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10FROM10 | Twitch Music Streamers (Part 8)

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.


The experiences of the following streamers show us how supportive the Twitch Music Community is at welcoming new streamers to Twitch, helping them set up or troubleshoot issues, and how events such as TwitchCon bring this community together.


Autumn_Gard is a singer-songwriter turned music producer. She is documenting her music making journey via Youtube, Instagram, and Twitch. Autumn is originally from California, but now resides in Oregon enjoying the fresh air and rain, always making music and sharing what she knows along the way. Also, she loves pizza, sushi, and matcha tea.


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

It was the summer of 2015. I was on my way to a spinal decompression therapy session with my little brother. I had just herniated my disc from Brazilian Jujitsu. I remember feeling crappy because BJJ was something super fun I did and didn't know what to do with my time while I was healing. "You should get on TWITCH," my brother suggested. That night we researched what we needed to set up a stream, bought a Logitech camera, and that's how it started! I actually started off with playing OSU. It wasn't until later on in the year that I realised a music category had been added; I think it was still in it's beta phase. Since I had already known how to set up the stream from gaming, transitioning to music streams was just a natural step for me. Music has always been my number one passion.


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

Yes I have a list.

1. check all technical stuff; make sure it's working;

2. do vocal warmups;

3. make sure I have a boat load of water!


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

Live streaming is definitely a huge commitment. And I'll admit recently with the madness of 2020, I've had to take a break from it to take care of some things. Ultimately what keeps me coming back is the community. There are some really genuine people in the music communities; streamers and viewers. When you've spent countless hours making memories on stream with your community, developing inside jokes, sharing stories, collaborating on songs, it makes you feel really close to your Twitch family. To this day, even when I'm not streaming, I still talk to my Twitch fam via discord, twitter, etc. 


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

Most challenging Twitch experience... Probably dealing with technical issues. For example my webcam never seems to look very sharp. I've had 2 other music streamers come over and try to help me fix my settings with no luck. Maybe something's up with my computer; who knows! Haha!


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

Oh definitely! From the beginning it's been a very supportive community. Something that I find pretty awesome is a lot of times, bigger music streamers will purposely find smaller music streamers to raid to "make their day." The fact that someone with a large following would want to share their audience with a smaller streamer tells you a lot about how the music community operates within itself. It's all about growing together as a community.


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

Covid-19 has been hard. My hours at my main job were cut, so I ended up picking up another job on top of it. The 2nd job has taken a lot of energy out of me. But recently I got my main job back in full force; thank goodness. 


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

I don't really find it a challenge to upgrade the stream, it's the technical stuff that can get challenging. For example, one day my audio is working great! The next day the audio is making a buzzing noise, or my internet goes out. That's the really annoying stuff. 


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

My Twitch fam has really helped give me something that I've always struggled with: confidence. I used to be super shy, and still can be at times! I was always scared to be myself, because being myself means being really weird, silly, singing my heart out, playing instruments not so well, haha! But streaming on Twitch has really helped me find a community of awesome people that make me feel 100% okay with being myself; I hope that anyone that comes into my stream feels the same. 


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

Have fun. Whatever you decide to stream, it really helps if it's something that you would be doing even if nobody was watching. With that mentality, your viewer count will matter less and less, people will see that you're genuinely having fun doing what you're doing, and you'll feel happy doing your thing on stream whether it be with or without a bunch of viewers. 


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

I'd like to do more music production related streams. I want to get more comfortable producing on stream in general. I'd also love to have more collaborative music production streams. I love creating music, so the more I can do that and incorporate the Twitch fam in the process, the better!


bobczak (pronounced bob-chuck) is a 27 year old singer-songwriter and music streamer from Warsaw in Poland. Bob is a fan of sadboi songs, looping, weird conversation topics, energy drinks and trying to rap faster than he is capable of. Bob also makes original music as Flying Hippo.


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

So, I'm a bit of a dinosaur in that regard. Initially I started watching League of Legends streamers on own3d.tv and sometimes also on a competing site called justin.tv, which eventually turned into Twitch.tv.


A couple of years later (May 2016), my friend told me about other kinds of content existing on Twitch and sent me a link to a music channel called a_couple_streams (which pretty much everyone in the music community knows by now). I started watching music streams more and more, and slowly got myself a bit deeper into the music community.


At the same time, I always wanted to stream League of Legends, but my computer was never good enough, so the moment I finally had an 'acceptable' laptop (July 2017), I started streaming League of Legends (in Polish) with occasional music streams (in Polish/English) on the weekends. After 3 months of grinding League streams, I had an insane average viewership of around 3 people and as the time went by, I was slowly transitioning from using Polish and playing mainly League on stream, to using English and playing more and more music. After a couple of months the transition was complete and I stuck with music and English to this very day.


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

Mostly just doing a vocal warmup, plugging everything in, setting up the lighting, cameras, sound levels, browser tabs/applications, tuning the guitars, preparing some water to drink on stream. Then I choose the music for the 'Starting soon' screen, prepare a Discord notification to post, start the stream and go to the bathroom while the chosen song plays. I also say 'o' right before the actual stream starts.


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

A couple years back, I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do in my life, but I knew I most likely would not be capable (mentally) of working a 9-5 job, let alone for most of my life. So at one point I decided to drop out of university (I was studying IT), partially to avoid having 'job security' that would be tempting to fall back on. Ironically I've been working in an IT department at the same place for a couple years now, but I've been allowed to work a 3/4 shift, which is a big deal for me time-wise (I feel like it'd be much harder to keep up with streaming if I worked a full 8 hour shift).


I also wondered what I'd like to do if I didn't have to worry about the money and my initial idea was to play music and travel the world doing so. So I decided to go on a little musical journey of: trying to improve myself month by month, streaming consistently, writing and releasing original music and seeing where that takes me. My job provides me the money to keep doing it, and this journey is what motivates me to keep going - I don't know the final goal, but I try to focus on the direction instead, go one step at the time and hope that it will all make sense one day.


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

I feel like the most challenging thing for most streamers is... Numbers. I started calling it "Streamer's Curse", because every streamer I knew of, was at some point of their streaming journey worrying about numbers and comparing themselves to others. It's very easy to fall into this trap of overthinking the meaning of numbers and having pretty much your own happiness level dependent on them. I don't think I'd believe if anyone who treats streaming seriously said that numbers don't affect them at all, or that they never compared themselves to others. I feel like we can try to focus on ourselves, but the Curse is always somewhere there. We can try to minimise its effects though. Turning off viewer count a long time ago was one of the best decisions I've made. Also our brains tend to set up the goals higher and higher automatically, so trying to 'calm it down' and setting the expectations a bit lower can definitely help. Taking a moment to appreciate things we already have is another helpful way of dealing with it.


Another partially connected challenge, was accepting that Twitch isn't necessarily always 'fair' and can be quite random. You just gotta get ready to try to help the odds and just keep doing your best.


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

Definitely. I came into the music community after multiple years of watching gaming content on Twitch, so I was pretty used to trollish/toxic behaviour being the norm. After seeing how nice pretty much everyone in the music community was, I was pretty blown away. I still see how welcoming everyone is towards any new streamers or viewers in the music community, and I'm also trying to be a part of that 'positivity culture'.


It's also always nice to know there's some people you can relate to, or someone you can talk to if needed.


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

Initially COVID caused me to work from home, so I could work in the morning, start a stream earlier than normally and then finish work in the evening. I also started eating more delivered (= usually less healthy) food. So the main changes were: ability to start streams earlier (which was nice) and physically feeling a bit worse because of fast foods and less human contact.

Currently I'm working from the office again, so I'm back to the old ways. 2nd wave of COVID might be happening in Poland though, so I could be back to remote work soon.


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

In my case, the tech upgrades were mostly happening naturally: I felt like I wanted to improve something -> I researched products that could help me achieve it -> I tried implementing it. I have to admit that sometimes I was a bit lazy about some potential upgrades though, for example it took me way too long to get some OK lighting and a curtain to cover my window and make the room brightness much easier to control.


I do sometimes struggle with wanting to improve my sound, but not really knowing how to do it (gain staging is a bit frustrating with my current gear). It might eventually require me to switch to using a DAW instead of going full hardware, but for now I'm trying to get the most out of my current setup. I do already have some ideas for sound upgrades in the future though.


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

Immensely. Twitch is the thing that takes the most of my daily time outside of work. I talk with my community daily on Discord, and streaming schedule is what defines the week for me currently. I met a lot of cool people on TC EU 2019 in Berlin, even had some people coming to Poland for a meetup, which we made into 'a thing' and called BobCon. I found a girlfriend (fellow music streamer from NA) whom I dated for ~1.5 years - she lived with me for 2 months in Poland and I also got to visit her first in Canada and later in US, which feels pretty crazy to think of (I've never been anywhere outside of Europe before that). Definitely made some great memories I'll never forget and it also 'opened up my world' and taught me a lot.


But Twitch has also ruined my vocabulary. It's often very tempting to say something is 'Pog' or 'monkaS' IRL...


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

Hide the viewer count. Be patient. Learn to talk to yourself and enjoy it. Prepare at least an OK audio-video setup (basic lighting + HD webcam + a cheap solid mic). Be patient. Keep doing your best. Remember that Twitch can be random sometimes and you don't have control over everything. Technical difficulties happen. Be patient and keep going your best. Small long-term growth is more important than a big temporary spike. Appreciate things as they come. Enjoy the journey.


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

From stuff partially connected to the stream: getting better musically (that's my constant goal), recording and releasing an EP (already halfway through!), and writing more originals to play on stream. Other than that: getting better as a streamer (overall, music aside), learning more songs, creating new loops, more content, custom alerts, and most importantly - even more cool and colourful socks (apparently a lot of people only come to my stream for the socks now 😬).


brooklyndoran is a singer-songwriter from Ontario in Canada. Interested in music from an early age and a natural performer, Brooklyn has been drawing audiences in with engaging storytelling and emotional honesty. Brooklyn's debut EP There's A Light On was released in 2014 supported by fans through a Crowdfunding campaign and, as well as streaming on Twitch, she is currently in the studio working on her next music release.


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

A friend of mine had just started streaming on the platform and told me about the music category. What really appealed to me was the idea that the charm of live streaming was in the off-the-cuff nature of it all, and having a space to present a less polished version of myself. My approach was to treat Twitch like a long-form vlog without the need to edit. So far I have taken my Twitch followers on tour with me, to the studio, to concerts and out into nature where we kayak and fish and hike. Also, I like to play cute indie games too.


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

If I am in my little streaming space, I always light a candle. If I am out and about, I just press play and go for it! I always have water nearby.


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

I treat live streaming as a hobby. When I don’t want to stream, I don’t stream. If I need to take a break for a while, I take one. When I am motivated to try something new, I try it! The beauty of live streaming is that you can make it whatever you want!


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

I find that Twitch could stand to be a bit more of an inclusive space. A lot of streamers, especially those of us who are womxn, queer, or people of colour; face so much hatred and bigotry masked behind the anonymity of a cute username. The first few weeks of trying to find your footing in a new space, especially if you haven’t brought your audience with you from another platform- is tough. I’ve been streaming for a little over a year, and I’ve just now finally found a really incredible and welcoming audience.


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

There are so many incredible artists on there that I love to watch and support in their chats. Since the pandemic, I have seen a lot of my friends in the Toronto music industry begin to stream on Twitch and that has also been really lovely to see and support.


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

Because of Covid-19, I made the decision to spend the summer back in my hometown with my mom, while I was out of work. Because of that, I really leaned into streaming in the “Travel and Outdoors” category. Having the opportunity to showcase the place where I came from is really exciting and I’m so happy I was able to show people how beautiful it is where I grew up. Being able to do that breathed a new love of streaming into me, and for that I’m really grateful.


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

I am not going to lie, there is such a learning curve when it comes to OBS and overlays and all of that jazz. I’m really lucky to have found a really exceptional mod team who are able to help me out with that stuff.


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

Twitch is a great social media platform, especially because the algorithm of the browse page continually pushes audience members to keep looking for new content creators. I’m able to create long-form content and to find new audiences that I can then direct towards my music. I think that is a beautiful thing.


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

It doesn’t have to be perfect right as you start. Try mobile streaming before you invest in the whole set up. Do an activity you like! People love watching someone who is unabashedly themselves, and who take joy in the activities that they are doing on stream. F**k the numbers!


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

I’d love to continue streaming a variety of content. As the winter months progress, I will more likely be doing more gaming and music content with the odd outdoor stream thrown in. Once musicians are able to tour again, I’d love to continue taking the stream on my adventures on the road. My phone has a great data plan, so showcasing all of the beautiful cities and towns that I tour through as an artist is a priority for me. 


Dree (DreeMonMusic) is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles. Dree began as a dancer backing up other artists but after an accident she began writing songs as a therapeutic outlet. Eventually getting back to her dancing career for a while, the music seed had been planted and eventually took over. Dree has performed at such coveted locations as the prestigious Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and the acclaimed NAMM showcase. Her vision is super funky, feel good, energetic, retro and contagious, while remaining deeply personal.


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 a couple of fellow streamers who had delved in after the Covid outbreak. I wanted to maximise my exposure as a new streamer and thought I'd check out Twitch without really knowing anything about it. So glad I did! 


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

Before I go live, I always check StreamElements and my stats to make sure my overlays, goals, and text are up to date. I warm up my vocals as I am a singer, grab water and set aside any props that I might need for the stream. 


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

I am motivated by the amazing comments, bits, and subs that people throw my way. I love the energy of the audience and I can feel them through the screen. I think we as streamers set the tone but the more the audience can interact and take advantage of emotes, community building and the twitch features or things that trigger alerts the more we have to play off of and that can give me 2nd and 3rd winds quite often. 


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

So far the technological aspects in regards to sound routing have been challenging. I did have help troubleshooting thankfully and after quite a few streams I was about to get the sound and video where I wanted but it took some time as I needed to work my way up with both gear and knowledge and had to do it quickly.  


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

I have found Twitch music streamers to be generous with their time and support. The raid feature is pivotal and game changing. I also have found that music streamers here want to build community by being a part of yours and inviting you to theirs. I always feel welcome by other streamers here. 


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

Covid actually got me into streaming which was a positive side-effect for me, as I hadn't done it prior to. I have found it challenging to switch to all virtual gigs and make exactly the same income as I did from live gigs but it's been growing every month and it's like my baby that I watch grow all the time and feel so proud of. I don't have that same satisfaction from live shows, nor the same close knit community vibes. Thankful that I could find a positive like live streaming out of an otherwise unfortunate situation. Twitch is really a light for so many. 


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

Totally! It's challenging to upgrade, know what and how to upgrade and do it! But it is do-able. Where there's a will there's a way. I have gotten comfortable with certain aspects of my stream but my mods know, I'm ALWAYS trying to one up myself. I have a lot of ideas I'd love to incorporate as time goes on. 


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

Twitch live streaming definitely showed me that I can do music performance from anywhere which is extremely liberating. It reinforced that I can build something and people will come.  It brought me new fans and supporters that I can connect with on a deeper level that I feel are invested and truly want to see me succeed musically. I appreciate the Twitch experience greatly. 


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

Do your research, watch lots of streams, get involved in the community and ask questions!  Everyone is truly so helpful and there's no reason not to ask. YouTube videos also provide a lot of how-tos from Streamlabs features to lighting ideas. Know that it is an investment of time and money to get something competitive but it's not unreasonable and it's worth it. If you don't like to network, or support others, it might not be the best platform for you, but you can still succeed at it with a great show, gear and visuals, the networking aspect is awesome though, and I highly suggest mingling with other streamers on twitch, their socials and discords. Also, if you need extra help, take a lesson, there's streamers out there who do lessons affordably and I can always recommend people. Lastly, take it in bits and pieces, it's a lot at first, so break it up into segments, a slow build is OK! 


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

I love to sing on my streams, do fun dance breaks, trigger animated vignettes of characters and inside jokes and act silly. I'd love to incorporate more songwriting, live learns, a better camera, and more cameras into the stream in the near future. I'd like to do some special streams with a green screen eventually for special events. I'd also like to make more themed nights, and add more games to the stream, the list is endless really!


Eight years into his career, Jon Black felt constrained working under his own name. His music had outgrown his singer-songwriter project, so he released an album of new material under the name FortAtlantic in 2012.


Millions of streams and thousands of miles later he returned with additional band members (Evan Railton and Tim Coulter) with the heartland-rock and synth inspired album Shadow Shaker Vol. 1 in 2017.

Drawing from classic influences like Tom Petty, Springsteen, and more modern acts like The War on Drugs, Band of Horses, Wilco, and My Morning Jacket, Black and company merged decades of influences into the first of two albums.


Songs from the second album in the series, Shadow Shaker Vol. 2 are now starting to be released with the first one being Summer’s Ending - a song about leaving a season of your life behind and moving forward. For 2020 and into 2021 the band plans to release new songs every 6 weeks with additional content in-between like vlogs, live performances, and live streams to continue developing the wonderful community that’s formed around the band.


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

I’ve loosely followed live-streaming platforms for the past 10 years with ustream and Justin.tv. When they rebranded/split to Twitch it popped up on my radar. A year or two ago I started researching what platforms were out there that would make sense to play music on and that’s when I discovered Twitch Music. I watched A Couple Streams and realized that there’s so much potential with music and live-streaming platforms. Their quality is second to none IMO.


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

I don’t have too many pre-stream routines other than panicking and completely missing the time I said I was going to go live. I stream from my studio and since I do a lot of writing/recording the set up is always in a state of flux. It can really change from day-to-day so I have a few diagrams and input lists floating around that I try to reference. It always takes me more time than I think.


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

My first motivation to stream came from wanting go connect with people that may or may not have a chance to hear me play live but then I realised that as much as it’s a performance platform it’s equally, if not more, a community building platform. I also don’t want to be one of those musicians that embraces technology and that desire also motivates me to stream.


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

There are two challenges that I’ve faced with Twitch and I’m sure it’s different for every streamer. First is that challenge of interest and not necessarily for the viewer but more for me. I don’t like playing a lot of covers but I also know that only playing my songs could get a little old for both myself and the viewer. Finding that balance has been hard. The other is time. It takes a lot of time to get a stream going and my time is limited these days. The time I need to be working on new material eats into time I can stream and vice versa. For the time being I think those two worlds (new material and streaming) will be the primary direction moving forward.


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

The Twitch music community (both the artists and the regulars) is truly one of the most amazing communities I feel a part of. It’s nothing but supportive and encouraging and it reminds me a lot of old local music scenes where bands and musicians would all go to each other’s shows and hang out away from the venue. It’s refreshing to be honest. The traditional music world can be cut-throat and territorial. Twitch, for now and hopefully for a long time, has a wonderful spirit of being in it together instead of competition.


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

Covid has pretty much wrecked my rhythm to streaming and making music. I’ve been wildly inconsistent with streaming since Covid hit. I’m the primary stay-at-home parent and my wife works full time so my creative world got put on hold for a bit. No pre-school, nannies, or play-dates. It sometimes felt like I was doing all I could to keep my head above the water BUT, I also can’t adequately put into words how rich and rewarding this season of just spending time with my son has been. Yeah, Covid has been strange and difficult but the joy I’ve had being a father far outweighs the negative.


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

Honestly, I don’t feel that upgrading my system or streaming tech has been that challenging because I’ve been writing, recording, and performing full time for a ~15 years. I’ve had plenty of time to collect gear and feel grateful that I’m in that position. Everything I use on stream I also use for writing and recording so it’s been nice to find a new use for the things I use daily.


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

Twitch has shown me that what I make, what I do, who I am, is worth a lot more than the validation of the traditional music industry and that’s changed me for the better. I genuinely have enjoyed getting to know the people who like what I do whether it’s just a streamer or a viewer and shifting my focus to that really has made my life better. Twitch is a massive part of that shift in perspective.


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

The advice I give people wanting to get into live streaming is pretty simple. Do it. Don’t worry about studio quality. Don’t worry if it’s just a smartphone camera. Don’t let perfection get in the way of good enough. I don’t know where I got this saying but in photography the most important camera is the one you have on you. I feel like that can translate into music and live-streaming well. Just go. It’s not about it quality as much as it is about authenticity and community.


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

I have a handful of plans for the Twitch stream. Most of them will be focused on writing, recording, and producing new music because, again, I have to be wise with how I use the time I have. I intend to do at least one music performance each month and now that we can have Amazon Prime Watch Parties I want to start some kind of music doc/concert film club where we watch a movie, chat about it, maybe bring in a few people to talk about it. My son is finally back in a morning pre-school a few days per week so my hope is that I’ll be able to establish some kind of consistent schedule.


JordinLaine is a musician, singer-songwriter, content creator, performer and entertainer from Ontario in Canada. With her deep roots in acoustic music and creativity, her songs are inspired by the journey of life itself and her music is an expression of that experience. Jordin can be found streaming 3 nights a week on Twitch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


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

I actually began streaming on a website called Mixer - that's where I started to build a community and share my music with the world. When they shut down May 2020, Twitch was the platform that made the most sense to move to as a musician and that's what brought me here!


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

Make sure I have a ton of water handy, warm up my room with a space heater, (I call it warm, my husband calls it sauna temp) and remind myself why I do what I do.


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

2 or 3 years ago I had a strong realisation that sharing music with the world was something I was really meant to do. I've always been a musician and played on and off but when I found the online world something clicked and felt just right. I create and share everyday in hopes that I might bring one person joy, a moment of peace or a smile to their face. I do it to create connections between myself, others and the music. That is really all I have ever needed to stay inspired.


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

I think coming over to Twitch from Mixer was the hardest thing I've had (and will ever have) to do! I went from a fully running, smooth sailing stream to having to learn a completely new platform and start my new channel from the ground up. Learning Twitch as a user was hard enough, let alone as a streamer and moderator - heck I still can't keep up with my mods. All that being said, most of the difficulties I experienced happened before I even hit "go live" for that first Twitch stream - The anticipation leading up to it was worse than anything. After that first stream I felt right at home.


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

I have! Especially those first few weeks - all the musicians I "bumped" into on Twitch were so kind and really sympathetic to what had happened. It was a really nice way to be welcomed onto the platform. I'm still getting used to the sheer volume of creators on this platform but slowly I'm getting to know some really stellar and talented people.


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

When Covid first hit I had a bunch of energy to hit the ground running and stream/work even more (since I'd be at home anyway)... HA! That came back to bite me real quick and I immediately got burnt out and sick. Since then I've really nailed down a balance between self/work/family/etc. It's like all those other engagements and responsibilities we had before Covid are gone now so there's so much more room to work on ourselves.


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

If I didn't work so closely with my husband I definitely would - But he is always in my ear with ideas, new gear, music equipment and upgrades I should make. Over the past few years I have learned SO MUCH about tech gear, PCs, media equipment, etc. That stuff does NOT come naturally to me but the more I learn the easier it gets. I've really been into learning about custom PC builds lately - Every part, what it does and how it changes the overall performance of the build interests me. Plus RGB = Amaze.


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

I'm not sure live streaming on Twitch has altered my life in any drastic way yet - But live streaming in general certainly has. Before I started streaming I wasn't really picking up my guitar if it weren't for the odd gig here and there. Since streaming I've been playing, writing, recording some kind of music almost daily while still paying the bills and really - that's the dream. I was lucky enough to begin streaming while I was still on mat leave so that I could kind of test the waters... It worked out so that I didn't have to go back to my previous job. Not only this but the community of music lovers that has kind of formed around me has been so beautiful to watch. I feel quite spoiled that so many have reached out with kindness, love and praise about my original music. When someone is specifically enjoying my original tracks... that's just - uff. So special.


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

I would say make sure you have clarity as to why you are starting out. There are so many reasons why someone wants to fire up a stream - their own enjoyment, to connect with others, to make money, to get noticed, as an experiment, etc. - All valid reasons to start but if you have one or two goals and they are laid out, you can then determine your next steps and how much time you can allow yourself to spend on it. This is also a great way to manage your expectations about what you want to get out of a stream. Clarity is so important.


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

Well, winter is coming so I predict a lot more time live in the next few months. I hope the extra time streaming will allow me to do some recording this winter and get some more songs out to the world! Apart from that - just continuing to vibe out to some great music and have some light-hearted fun with my community <3


MoonlightSocial are an alternative duo based out of Nashville, and are comprised of best friends Jeremy Burchard and Jennica Scott. They met as members of The University of Texas Longhorn Band and cut their teeth on the road, playing hundreds of shows across the U.S. Moonlight Social sounds like if Fleetwood Mac were Millennial kids raised on a steady diet of 90s music and sarcasm.


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

Our manager Peggy had a friend who was really excited about Twitch and its potential for musicians. We had a phone call with her in February 2019 and talked it all through and figured we’d make the leap to trying it out.


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

We always want to make sure the vibe is all set up and good with the lighting and everything. We always do a “Starting Soon” page before we get going even though we’re usually ready to go. Just have to get in the right head space. Oh, and of course we take the dogs outside to go to the bathroom and get some water for ourselves!


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

Some days are a little tougher than others, but honestly when people come in and start chatting early on it just gets the good vibes going. Early follows/cheers/subs are always really nice too, but even if it’s just people coming in and saying hi to everybody it really just reminds you what it’s all about. We also always start with a handful of tried-and-true tunes to get us feeling good before we open up the queue and start getting wacky with live learn requests etc. The best part is that people are typically VERY understanding and if you tell them you’re just not feeling a ton of energy that day, they’re totally cool with playing it chill. The fans on Twitch really are incredibly supporting of the “human” side of it all.


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

We’re in the midst of putting out a new album called ’The Carrot’ and part of our promotion for the record was streaming EVERY SINGLE DAY for the month leading up to the album…while wearing carrot costumes, lol. Needless to say, that has been the most physically challenging part of Twitch. There’s no way we could stream every single day all year. One month is more than enough to know that. However, it can also be mentally challenging sometimes when it feels like you’re kind of stagnant or not growing. There was a period where we were getting fewer viewers in the past few months than we were prior to Covid-19. Just dealing with the general “metrics” of it all can be mentally challenging, and it’s impossible not to compare yourself to others who have hundreds of viewers every stream while you’re just hoping to maintain double digits. But at the end of the day, you have to remember that it ebbs and flows, and sometimes you’re feeling down about yourself and all of a sudden you’ll get a big raid with tons of new people who love what you do and start following/cheering/subbing. You just have to remind yourself that the good far outweighs the bad over the long term.


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

Absolutely. The music community rules. It’s been so amazing to see some of our friends really commit to it and just skyrocket. We’ve seen several friends go from the hustle to full-time streamers and it’s really motivating. We’ve had tons of raids from amazing folks. It helps that we got to go to TwitchCon in 2019 and meet some of them. It’s a lot like anything else though - you tend to rise up with the people you meet who are all at the same level as you. Likewise, we’re probably more experienced in the “traditional” side of the music industry than most, so we’ve had lots of great DM conversations with other streamers where we can help them out with audio quality and questions about putting out music and all that. It’s been a really symbiotic relationship.


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

Well, we realised pretty early on we wouldn't be able to play another in-person live show for at least all of 2020, and probably beyond. We just got done with the most fun tour run of our career in November 2019. Knowing we wouldn't get another one of those for a bit inspired us to really lean into streaming and get serious about committing to a consistent schedule etc. Even when we will be able to tour in person again we’ll always stream. Even if that means creating a fun “mobile” stream set up to take on the road. It’s just a totally different kind of performance that makes both the traditional live show and the live-stream experience feel unique to each other. 


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

Yes and no. The actual audio/video side of it is a challenge at first but it’s right up Jeremy’s alley so we were able to get a solid quality stream almost immediately. However, when it comes to interactive elements of the stream, chat games, etc., we’re always looking for good ideas and the most fun ways for people to interact. Luckily music streamers get to keep things usually about the music, so you can have a really simple setup and still be perfect for your audience. The hardest thing was figuring out a good way to manage song requests and make sure the stream still had a lot of good quality performances, not just fun/random attempts at live learns etc. At the end of the day we don’t mind looking silly at all (clearly, considering the carrot costumes), but we do want people to recognize how much time we’ve put into our songwriting, performance, and overall craft. Singing nonstop cartoon covers and German songs doesn’t really allow for that, so we try to balance the hilarious dumpster fires with actual, you know, good music. 


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

It has definitely helped us reach a more international audience pretty flawlessly. We’re not anywhere near the point yet where it’s significantly supporting us financially, but we can see the path there and that’s a big deal for ANY creative. But beyond that, it’s made us realise just how much our music touches people. By far the biggest compliments come on our original tunes, and we have lots of really great conversations with people going through all kinds of things in life. The fact that we can make somebody’s day/week/month with our music and interact with people while it’s happening is really a game-changer for us. It definitely powers you through the times when you just want to bury your head in your hands. Because trying to make a career out of making music is, you know, really hard.


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

Just start. Don’t hem and haw. Don’t obsess about gear. Don’t try to copy anybody else’s stream. Just click “Go Live” and start. It’s supposed to be fun. Twitch may be one of the few places you can build an audience simply for being yourself. So do it!!


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

After we’re done doing these every day streams we’ll go back to a more consistent schedule of probably 90% music with maybe one or two Jackbox Games streams a month. We both love game nights and Jackbox is just a natural extension of that for us. If we can incorporate some performance into that as well it might be a fun hybrid of the two.


Dr. Nyce (nycenote) is a classically trained pianist and vocalist. He has received degrees from Susquehanna University (B.M. Music performance) and Bowling Green State University (M.M. Music Performance, Doctorate of Musical Arts). Since the pandemic, Dr. Nyce entered the world of live streaming and twitch. His streams strive to discover and share great music with his community, cultivate meaningful discussions, and also have some fun - emphasis on fun. The music featured on his channel spans classical piano repertoire, popular music, folk music, improvised loops, and a weekly album night, where Dr. Nyce plays through a full album which is voted on by the community.


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

My brother-in-law and some long-term high school friends of mine recommended it. Due to the lock-down, I was spending more time reconnecting with them via discord and they gave me some great advice and encouragement, so I decided to go for it.


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

I crack my knuckles.

Just kidding. This is a great question because in a live performance I definitely have my rituals. Slow deep breaths, and positive visualization are my two go-to's. However, before a stream I'm usually so involved in sound-checking, posting to social media, etc., I don't really get into any rituals. Perhaps I should. 


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

The community is a great motivator. Seeing the same folks in chat, stream after stream, feels good. You start having inside jokes, you make memories, you build a relationship. Also, I've always had a deep passion for learning new things. I went to university for over a decade for Pete's sake. Anyway, that has been a big motivator: not just learning the music, but learning the tech as well.


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

I could answer this a lot of ways. Tech, album performances, trolls, social media, etc. To be completely honest, the most challenging thing is figuring out ways to make the channel grow. There's a lot wrapped up in that in itself and one of the side-effects is a creeping sense of self-doubt. One that I've never really felt playing a live show before. After one stream I could feel over the moon and incredibly optimistic and then after the next stream I may feel hopeless. Sometimes the most challenging experiences we have are internal.


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

Oh my yes. YES. So much. More than any music community I've ever been a part of.  Windy_harper has been a fabulous supporter of the channel, as well as mechachoi, TheComplements, and Alanna_Matty, to just name a few.


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

Huge impact. Total occupation reformation. Before the pandemic, I was gigging almost every weekend, working a part-time construction job, and teaching music as well. I'm still teaching but gigs have slowed down to a trickle and I quit my construction job. The upside is that I get to spend way more time at home with my family, and I get to stream to Twitch three nights a week.


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

Yeah but I really enjoy those challenges and learning about new things. I also get a ton of help from my mods and friends who work in tech.


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

As far as my activity as a musician it's changed my life significantly. I'm learning a lot more music on a weekly basis and it's great that I can tailor the streams to facilitate that. I'm also meeting a ton of great musicians around the world which is very exciting.


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

Being self-critical and self-degrading are very different things. One is helpful and the other is not.


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

I want to make the streams more interactive at some point. I want to give the community more control over the content. I'm still brainstorming about this. I also want to add some camera angles and animations to the stream. 


pencils45 is a music and art streamer from New York and he has been playing the guitar and singing on and off in his spare time for over a decade. As well as streaming himself you may recognise the username from many other Twitch streams where Pencils mods. A lot of the songs on Pencils' song list are originals from other Twitch music streamers.


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

I first found Twitch way back in 2015 through Critical Role, a weekly Dungeons and Dragons game played by some nerdy ass voice actors, and for a long time, I only watched D&D on Twitch. I stumbled into one of lara6683's mega medleys on YouTube while looking for music to listen to while working, and I've been on a deep dive into the music community since then. Eventually I was on Twitch pretty much daily and was asked to be a moderator in a handful of places... yes, just a handful. Since I'm pretty tech savvy, I installed OBS studio on my own computer to get to know the software a bit more and help streamers with common problems, and at some point I had all my scenes set up and just randomly decided to hit the "Go Live" button before a guitar practice session. Since then, I've been streaming my guitar and singing regularly and don't see myself stopping anytime soon.


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

I usually make sure to eat a substantial meal before the stream starts because hangry me is not fun to be around, then warm up my voice a tiny bit and see how my vocal range is feeling that particular day. Other than that, it's just the usual double checking that all my bots are set up the way they're supposed to be and getting my screens set up so I can see my activity feed, chat window, OBS audio levels, and chords/lyrics at the same time.


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

I have been playing guitar and singing for a long time, just not with a camera and microphone on... Having it on or off doesn't really make a difference to me personally, I'm just doing what I enjoy doing anyway so live streaming isn't particularly tiring. The only time it was really exhausting was during SavingMusicLive when I had to be completely "on" instead of doing my normal laid back streams, but I'll happily do that sort of thing for charity.


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

The moderator experience is generally a fun and rewarding experience, but from time to time there are people who pop into chats to say nasty things to the streamer just to get attention. I have the policy of at least trying to explain why I time people out, but when it escalates to aggressive whispers directed at myself or the other moderators, it can get extremely exhausting trying to have a level headed conversation explaining why their behavior is just unacceptable in chat. From time to time, I do force myself to step away if I do get incensed after reading a particular comment, but luckily that's a rare occurrence within the music community.


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

No, they're all terrible people.


Just kidding, the Twitch music community is full of ridiculously kind and generous streamers and viewers. It's genuinely amazing to see so much encouragement between musicians here on Twitch. Streamers do occasionally raid me with my panties out though, that's always awkward.


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

Check back with me when it's over. We'll find out if I'm still sane by the end of this.


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

I usually don't have trouble with tech except for the occasional slow internet connection issues, it's a lot more challenging walking other streamers through their tech problems... One day they'll figure out their issues.


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

I'm not a trained musician by any means, so having a stream schedule has given me a set time period to regularly practice guitar and slowly improve my skills. Other than that, it's given me a way to actively tease the streamers I watch, so that's a huge plus.


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

Forget about looking at your viewer count and just focus on getting to know the people who are in your chat no matter how large of an audience you have. Also, make sure you yell at people on stream when they do generous things like donate to the charity you're supporting. That usually works well for me. They deserve it.


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

I've been trying to keep my song list to a maximum of 100, so songs are constantly being rotated in and out, but I'd love to cover a lot more Twitch streamer original songs. There's just so much amazing content out there and I do want to encourage people to wander around this tiny community and find new artists to enjoy. We'll get to 100 streamer originals eventually...


TheodorElfving is a Swedish singer-songwriter who took the leap onto Twitch in March of 2020. In his stream you can find him playing a blend of covers and originals, primarily with guitar and vocals. Theodor has a love for lyrics and especially for American folk, listing some of his inspirations as Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and Gregory Alan Isakov. Every Tuesday since February he has been putting out covers of some of his favourite songs on his YouTube channel.


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

I found out about Twitch in 2014, I was hanging out in the gaming part of it. I loved Dota 2 and was supporting a Swedish streamer who created Swedish content about the game. About two years ago I started seeing people playing music on the platform and I was intrigued. At the time I was too nervous to put myself out there. Then the pandemic happened and I thought I'd try to play some music for the people working from home. So I tried it out and I loved it.


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

Not really any rituals, I tune my guitars and do a few vocal exercises. I sit down and try to find my center. Or I run around the house trying to find a shirt, setting up the lights and camera in a hurry because I was lurking in someone's stream and forgot that I am myself live in about ten minutes.


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

The short answer is the music and the community. Playing music is something that is part of my everyday life, I can't picture myself doing anything other than that. Twitch gives me a way to connect with people in a way I never thought possible. The people who hang out in chat everyday give me so much energy. I'm quite tired after a stream, but a cup of tea and some dinner sorts that out. I come away with an energy gain everyday.


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

Slowing down and staying in the present. My mind races with all the things that I want to achieve and where I want to be at. So now I focus on enjoying everyday and the wonderful people in the community, both audience and performers.


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

The support and encouragement from the other music streamers have been incredible.

Every single person has been positive and helpful, whether it be with tech help or shout-outs. IamRichard's community took me in and helped me out when I got started, he was my first mod and taught me a lot.


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

When I first started it was an experiment and a way to stay in touch with my mother. As time has gone on I'm loving this more and more and I'm now committed to making this my full-time job. Covid-19 has changed a lot, I live in Sweden and we don't have any strict regulations but I feel bad about doing live gigs where people meet up and increase the risk of spreading the disease.


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

It is challenging for sure but it is also so much fun. There are so many wonderful resources online on how to improve certain things. Alanna Matty put out a great tutorial on YouTube on how to get started with Streamlabs OBS and with Reaper. There is always something new to learn and I love reading up about a subject. And the joys of window shopping on Thomann/Amazon!


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

It has changed a whole lot. I've felt sort of purpose-less for a while, now I have this wonderful thing to look forward to every day. It doesn't get boring, there's always something to tweak, a song to write or something to add. I love it!


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

If you have something you want to put out there, do it! Be true to yourself, do not be afraid to ask for help. There is room for everyone and we'd love to have you. And most importantly; have fun!


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

Increasing the quality both visually and audio-vise. Adding more segments, like a joint-songwriting session with the viewers. I'm looking forward to writing and performing more of my original music as well. Perhaps trying out some game streaming, playing games like Subnautica or Factorio where we can have fun in chat whilst playing.

Tina and I would both like to say a huge thank you to each of the 10 music streamers Autumn, Jasiek, Brooklyn, Dree, Jon, Jordin, Jeremy & Jennica, Zach, Pencils, and Theodor for being a part of this blog post and for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to share their replies. We would also like to extend that gratitude to the wonderful people who have taken part in this blog series so far, as linked below.

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


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