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10FROM10 | Twitch Music Streamers (Part 5)

Updated: Nov 12

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.


In this installment we focus on overcoming perfectionism in the streaming world and we get a candid insight into the ups and downs of live streaming.


BellaGoldwin is a Canadian singer-songwriter, record producer and recording artist. She began studying the piano, violin and voice at the age of four with the Royal Conservatory of Music and later advanced to experimenting with record producing at the age of twelve. She currently also plays the cello, guitar, and ukulele for fun.


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

I first heard of Twitch from a girl named "Autumn". We went to our first year of high school together and she was getting a lot of success on Twitch. I never really fully understood what Twitch was at that time, but when I met my boyfriend end of 2016, he gave me a full introduction into Twitch. He showed me that there was even a music section and I thought it was so cool that I decided to try it out. I was super nervous but I just dove into it and didn't look back.


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

I don't have a pre-stream routine at the moment, but my first two years of streaming I used to have to spend 30 minutes before stream just to set up all my equipment in and out of my room because it was too small to keep equipment laying around all day long.


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

The people who watch me are very compassionate and supportive, so to have them in my chat connecting with me while I stream motivates me to continue. Also the creative aspect of streaming makes it fun.


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

Making sure I am honouring my boundaries. Also sometimes it can feel like you don't know where you are going goal wise or if you do have a goal it can be a bit difficult to figure out how to achieve that goal on Twitch.


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

Yes, I find the music streamer community is very supportive. People tend to raid other music streamers after every stream and you even find other music streamers watching other music streamers all the time. 


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

I would say I got to meet more people in different time zones because of Covid-19 and people having more free time to watch Twitch. The downside would be the financial side and now that people are back to work, it's harder to reconnect with the new viewer/friends I made during Covid-19. 


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

I don't really find it challenging, I am pretty tech savvy when I decide to learn something. The hard part is just figuring out about the upgrades on time and having the time to set up the new upgrades. 


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

It has changed my life completely from my schedule, to how I view social media, to how I make friends.


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

You don't need fancy equipment to do your first few streams. I would focus more on finding out what values you are going to offer in your stream and also I would ask your online friends to join you to watch/chat in your stream. Engagement is key when especially when you are just starting out. 


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

Honestly, I am still figuring this one out. I want to focus more on a specific niche and I am still figuring out how I am going to do that and what that will be. 


BluSkyz75 is a singer-songwriter, self taught pianist and mom of 4 from Seattle, Washington. Having been singing since 2013 and playing piano since 2015, Blu started streaming on Twitch in July of 2018 playing Sea of Thieves and shortly after found the music community. In February of 2019 a break away from Twitch caused by a Crohns disease flare almost cost Blu her life. Thankfully, Blu is now recovered and back streaming on Twitch, and in her own words, 'is going wherever the wind takes me!'


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

I was playing the game Sea of Thieves with friends from the UK and they told me about Twitch and encouraged me to start streaming! I was really scared at first but after a few weeks of thinking about it I decided to give it a try. I was not a very popular Sea of Thieves streamer but things changed when I found the Twitch music community! (Or I guess when they found me).


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

My only routine before stream is to run around my house frantically trying to get ready and get my kids situated before I hit go live! Haha! I’m usually down to the wire time-wise before stream starts because I always have a million things I (could) do!


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

My community. I have struggled being consistent on Twitch. It isn’t easy being a stay at home mom of 4 kids and doing music on the side. But I love the people I have met so much I can’t not be there for them. Its also been good for me to have something of my own, and something that takes my mind off everyone for a while. I think its actually been great for my emotional health too!


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

My most challenging experience on Twitch was when I got really sick back in 2019 and had to stop streaming for 6 months. I was in a terrible Crohn’s flare that caused me to lose pretty much all my momentum and viewership. I've had to work my way back up and it takes time. It felt discouraging but there were some very loving and faithful friends that stuck by my side the whole time and were there for my very first stream back!


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

Not really. There have been one or two who I have been able to make a connection with but not the majority.


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

Covid pretty much wiped me off Twitch again back in March-June. When all 4 of my kids ended up back at home with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and nobody to play with, guess who became their source of entertainment? Me! Haha! Life happens and I’ve struggled being consistent on Twitch because of that.


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

I am terrible with tech. Terrible. Thank God for my mod, Cavagan, who pretty much makes my world go around with technology. Friends like him have been an incredible support and have made it so I can do this!


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

Twitch has totally changed my life. The impact on me has been huge. I’ve developed so much identity. Starting out, I didn’t like the sound of my voice and I told people I was a bad song writer. Today, I don’t feel that way about either of those things. I have developed a deep love for my voice, and realised I am actually a very skilled songwriter. I listened to negative voices in my head for such a long time and through the affirmation and support of strangers I have been able to adopt much more positive thinking about myself in regards to music. The journey has been amazing.


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

My advice would be just do it! If it makes you happy do it. If it is something that sows joy into your life do it.


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

As of right now, I don’t really have future plans for my Twitch stream… the plan is to just keep showing up? Obviously, my family comes first so I have to be a mom first and foremost but after that I’m hoping to just keep streaming and releasing new music for the world to enjoy!


Courtnay is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, sound engineer and coffee addict from Northern Ireland who streams soul, blues and pop music. Courtnay has been singing for over 8 years and prior to lockdown had been performing live 3/4 times a week, but has been really enjoying Twitch recently since first starting live streaming during lockdown.


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

I have some friends that are gamer streamers and they introduced me to the music section and helped me get set up.


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

A quick vocal warm up and I make a huge mug of coffee!


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

Honestly, I need very little motivation to stream. I really look forward to every stream due to the people that turn up night after night! Even if I’ve had a really bad day or I’m exhausted, I always know I’ll feel better as soon as I start.


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

When I see numbers of viewers going up and down. It always makes me doubt myself. I see all these amazing musicians on twitch who are looping and playing 300 instruments and I definitely can’t measure up to that so I constantly worry that I’m boring people!


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

Yes, so so much support. One of the things that made me want to stick around was the complete lack of rivalry with other streamers. Everyone just wants to help and see you do well!


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

I only started streaming because of Covid-19. So it had a huge impact! I found with all my IRL gigs being cancelled, I needed a creative outlet to keep myself motivated with music and Twitch has definitely been a great choice.


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

Haha, yes, so much of a challenge at the start! I am a sound engineer and thought that would make things easier but streaming is totally different! Many many nights spent watching YouTube videos and messaging friends for help!


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

It has completely changed my life. I have spent the past few years singing covers in bars and was really starting to hate it. It’s not a great environment and a lot of the people don’t listen. They’re there to drink/eat and you're mostly just background music. But with Twitch, people turn up every night just to hear you! And more than that, they want to hear your original music too. It’s been so motivating for me as a song-writer!


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

Do NOT give up. You may be streaming to 0 people at the beginning but please please stick at it. If you turn up, enjoy what you’re doing and put the effort in, then people will show up.


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

I would love to be able to do this full time! And have lots more original music in the songlist, haha.


EmilyMcVicker, the charming and uplifting singer-songwriter from Seattle, Washington, brings a dynamic show of beat-box, live-loops, pitch-perfect harmony, comedic moments, and sensitive heartfelt stories through her music! A multi-instrumentalist with versatile and soulful vocal stylings. Her original music is funny and authentic in a way that makes you think, "I can totally relate to that!". She captivates while recording to build the songs in front of your very eyes.


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

I’ve been a local musician here in Seattle for the past five years. And I’ve made my full-time living from hosting music events and playing music. The community here is strong and I had been invited to be a guest on other people’s streams before. But when the pandemic hit, all of my live shows disappeared and I figured I needed to think fast about how to design my online show.


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

I try to make sure to eat and feed Cleo the cat. She is still a kitten and has LOTS of energy!  Her favorite activities include playing chase around the house, hide and seek, and dinner time. Then she’ll nap for most of the stream, haha.


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

Playing music and engaging with audiences is what I love to do! Streaming on Twitch has really scratched that itch for me since I haven’t been able to play live. And even more than that, it has been so inspiring hearing the encouragement and getting ideas from the audience. It really is a community vibe and I am so amazed to be a part of it! Every day I am watching other musicians, learning, growing, and thinking up ideas over all the ways I can make my show more engaging and interactive. It’s a process!


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

Building the initial set up was a lot more expensive than I had imagined. But now it’s more fun doing the actual music part! Some of the challenging parts I like, such as always coming up with new ideas and new music to keep people into it.


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

Absolutely!! My first Twitch connection was MariGoMusic! I found her stream and was impressed with her music, and noticed she’s from Seattle. When I started chatting, she recognised my name and had apparently seen one of my live concerts before! Wow! That’s happened a couple times now, even with this other amazing and funny musician/comedian Meriamber! We have mutual physical-world-friends and heard about each other through them. So likewise when I go into her chat she makes me feel very welcome and excited to be there!


I also have to mention my other very very good friend, who is a collaborator of mine here in Seattle, Marinaplaysbass. She’s also a new streamer like me, but she’s been my greatest cheerleader in this whole pandemic, and we even put out a joint album together called Coffee and Ukes Vol. 1 (emilyandmarina.com).


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

It’s sparked the whole thing! And because of it, I have a brand new merchandise store, friends around the world, and I have reasons to practice my craft, and make the music really poppin’.


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

I imagine it will! However, designing a show, and the process of that is really fun for me. And as of now, I have all new tools to make my stream as awesome as it can be!


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

In the past couple of months that I’ve been streaming on Twitch, it has given structure back to my life, and got me thinking more creatively about what Twitch can do for me to engage people with music. I think it has started to rewire my brain a little! Ha ha.


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

I would advise people to jump into it! And learn from the experience. I’m still pretty new to Twitch myself, but I feel like the audience and the performer really work together to shape it all, so it’s about the performance as much as it is listening to the community that you attract.


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

I am looking to grow it with my community! I am excited to add subscriber goals, movie nights, and some new badass rap songs about my cat. Every stream, I get the show a little bit more dialed!


British artist and live-streamer EmmaMcGann has passionately carved a non-traditional path of her own in order to connect and grow her audience in a meaningful way via live streaming over the last 6 years - a path she talks about in her TEDx Talk ‘Livestreaming my Life’. Striving to be at the forefront of new technologies, McGann has created VR content for fans, is an investor in the 'Props Project' and is also one of the few artists in the world to offer fans an interactive Amazon Alexa Skill, called 'Emma McGann Backstage'. Although live-streaming plays a much bigger part of the puzzle in how she thrives as an artist. Crafting songs that inspire bravery and encourage us to celebrate our imperfections, Emma’s performances convey an infectious charisma entwined with vibrant pop sensibility and are a refreshing flash of colour in a world of same old, same old.


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

I'd been a live-streamer for 5 years and wanted to expand my reach and meet even more people who might enjoy my music streams. I've been on Twitch now for just over a year and the community have been so awesome.


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

My live-stream space is kind of like this Neon Jungle, and has some background gadgets, lighting and other fun stuff that I'll usually check are working pre-stream. Other than that, honey and lemon water before every singing stream! 


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

For as long as I've done this what motivates me is knowing that you're bringing some music and positive vibes to someone else's day. Everyone in chat is always so welcoming and are the ones that make my day too. Streams are often the highlight of the week for me!


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

At the beginning the platform came with a little learning curve as it has its own bells and whistles compared to other platforms I use. But it came easily eventually! And my awesome mods helped me every step of the way too - shoutout to CheekyChoccy!


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

I haven't come across one music streamer who isn't supportive or encouraging of another. Everyone I've met so far is incredibly talented and such a joy to watch.


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

It meant I had to cancel the biggest tour of my career to date. A 21 date tour across North America was scrapped because of COVID. The physical tour itself originally had a live-streamed element to it so it was easy to pivot to a plan B. Instead, I began hosting live-streamed 'virtual tour shows' from the Neon Jungle on my website. It meant I could still bring the tour show to people using half of my original hybrid touring format idea. I never thought what I'd already been planning would be the format so many artists would have to rely on during these months. My live-streaming space has become my own temporary music venue. 


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

It was a challenge 6 years ago starting out for sure. I'm very happy with my set-up currently, (as technical as it is!) and often give others advice on what I use and what might be best for them. I created a video series breaking down my stream tech here on YouTube. I'm asked often on stream, so it made sense to have somewhere to divert people where they can learn more and hopefully find some things that'll help them with their own streaming spaces.


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

It's been a short time for me on Twitch so far but already I've met some incredibly supportive people! The reason I pursued live-streaming as a format 6 years ago was because it connects you directly to the audience. At live shows (when that was still a thing...) I found myself wanting to speak more to the audience in between songs because I guess it's what I've become used to. It's a personal connection. Over the last 6 years of being a live-streamer, I've found it's the people who watch who change your life. I talk more on this in my TEDx Talk 'Livestreaming my Life' here.


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

Go live and go live often, interact with your audience both on and off broadcast and it sounds simple but... just be yourself. Enjoy every second. I shared some more tips here with Music Tech Magazine that might help too!


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

To continue sharing music every weekday! I'm also a keen drummer so setting up a 2nd space when I'm able to in the future for drum streams is on my to-do list. 


JustineGriffin is a classically trained violinist of 15 years and a singer. She plays violin improv to viewer’s requests and performs covers acoustically, or with loops she creates live on her Twitch stream. Her style is relaxing acoustic, with a wide range of influence from blues to dance music, to classical music. She also enjoys sound design and experimenting with different sound effects for the violin. Outside of Twitch, she is a session musician and performs at local venues. Justine streams on Twitch 4 days per week and uploads covers to YouTube (violin instrumentals and singing covers) once per week.


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

I knew about Twitch as a gaming platform. It hadn’t occurred to me that I could stream music until my brother suggested I try it out. At the time, I was only playing violin as a hobby, teaching myself how to improvise to different backing tracks and songs. I got burnt out on classical music during high school, and didn’t think I could pursue being a musician as a career. I went to work after high school in various office jobs and never felt like it was right for me. When I started on Twitch, I realised that I could be a full time musician, so I started looking for live gigs with local musicians and my career has just grown from that. Twitch is what started it all!


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

Absolutely! I start getting ready for my stream 2 hours before. I like to do facepaints / interesting makeup for my streams, so I spend about an hour on hair and makeup. Then I start testing audio at the T-1 hour mark, making sure all of my instruments are ready to go; piano, guitar, violin, singing mic. Then if I still have some time leftover, I practice a loop or two to warm up my voice and fingers, and get in the groove. I also try to grab some food and some caffeine during that time too.


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

My community. I LOVE performing and seeing the people in my community. I get lost in my

streams; I can play for hours and not notice until I start feeling fatigued or sore. It’s funny because I don’t play like how I do on stream when I’m in my free time - I rush and get impatient. But something about playing for people that really motivates me and gets me so into the music… It’s almost magical, as weird as that sounds.


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

Hmm. The biggest challenge for me has been transitioning my content from being only violin music to violin, singing and looping with various different instruments. I wanted more variety on my stream, not just violin. As much as I love it, everything is best in moderation. So I started teaching myself to sing and play guitar and piano. Then threw looping into the mix (so that I was still able to play violin in my covers) and it has been hard to learn and takes so much practice. It is very rewarding seeing progress and seeing that people enjoy my music as a whole, not only my violin playing. I feel much more fulfilled since adding in singing and other instruments.


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

Absolutely! The Twitch music community is amazing. Everyone is very supportive and uplifting of each other, and it feels like we are one big group of musician friends.


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

I went full time into music at the beginning of the Covid pandemic and it has allowed me to really put a tonne of time and effort into my streams and practicing, since all of my live shows were cancelled. I started streaming 4 days per week instead of 3 days when my live shows were cancelled. I actually prefer live streaming over live local shows. I can perform in my house, with all of my equipment set up already, and reach a much larger audience online.


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

Not too much. I enjoy audio production and looking for ways to make my audio quality top notch. I also love decorating, so I enjoy looking for cool upgrades or stream room decor in my free time.


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

See question 1 :)


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

Focus on yourself and always keep improving. Also, be nice to everyone and stay humble. Your attitude really shows in a live stream. I also think having a reliable stream schedule for people to follow is hugely beneficial in having people show up. Experiment with different stream times is helpful for reaching a larger audience.


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

I want to be a looping master, that creates loops so well that you can’t even tell they are loops! I am practicing guitar and singing a tonne as well, so that I will have a really nice balance of violin, singing and guitar/other instruments.


LivHarris is a singer from London and has been live streaming on Twitch for two years. She has always been involved in music and performing, growing up playing at venues across London such as The O2 Arena, Wembley Arena and The Roundhouse. Twitch has offered Liv the ability to build a global audience from the comfort of her home. She is currently producing new music as well as performing 3 times a week on Twitch. 


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

I’d previously been live streaming on a small music-only live streaming platform. After that platform shut down I took a break from live streaming but I missed it so much that in July 2018 I decided it was time to find a new live streaming home and that’s when I found Twitch.


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

I start getting ready usually about an hour and a half before I press go live. I do my makeup/ hair, find an outfit to wear and post on Instagram to let people know I'll be live. Whilst my keyboard, PC, etc. are turning on I steam my voice with a Dr Nelson Steam Inhaler. I’ve been doing this for just over a year and it is the best addition to my pre-stream routine. After warming up with some scales, I sing through one or two songs. I don’t like to sing too much before starting because I’m about to sing for a full three hours!


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

I absolutely love singing, so the fact I’m able to do that for a living is motivation in itself. The kindness I’ve received from my community is beyond any support I’ve ever experienced. When I’m told by people that my singing/live streams are the best part of their week, it makes me more motivated than ever to provide that consistent entertainment. I also have to give a massive shout out to my parents. Their faith in me has never wavered and they’ve always kept me motivated to keep going. I’m very very lucky to have them both.


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

I think I’ve been very lucky with my experience on Twitch. I had a period of time where I was struggling with nausea (related to anxiety) during streams. Pushing through those streams was pretty tough. I do put a lot of pressure on myself which can make live-streaming way more challenging than it needs to be but I’m working on it!


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

For sure! The music community is rapidly growing but is still fairly small in comparison to other areas of Twitch. There is nothing better than music streamers raiding other music streamers. I’ve had some amazing music streamers that have been so quick to offer their help and support when I’m having any issues (particularly tech issues!)


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

My channel has actually grown significantly in the past few months. I think when Covid-19 hit there was an influx of viewers and streamers. I am so grateful for all the new people that have joined recently. My family are now all working from home which luckily hasn’t affected my live streams and actually I’ve loved having more family time.


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

I'm still learning new things everyday. I got into live streaming purely because I wanted to play music for people, and if you go back to one of my first live streams you can see I didn’t have much live streaming tech knowledge. I am always thinking of ways I can change/upgrade my streams but at the moment my somewhat simple system works for what I want to do.


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

Finding Twitch was a complete game changer. I feel so privileged to be in the position I am in now after two years of live streaming on Twitch. I’m earning a living doing music (the dream!!) I’ve also gained so much confidence and joy from the community I’ve built. Having people invested in your music and live streams is the most incredible feeling.


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

Here’s what I continue to work on with my own live streaming experience. 

  • Enjoy yourself. If you’re enjoying yourself, I think your viewers are more likely to enjoy themselves too.

  • Produce good quality content but don’t get caught up on things going wrong. Imperfections are inevitable when you’re live. Embrace those moments and learn from them.

  • Use social media to keep connected to your viewers when you’re not live.

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

Twitch has helped fund my music making. I’m currently producing more music to share with the incredible community I’ve built thanks to the Twitch streams. I’m still looking to make my set up more visually appealing. I want to keep developing my song list and keep improving my skill. I’d also love to collaborate with some other music streamers, that would be so fun!


Matt (ortoPilot) is a passionate and dedicated musician, YouTuber. and producer from the UK who's been making music online since 2006. He first started streaming on Twitch in August 2018 and has loved every minute of it! On stream you will find him singing covers of his favourite music and he also releases original music over on Youtube and Spotify.


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

I was testing out live streaming on Youtube and a viewer of mine suggested I have a go on Twitch. I started streaming on Twitch the next day and have never looked back!


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

Setting everything up is a ritual in itself! I always have a small spoon of manuka honey before I go live.


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

I pinch myself every day. It's a dream come true. I've been a self employed musician for over 10 years and live streaming on Twitch is like nothing I've ever experienced. The fact that there are people that turn up every day to enjoy my music and company... that's honestly all the motivation I've ever needed.


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

Nothing but love and support. I feel like we're all on the same team. We share viewers and we all attract new people to the platform and music category. I've always felt welcome and I want others to feel comfortable putting themselves out there.


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

I just miss being able to hug and kiss my friends and family!


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

I'm always pushing my setup to the next level, so my main challenge is keeping the tech gremlins at bay. Out of the 20 things that I need to run the stream, there's at least 1 that randomly decides to stop working 5 minutes before a stream.


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

Completely and utterly changed it. Before I committed to streaming, I was lost as to where to go with my music career. It was sucking all the excitement and enjoyment out of making music.


Early days YouTube had a small UK music community where you could interact with other musicians, collaborate and inspire. It was an exciting time. The community literally disappeared overnight when YouTube started putting mainstream artists first.

Twitch was like opening a door to outside and breathing fresh air. Musicians can make a living whilst showing love and support to those around them. A beautiful but rare thing. There aren't any other platforms that can provide this depth of opportunity. Twitch isn't perfect, but it's constantly improving and have a great team of caring talented and motivated people working for them (many of who, are actual streamers).


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

- Ideally, make a schedule that you can comfortably stick to, long term.


- Working on things off stream is almost as important as being online streaming (sometime more important).


- Commit to your schedule / Prioritise your streams over most things (most, except your own health).


- Get a friend to mod and chat to you during your first streams to keep a conversation flowing.


- Watch your VODs back. You can improve by seeing things you don't like and also gain confidence from seeing things you do like.


- Be you. Take as much inspiration as you can from other streamers. But be yourself.


- If you're not seeing any growth (and you want it), be humble, and change something up and try new things.


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

Same thing we do every night Pinky!.. xD


Haha, just to keep improving myself in one way or another.


Learn, get better, repeat :)


TheSilenceNoise is an original alternative rock project with over 50 original songs and an EP, The Twist of a Friendly Knife, on August 22nd. Though the project started in 1999, it was brought back to life after a 10 year hiatus in 2018 with years worth of inspiration being revealed over the next two years. The Silence Noise is also the co-host of Music Exposed with SaraJazz and is referred to by MattGaddy as “the best kept secret on Twitch.”


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

I actually heard about Twitch from a random email that I received in early 2019. I can’t remember exactly when I had registered for the site, but the email informed me that Twitch was in the process of launching a new “Music & Performing Arts Category.” For all of the previous year, I had been involved in a Song a Week songwriting group on Reddit, so anything music was immediately interesting to me. After clicking through, the first stream I landed on happened to be the amazing composer, Scott Buckley (musoscientific). I was immediately enthralled! I had seen some YouTube tutorials, but I have never seen a live stream of someone composing and producing a full piece. I became a regular of Scott’s community and was watching him every time he was on from that point forward.


Since I was still doing weekly songs at that point, Scott was really the reason I took the first step to start showcasing my songwriting live. For the first few months, I was doing songwriting and production streams to 0 viewers. One magical day, another amazing streamer, The Village Ruse (thevillageruse) found me during the production of a song called “Lost Child.” While he was hanging out, he posted my stream in a few streamer Discord channels and introduced me to all of my long-term regulars that still hang out in my stream today.


From there, it was TVR and two other streamers, Otherglow (formerly known as Hikikomorimusic - otherglow) and FourAfterEver (fourafterever) who challenged me to start doing live performances of the songs I was writing on stream. I was terrified! I had only done a few live performances in my life and wasn’t even able to play guitar and sing at the same time. They and their communities were incredibly helpful in answering my questions, helping me brainstorm the technology, and turning the show into what it is today. My first live performance on Twitch was August 2, 2019... and it’s been all downhill into madness from there.


But seriously, I couldn’t have done it without all of these streamers, which is why I work so hard to try to support and promote other new and lesser known music streamers on the platform.


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

Well, those who watch my stream they probably think that I do a bunch of drugs before stream or something... but it’s actually far more boring.


I normally stream fairly early in the day (my time), so I normally wake up thinking about what I want to perform that day. First order of business, normally during breakfast, is to decide what songs are stuck in my head and put together a set list. After I’ve finished eating I’ll normally be wandering around my house, humming and warming up my voice like a crazy person.


From there, my stream requires quite a few technical moving pieces, especially since my community was so generous to help me upgrade to a modern computer. Since I’ve finally been able to separate the music and production workflow from the streaming workflow, there’s quite a bit that I need to do to get both computers ready for a live performance. That list normally looks something like this:


  • Load all the projects and necessary pieces to perform the songs in the set list that day.

  • Set up the screen to look how it needs to be to send the lyrics over to the stream computer.

  • Reset all the cameras and microphones in my room to the “performance set up.” I also have a podcast set up that I use for things like Music Exposed and such, where I’m seated and use a different mic, that require a different configuration.

  • Load up all of my streaming set up on the stream computer and make sure it’s receiving signal from the production computer.

  • Add any new videos, memes, or scenes to OBS for that particular show. Every week I spend hours on video editing for various purposes. This includes all the wacky memes that my viewers know and love, as well as previews for upcoming music releases, the trailer for that week’s Music Exposed with SaraJazz, and any additional scene changes or fixes I need to make from that previous week’s show. So this can be anywhere from 5 to 15 new scenes depending on the performance.

  • Set up Touch Portal with buttons to be able to active the new scenes, update my regular shout out buttons and Twitch commands, and make sure OBS is getting signal from my keyboard and the Touch Portal tablet.

  • Film a beautiful (or super weird) social media video once all the lights are on and everything is set up to tell people that I’m about to drive them crazy for a few hours.


Stream set up for me can take as long as an hour depending on the day. Also, none of this is factoring in how long it actually takes to write and produce the “lighting” or looks for each one of the songs that I perform on stream. I’m up to about 50 songs now and each one generally takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to finalize depending on the complexity of the song and the scenes. My OBS would probably be a literal nightmare to anyone other than maybe Mr. Gregles or Scene of Action…


TL:DR? I cry for hours while trying to make sure that everything is working right before I go online. Sometimes with breakfast.


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

Streaming combines two of the things I love most in the world: music and entertaining people.


I think my stream is definitely above the average music stream in terms of how time consuming it is from a technology and development standpoint. Some have compared my stream to watching an episode of Tim and Eric or Family Guy in that there are so many cutaways, inside jokes, random cameos from other streamers, and weird segues before you even get to the performance aspects of what I do.


Music is the thing I love most in life. It is the language I live and breathe. I also know that I am nowhere near the competency or skill level of the majority of music streamers that I know and love on Twitch in terms of raw musical ability. I have always been a songwriter first which is where all my passion for music begins.


I chose to walk a very hard path as a streamer, believing that my original songs, weird humor, and variety content would be compelling enough to grow and keep an audience. The jury is still out on this!


I didn’t even play my first cover on stream until my one year streaming anniversary. Even then, the covers I chose were for a tribute stream to one of my biggest influences and favorite bands of all time, Depeche Mode. I don’t do viewer requests of anything other than my original songs. This means it’s always going to be an uphill battle to find people that are interested in my music and who I am as an entertainer.


The only reason that I can do this is because I love the music and entertaining so much.


Admittedly, sometimes I’m very envious of those who can just turn on their camera, take requests, and start playing. But that’s just not me… I’m so extra.


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

Every. Single. Stream.


No, I’m serious.


There have been many times in my streaming career I’ve had to be talked off the ledge from quitting. Streaming was never something I intended to do - so my technology was incredibly limited compared to most other streamers. In addition, my ambition to make the stream completely unique as well as compelling to watch, required a ridiculous amount of time and upkeep to keep going.


Everything on my stream is done in the absolute cheapest way possible. It is a massive compliment when people mention how good the stream looks or how impressed they are with all the things I have going on... because it definitely isn’t because I have any fancy gear. Literally everything that appears on the stream, even if it’s only a few seconds long, was generally an investment of at least an hour or more to create.


I was always pushing my poor, 11 year old computer to the absolute limit with streaming and starting at the beginning of 2020, it was finally starting to break down. Every time I was ready to start a stream I was paranoid and anxious that the computer was going to stop working, that all of my programs would crash, or that everything would freeze in the middle of performing. I was no longer able to do songwriting or production streams as it was too much for the computer, so that was quite disappointing. My stream prep was taking a ton longer as I was trying to cut my OBS down to the bare minimum of what I needed in the hopes I could salvage an extra 1 or 2% CPU usage so that my CPU would stop hitting 100% usage during the stream.


In July, my community finally decided they had enough of my potato stream and banded together with a bunch of people from the music community to help me raise enough to finally build a modern computer. It has only been two weeks of operation, but it’s been like night and day to my stress level.


I think the last two weeks are probably the first time I wasn’t in full blown panic or ready to tear my hair out before going on air.


But, for most of my streaming career, I was lucky to even be able to start and keep a stream going without major tech fear.


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

Twitch truly has something for everybody. I know I have always taken a bit of a controversial stance about the Twitch Music Community at large, because I don’t believe there is a true “community” among thousands of streamers that are all so different and want different things from their streams and communities.


I am in a small minority of music streamers that focuses primarily on original music, creating innovative experiences around that music, and interacting with my chat and community in a different way than the “majority” of solo instrumentalists, cover artists, or request streamers. I also am aware that the music I write is part of a niche genre these days, seeing as how alternative and indie rock isn’t mainstream right now.


That said, there’s a niche for everyone here. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and chat with hundreds of streamers in their streams, as part of Music Exposed, or as part of other efforts to promote and collaborate. My upcoming EP is actually all collaborations with other Twitch streaming musicians. There are very few that I didn’t like and even fewer that I didn’t think were skilled, helpful, and supportive. Most of them are absolutely willing to go above and beyond to help however possible.


Compared to other venues online, the Twitch Music and Performing Arts Category might be one of the most wholesome places on the internet.


And I’m sorry I’m ruining it all for you by being a crude, crass, and loud-mouthed troll.


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

I’m a small business owner in my daily life and March 2020 was one of the worst years of my life in terms of business. I lost 80% of my business overnight, as I primarily work with other small businesses who suddenly found themselves without clients or revenue to work with me.


I had actually planned to do all of my tech upgrading back then, but thanks for ruining those plans, COVID.


I’m also someone that is high risk, given that I have had severe pneumonia that almost killed me 8 years ago. So I didn’t need a whole lot of encouragement to stay in my house, be careful about when I’ve gone out, and take every precaution I can to social distance.


Twitch in some ways has been the only thing keeping me “sane” throughout this whole pandemic. I love the performance aspect of my channel and Music Exposed. It also has replaced my social life in some sense, as other streamers and many who hang out in my streams are now my friends. I don’t think I’d really be talking to anyone else if I didn’t have Twitch.


The open time that I have had that wasn’t going to survival has all gone back into the stream and I’ve had a few massive projects in that time that wouldn’t be possible without COVID, such as the Depeche Mode Tribute Stream.


I’m very grateful I’ve had Twitch during this time.


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

I mentioned this in earlier answers, so I don’t want to repeat myself too much. Stream tech for what I’m doing on my stream is an insane investment in time and energy. Many of the tools that I rely on to route audio, send MIDI to OBS, or otherwise keep the stream stable are obscure, many years old, and don’t have a ton of documentation. In fact, the developer of my key tools, MIDItoOBS, regularly hangs out in my stream and laughs about how I use it in such a crazy way to pull off my performances (shout out lebtvlive and MIDItoOBS)!


I recently had a streamer friend of mine live in my studio watching me set up for a stream and his eyes were glossed over looking at my OBS and the patchwork of tools and plugins that make my stream a reality.


I don’t think most people should try to do what I’m doing unless they have a strong vision for their stream and a lot of patience for when things don’t work. But if you’re crazy like me, we should be friends!


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

Streaming on Twitch has been the best thing I’ve ever done to get exposure and support for my music. It’s not even close. I’ve been able to connect with a community all around the world. I’ve been able to collaborate on songs with musicians from Portugal, Germany, and all over the US. I’ve developed deep friendships and relationships with other streamers who I think are some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life.


Music has literally saved my life time and time again. Not only does Twitch Music save my sanity (or amplify my insanity as it were), it has expanded my life and perspective in so many incredible ways.


I truly believe this is a golden era for this platform and the people on it. The possibilities are truly endless for what you can create.


But most of all, it comes down to the quality of the people. There are just so many top notch, skilled, and creative individuals that I can’t even make time to support them all in the way I wish I could. I actually lose sleep at night sometimes thinking about streamers who I haven’t visited in a while, or sending out late night Discord messages to people reminding them that I love them (or trolling them which is how I show love to some people).


The article I could write just gushing about people I’ve connected with via Twitch Music would be longer than these responses and this is already super long and boring so you’ll have to ask me on my stream, I suppose.


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

I said I was known for being a bit controversial and it might show here…


There is a lot of awful advice out there about what you should do to prepare for live streaming. Most of it comes from a place of great intention, but it can’t prepare you for what you’re going to experience and how you’re going to need to develop your platform as you grow as a live streamer. Here’s a few of the most important things:


Be in it for the long haul. This isn’t a short term play. If you’re hoping to get in and start making money right away doing this, or even go full-time right away, chances are slim to none that you’ll achieve these goals unless you are very well connected or lucky. Plus, if you don’t love what you do, getting through the ups and downs of streaming, commonly seen in the first few months or dips after taking some time off, might make you quit.


Everything will take more time than you think. Sure, it is possible for you to just turn on your laptop camera and start streaming. But if you have pride in your craft and presentation, that’s never going to be enough. You will spend weeks of your life learning about things like OBS, audio routing, video editing, graphic design, and troubleshooting. Someone will tell you that something is easy while someone else will tell you that something doesn’t work at all - and both will be right. You will have to find the solution that fits your vision for your stream and how you want to present yourself.


Talk to other streamers directly, avoid taking “generic” Twitter or YouTube advice. It doesn’t mean this stuff is never helpful, but it rarely applies to you as a new streamer and especially a music streamer. The music category functions differently from the majority of Twitch and is evolving and changing all the time. If you didn’t know, Twitch is currently expanding their efforts on music dramatically and hiring all sorts of people - so it could look dramatically different in the next few months. Hang out in streams. Get to know other streamers. Join their Discords and chat with them and their community. Build personal relationships. When I need advice, I generally know exactly who I’m going to DM since I invested the time to build these relationships. You should too! I’m happy to be that person if you don’t know anyone else - so shoot me a message on Twitch or Discord!


In the end it’s about the entertainment and connection. Entertainment can mean different things to different people, but every successful stream has some element of entertainment involved. Maybe it’s just that the streamer is so entertaining and engaging on their own that they don’t need much else. Maybe it’s that they bring something totally unique or different to their technology or production. Maybe it’s their overall approach to streaming and twisting the format in a way that suits their own needs. Whatever it is, it still has to be entertaining. Hopefully you would be able to watch your own stream and find it connecting with you in the same way it does with your audience (I hate watching myself, but I still think my stream would be entertaining to me). If not, you can improve with every single stream!


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

It’s a whole new world for me with the new PC! I expect there to be a lot more memes, new videos, new scenes, and songs added. I have a new EP coming out on August 22nd that I will be adding into my set list. I have some regular collaborators and friends that I’m working with right now on some new projects. I’m always writing new songs. All this and then the amazing Music Exposed with SaraJazz, where we interview music streamers every single Saturday at 5 PM Eastern.


My stream has been far more than I ever would have imagined when I started over a year ago. I hope that the future holds just as many unexpected surprises and delights.


Em (ViolinSolo) is a classical violinist born in Italy but based in the UK. With a Masters in Violin Performance, she regularly performs gigs with chamber ensembles and orchestras as a freelancer. You can find her on Twitch performing classical, pop and soundtracks from videogames and movies, playing a couple of violins and a viola (although not all at the same time!).


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

I found out about Twitch at some point in 2016, as some YouTube channels that I followed were also streaming games on Twitch; After some browsing on the platform I found different types of “artsy” / IRL streamers doing non-gaming content and I started thinking it was something that I could be doing myself. When I started my Masters in Violin Performance in 2017, I quickly realised that everyone had so much more experience in performing in front of audiences than me and that I quickly needed a way to play for people to confront my performance anxiety, which at the time was overtaking lots of aspects of my life as a music student. After a couple of weeks I bought a super cheap phone tripod from amazon, placed it on my music stand and started practising and performing my repertoire live on Twitch.


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

Well yes, I always try to have a chilled morning before streaming, with a light practice session of not more than a couple of hours, and maybe try out some new additions to the songlist; one hour before the stream I set up the room, test volumes and lights for around 30 minutes, put some make up on, have a quick cigarette, refill my water bottle (or make a cup of tea in winter months) and then it’s usually good to go!


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

I’ve never really fit in the “classical musician stereotype” and I’m really critical of my playing. My Twitch channel gives me a space to perform whatever music I want and however I want to. My songlist varies from Despacito to Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, and on Twitch I don’t have to worry too much about technical mistakes in the playing and my teacher/examiner/ audition panel are not there to judge me, which allows me to actually play more freely and overall better!


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

I’ve had my fair amount of issues with the audio setup, but I think my biggest challenge has been interacting with other streamers. I’m an extremely introverted person and throughout my Masters I had almost no time to watch other Twitch streamers. Writing in chat would make me feel like I was intruding someone’s personal space and I would have nothing to add to their stream. I’m currently in the process of overcoming that fear and I discovered how much fun it can be being a viewer and a chatter in someone else’s stream!


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

Yes and no. As I’ve mentioned above I’ve had very limited interaction with other streamers and haven’t really made lots of friends up to now. Although I have to say that any time I’ve had any tech problems or questions streamers and viewers have all been very kind and happy to help.


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

To be honest it hasn’t changed much. I’ve had some extra time on my hands as all the gigs I was booked to do got cancelled, so I was able to add a third stream a week and work on arranging a lot more music. If before I was arranging one or two new pieces every week or two, now I add around 4 to 5 a week to my songlist.


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

Yes, sometimes a little bit. I now have a basic understanding of computers/audio setup which makes everything easier, but I still have the occasional struggle. Thank goodness there’s a bunch of tech savvy people in my community so I can always ask for help!


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

I think live streaming has had a big impact on me. In a good way. My live stream personality – smiley and chatty and somewhat confident – is quite far from how I am in real life, but I’ve noticed some of the traits of my Twitch “persona” are slowly sneaking in the actual me, making me more open and giving me the ability to have random chats with random people if I have the need to. My performance anxiety is still present when I play in front of an audience, but it has improved massively and it’s much more manageable now. Plus, it’s making me re-think my priorities in life. I always saw Twitch more like a hobby, while I prepared to have a career in the world of classical music. Now I’m not really sure I want to spend my life in such a competitive environment. I still love classical music to bits but I’m leaning more towards finding new ways to make musical performances happen, online or not.


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

Don’t spend a lot of money at the beginning. A basic acceptable quality is ok if you can provide decent content (says the person who streamed at 144p for almost a year!). Chat to people. Make friends. Be positive. What you’re doing could may not seem much but it could put a smile on someone’s face, anywhere around the world.


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

Well! I would love to grow my channel a bit more and manage to get a more regular income from it, so that I can keep doing it. I’m planning on adding an extra day of streaming to my schedule, and really work to make this happen. In October it’s gonna be my three year anniversary on Twitch and I’m starting to brainstorm some potentially fun content. Will definitely do another cooking stream, as the ones I’ve done in the past have been very successful (the perks of being Italian, ha!).

Tina and I would both like to say a huge thank you to each of the 10 music streamers: Bella, Blu, Courtnay, Emily, Emma, Justine, Liv, Matt, Ken, and Em for being a part of this blog post and for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to share their insights in to music streaming. We would like to thank all the streamers who have supported this blog so far and help it to become the series it has become. Next installment will be available soon.

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