamers on Twitch. I have met a lot incredible people and made so many new friends.


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

The most important thing for me is networking. Go out there and make friends with other streamers and with other viewers. Make yourself well known within the music community and show support to other musicians. Join their communities in discord and other social media platforms. When you go live, if other streamers have a shout out channel in their Discord, use it. People need to know when you are live. Discord has a “streamer mode”, make sure this is switched on, it will show other people you are streaming whenever you are logged into Discord. Growth takes a LOT of time and effort so don’t get discouraged early on when your viewer count is low. I have streamed to 0 viewers on many occasions and is really tough to not get disheartened but keep focused on your goals and keep trying to improve. The viewers will come but they won’t come over night. Most importantly, go out there and have fun, enjoy it. If viewers see you having a good time, they will have a good time.

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

Due to my job, it is tough for me to have a set schedule because I travel a lot. I currently only stream on Saturday evenings but I am looking to add at least one more music stream and maybe a gaming stream in throughout the week. I have just upgraded to a DSLR camera so I am looking to introduce some interactive lighting so chat can control the lights with channel points. Hopefully I can continue to improve my looping skills and I am trying to learn to play the piano so looking to introduce that as well.


Raym (RAYMmusic) is a singer-songwriter from Toronto, Canada. Raym sings originals and covers, playing piano and guitar, and mostly streams music on Twitch, but sometimes streams art, fitness and baking as well. Recently Raym has introduced live looping with Ableton on music streams and has just been made partner on Twitch. You can stream 3 original tracks by Raym at all the main music streaming platforms with more music due out soon.


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

I was actually not happy at my full time job and decided to take a break and focus on my music! My friend told me about live-streaming on Twitch, and I watched it and planned for a few months before actually trying it out. I didn't really know what to expect but here we are!


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

Yes - shower, look presentable, go pee, get water/tea, discord + twitter message. I really should be doing vocal warm-ups but I somehow seem to never have time for that!?


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

The community is absolutely top-notch on Twitch, in the music community. I've made a lot of amazing friends and the community is what keeps me motivated and coming back. It still astounds me the amount of generosity and support everyone shows each other, especially between streamers. It's also super nice when someone says that your stream brightened up their day.


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

There have been so many challenges but I would say the biggest one is inconsistency. Some streams I don't have much income at all, and other times I am overwhelmed with generosity. The challenge is you never know what that day/week/month will be like and it all depends on your viewers. The ups and downs of view count averages also take a mental toll, so I have to always take a step back to focus on the important bits.


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

Definitely - some of the closest friends I've met on Twitch have been fellow music streamers. Everyone is so supportive of each other.


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

Honestly Covid-19 has been a positive impact on the whole streaming community, since there are so many more viewers now. I don't think I would've made partner if it wasn't for Covid - I don't think I would've reached the numbers required. This situation has also pushed me to work harder on all my personal goals, since there's a lot of things I can't do right now due to quarantine, and there's no excuses to not work on the goals I have for stream and also other personal goals.


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

I think the biggest challenge was setting up the stream in the beginning. I've upgraded a number of times and there's always technical issues and trouble-shooting, but I think the worst of it is right at the beginning, especially when you're not tech-savvy (like me). I think as a music streamer there's also an extra added complexity if you're looking to incorporate midi-controllers/loopers/DAWs.


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

It's changed my life completely! I'm doing this as my full-time job and I absolutely love it.


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

- stay true to who you are, everyone is different and different viewers watch various streamers for different reasons. Being genuine is key.

- Don't be discouraged by the ups and downs, that is the nature of streaming.

- Don't take it personally when people leave your stream, viewers come and go!

- Be consistent with the streaming schedule and focus on the viewers who are watching you.


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

I feel like my stream has evolved so much in the past two years, but it's happened organically. I didn't plan to include alter egos and comedy, but they just were incorporated naturally! I hope to improve my stream production and also my loops, but otherwise I don't have any big future plans at the moment!


TheTangerineClub are a singer-songwriter duo from south Brazil formed by Axel Antunes and Cynthia Prietsch and featuring the great drummer Gabriel Medeiros. After performing live for almost 15 years, in 2019 they decided to change their lives completely and dive into the world of streaming. Presenting to the audience originals and covers in a very intuitive and improvised approach each time, TTC makes diverse presentations. In their weekly schedule you can catch a duo stream with chill songs, a trio stream with great rock energy and also a very special day called 'hybrid sessions' where you can listen to a totally different performance, get into the groove and maybe hear some Brazilian bossa nova as well.


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

We first heard about Twitch through a good friend of ours. He told us in 2018 about the existence of the platform and that he found a few musicians on there and that we should give it a try. By the end of that year, going from one place to another to play gigs, we got robbed here in Brazil. Almost 10k in equipment just vanished from our car. Brazil is not the safest place, you know, and that's when we decided we needed to find other options within the music profession.


We just didn't want to keep living that way, always on the road, miles a week, and putting our lives in jeopardy. After that, we chose to give the streaming world a try in 2019. It wasn't easy. We used to live in the state capital, where the cost of living is way more expensive. We had to go back to our little hometown, to our family's house. We only set up a few shows a month to make ends meet so we could invest as much time as possible in Twitch.


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

We are not really organised (laughs)! We usually chill a bit after lunch just before streaming, and some days we see ourselves in the last minute with lots of stuff to do. And yes, we really have things to do before the stream. The first thing is to turn on all the musical gear. We then do a soundcheck, turn on the lights, get and set up the camera (and that's where we waste the most time because we are not very good with video shooting - laughs). Finally, the most important thing of all! We prepare our mate tea (and that is definitely a ritual we have!)


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

Even though we usually stream 4 hours a stream, 5 days a week, we really love it and enjoy every minute. When we used to tour here in south Brazil (in a big state in a big country), every week we drove around 1000 miles to plays gigs. Being on the road was really, really tiring (and Axel did that for 12 long years!).


Streaming, on the other hand, it's a completely different thing. We actually don't even watch time go by while we're playing and having fun with such amazing people. Our community is incredibly supportive. That is a thing we never ever saw while playing gigs in pubs or at events. We really love streaming, and we are so grateful for each of our dear tangerines.


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

The first months of streaming were really tough. In the beginning, we didn't know how Twitch worked, what gear we needed to stream, we didn't understand what commands were for, how to use them, or what raiding or hosting was. Nothing. Total noobs! It was hard handling OBS and everything too. First streams we couldn't even sync the audio with video. It was a nightmare! And besides that, there were no other musician streamers here in Brazil to help us, so we took a while to get things going.


Cynthia: When we first started, the channel was just Axel's and it was hard watching him play for hours and hours only for me and - perhaps - his mom (laughs). However, we had made a definitive decision and would not go back. We have believed since the beginning.


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

YES! And that is one of the things we love most about Twitch. We found so much support and encouragement from other streamers, musicians, and non-musicians. The 'raid' is such a great tool. Bigger and smaller streamers are always connected through the raids. To us, Twitch is a world apart from the music industry. A place where musicians gather and connect their twitch 'families' with solidarity and friendship instead of competition.


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

We are really fortunate to say that Covid-19 didn't bring much negative impact on our lives. Like we said before, we took a decision at the beginning of 2019 to completely change our careers and we didn't look back. A little bit more than a year has passed now and although we got financial difficulties for some period of time when the pandemic hit Brazil, we were already in a position where we could live from streaming full-time. You guys have no idea how grateful we are for a decision we took a year ago.


We've seen many fellow musicians here in our hometown struggling during these terrible days that we are living in - we are still in quarantine here in Brazil and the pubs are closed and everything. It's heartbreaking.


Our drummer, Gabriel, for example, was going through a very difficult time and that's when we invited him to start playing with us so we could help him somehow. We are godfathers to his little daughter and we are really close as family. It turned out he is our third tangerine now and he and his family got to survive for 3 months now due to this beautiful community's support.


Unfortunately, we couldn't offer this to any other musician friend here because things are really, really bad in our town and we need to maintain social distancing.


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

Wow! That is really challenging. Here in Brazil, everything costs A LOT. Whenever we want to buy something to upgrade the stream we know it will cost us 5 times more than if we lived in the US, for example. That's why we upgrade our stream little by little. We try our best to provide quality content and we are always thinking about what can we do to make a better experience for our viewers.


Sometimes we have to settle for what we have at the moment and what we can do with it. We don't allow ourselves to get upset about not having the best this or that. Almost everything we upgraded so far was only with the help of our community. They are incredible.


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

Hugely! We often caught ourselves mesmerised with how much we achieved in a bit more than a year. It's really mind-blowing. It feels like we are living a dream.


We do what we love and at the same time we get to know all these amazing people from all over the world and we also make so many good friends.


Axel: Besides that, we had huge growth ourselves. Take Cynthia for example. She was unbelievably shy and was even ashamed to step inside the room and say hello! In a few months, she got the courage to start singing a bit, then playing bass in the stream and we now have our band and we have such a great time playing.


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

Don't be afraid of it! If you have something special to share with the world, got for it! However, keep in mind that it probably won't be easy. If you are persevering and believe in yourself, keep going little by little.


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

We have so many ideas! We don't like to stand still, really. At first, the stream was just Axel's. It turned into a duo with Cynthia. We now have trio streams with Gabriel. We just introduced the peeps to the 'hybrid sessions' on Wednesdays when Axel and Gabriel make a duo stream with a hybrid bass/guitar and drums.

We try and intend to always keep providing new content. Perhaps we will do some special tribute night or an original-only stream, maybe some Brazilian nights.

Right now, our latest improvements were the release of a secondary channel called TTCStation (which is our own radio station, managed by our drummer Gabe) and an amazing bot (presented in both our channels) created by our dear moderator @sikorama from France.


TheTangerineBot can translate many languages, interact with the audience with his unique personality and can also take notes of the location of our beloved tangerines around the world and gather all of them in a map we are creating. The whole experience is accessible to everyone. People can tag themselves on the map, leave a special message to us, and have fun with the bot's commands.


We don't know yet what is next. We intend to move to Europe in 2021, but with this crisis, well, let's hope everything goes well. We're always wondering what else could we present our viewers to make the stream better and better.


Tyler Levs (TylerLevsMusic) is a singer-songwriter from Maine, USA and currently resides in New Hampshire. He has been streaming on Twitch since December 2016 and has cultivated his previous musical abilities (self taught guitar, singing and music production) on his live streams. Tyler plunged into full-time streaming in February 2019 and became a Twitch Partner in June 2020. He is currently writing new music with a few collaborators and is anxiously awaiting his debut album release which is currently delayed by Covid-19. 


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

I found out about Twitch from my brother who had mentioned something about watching Dota players in 2015. I had watched a few streams and even considered trying to improve in Dota to stream it but I had started to lose interest in the game and had hardware issues in late 2016. I stumbled upon Stephanie's stream (RandomGirlSinging) and really enjoyed her content and the concept of streaming in general. I scoped around and found other music streamers doing the same and I thought it could be something fun to try. I initially started as an outlet to practice singing and guitar. I had very little confidence in music - and really as a person - before I started streaming and thought random strangers would be great people to provide feedback.


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

My pre-stream routine really involves setting up the room. I have a few lights to turn on, a keyboard to set up, a power strip with all the secondary powered utilities (loopstation, mixer etc.) and then grabbing water before I go live. Sometimes I start extremely early and then run into a few things as I get set up. As far as calling it a "routine" I think it would be a stretch. More like a list of events that need to happen but in a non-specific order at varying speeds depending on the day.


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

At this point, streaming and music are my full time jobs. I have been slowly moving in this direction since 2019 and now I am thankful to wake up and enjoy the "job" I have. I'm motivated to become a better musician, a better singer, a better songwriter and a better streamer/ person. Most importantly I'm motivated by the friends I've made through the years on Twitch and the overwhelming positive comments about our community and how it has helped people through tough times. Hearing about the things my music and our community does for people makes it impossible to stop.


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

While streaming, I had been struggling mentally all through the second half of 2018. My day job was entirely work from home and the work itself was already a major source of negativity in my life. In February 2019 I quit my day-job and tried to commit to a full-time stream schedule. The first three months were random to say the least. Streaming became obsessive for a week or so and then I would burn out and become frustrated about my inability to improve any aspect of my content. Some days I would go live in the midst of this dark mental space because I felt like I had to. This dark period helped me get where I am today but looking back on it I really wish I would have recognised my problems sooner. I definitely dug the hole myself but it amazes me I let it get so bad. 


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

One of my favorite things about Twitch music is how interwoven it is. I have found a good number of music streamers that I thoroughly enjoy and I'm always amazed at how loving and supportive they are. Whether it's a raid from a fellow music streamer or even just a little stop in to say hello, I'm always impressed by the number of positive, supportive and egoless people on the platform. The creators themselves combined with the encouraging and positive community/friends really make the experience like no other. 


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

I'm a fairly introverted person so the impacts have been minimal. A lot of my friends are available across the internet as well, so my social interactions haven't really changed either. Seeing family is a little hard at the moment because of social distancing but I've managed to at least see a few in person. I still go to the grocery store when I need to but I avoid going into heavily trafficked public spaces (stores, malls etc). Musically, Covid-19 has delayed my debut album but I've been able to play a lot of the songs live on stream to hold people over (mainly myself at this point, haha). The TwitchCon 2020 cancellation is a bit of a bummer but is 100% necessary at this point so I understand.


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

As a person who fumbled through each aspect of streaming: yes. I started with a laptop, a cheap USB mic and no knowledge of OBS. The pathway I took to mic-instruments-loopstation-mixer-PC has been a long one. I've recently upgraded from a webcam to a camera for some higher quality and had a few lights to upgrade the visual as well. It's all a learning process. Some of these things were intentional but many of them have happened by recommendation from those I trust. One thing that Twitch has been very plentiful of: extremely helpful and patient people willing to help.


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

Streaming hasn't just changed my life: it has literally become my life. My normal schedule is 7 hours a day 5 days a week at the moment. Streaming is my full-time dream job. It is my outlet to play music and make friends. The people that I've met on Twitch have impacted me for the better and I'm just happy to know that the community impacts people so positively.


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

I could think of a grocery list of advice but I know there are many others who are far more qualified than myself to give it and answer questions that may arise. I'll keep my advice to two points that I think I'm qualified for:


1. Start streaming! I know it sounds really silly but hear me out. So many new streamers think they need a crazy fast PC, super high quality webcam, visuals, overlays, etc. The reality of it all is even with all of the best gear, viewers can't show up to a stream that isn't on. I started with very little knowledge of OBS. No overlays, no alerts, a single microphone for guitar/vocals and a built-in laptop webcam. Did I get anywhere fast? No. Did I sound great? Definitely not. Did I have fun? That one is a huge yes. I enjoyed being on stream, making friends, playing music and challenging myself. The main point here: if you don't go live your stream won't grow and if you over-invest before you start you could end up spending a lot of money just to find out you're not really interested in streaming in the first place. 

2. Don't be discouraged! Unless you have hundreds of extremely supportive friends or you're moving a fan-base from another platform, streaming takes time. A lot of streamers can remember the start up days when they streamed for hours to a number of people you could count on one hand (and one of those viewers is their parent/sibling/significant other who has them pulled up on another computer out of undying support). Watching big streamers can create an expectation that "this is how streaming will be" only to leave many defeated when they don't average some extraordinarily high viewer count. My personal stats show that I didn't consistently average 10 viewers a month in my first full year of streaming. This is the first time I've actually even looked at that information on the principle of this advice. I would say that your content is worthwhile as long as it has some positive impact on someone, even if the only someone is you. 


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

At this point in time, all I know is that I'll be on here. There are many possibilities and I think I may end up trying all of them at some point. For now, I know that music will always be a critical part of my stream and positive vibes will influence what I do. I also want to continue to meet and find communities and streamers that I enjoy so I can continue to support music on Twitch. Having recently been partnered as well, I feel new opportunities have opened their doors so we will wait and see! 

Tina and I would both like to say a huge thank you to each of the 10 music streamers: Alanna, Bethan, Flip, Hammeta, Katie, Matu, Paul, Raym, Axel & Cynthia, and Tyler for being a part of this blog post and for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to share their insights. From our point-of-view, these insights have provided a very interesting analysis into streaming and will hopefully be helpful to fellow music streamers, whether already established or just starting their journeys on Twitch. We hope to continue this blog series as we are really enjoying it and look forward to bringing you more future updates with more Twitch music, gaming and variety streamers.

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