The 7 Best Twitch Channels to Follow for Music Discovery
You may be thinking - Why Twitch? It’s probably not the first platform that comes to mind for music discovery. If that’s so, you’re missing out.
Last year, artists and fans were forced to get creative with how music is created, shared, and experienced during lockdown.
Live-streaming boomed, and Twitch, in particular, became a driving force in consumption. Overall viewership on the platform grew 117% from January 2020 to January 2021.
Looking even closer, music viewing hours on Twitch grew a whopping 428%, making it one of the fastest growing categories on the platform, which has historically been recognized for gaming.
At first glance, one might suspect livestream consumption is a flash-in-the-pan trend that will wear off after the pandemic, but even as of May 2021, music on Twitch continues to outperform with a record 25 million hours streamed that month.
Similarly, a recent survey by Mandolin showed that “91% of people who watched livestreams during the pandemic will continue to watch them even when in-person events return.” All this is to say, Twitch isn’t going anywhere.
Alright, so what channels should you be following?
With this new spike of viewers has also come a wide swath of creators flocking to the platform. DJs, rappers, songwriters, cover artists, and A&Rs have all fought to carve out their niches on Twitch in recent months. Here are 7 of our favorite rising Twitch music channels.
1. HELL YES! / VoicesChris
Chris Martignago is a former A&R of Atlantic Records, and current A&R at Prescription Songs. Based in Nashville, Chris has an ear (and meaningful feedback) for any good music, no matter the genre. He often hosts musical guests to listen to demo drops live with him, and provide live feedback.
Whether you’re a songwriter doing market research for your next single, or just looking for some undiscovered tunes for your next playlist, check out the HELL YES! stream from VoicesChris, live on Wednesdays @ 7-9pm CT.
2. Before The Data
Formerly the curation behind HillyDilly, Before the Data was formed by Chad Hillard in 2020 as a new source for music discovery.
Hillard’s philosophy on music curation: “here’s a dope song, take it or leave it. We don’t care about our stats, we don’t care if you come back. It’s just people sharing great songs” (ELEVATOR).
Before The Data hosts Feedback Sessions on Twitch on Thursdays @ 4-6pm CT, with genres ranging from rap and indie r&b to all variants of pop and downtempo.
KayvanMD is an Artist Relations Director at Genius, a general A&R and manager, and curator of the popular #FreshPicks playlist on Audiomack. Kayvan has built a strong (and ever-growing) community of producers, rappers, and pop artists, as he regularly showcases and reviews new music at the end of every week.
Dani Deahl is a Chicago-based DJ and producer with a core following and regular Twitch schedule. Between dropping original tunes, spinning demos, and chatting about music and tech, Dani’s channel is for music that makes you move: ”My heart belongs to all kinds of dance music - from future house to techno to moombahton - but I also love hip-hop, disco, stuff that can't be defined, and a good themed set.”
AltruCreative is a multifaceted music studio, artist development, and discovery channel based in Nashville, TN. Altru regularly hosts takeovers with producers and artists, as they record live in the studio. You can also catch an occasional DJ set to hype up your weekday afternoons.
Who says you can’t stay up on a school night? Co-founded by KCRW DJ Chris Douridas and Matt Goldman, this LA-based showcase hosts live performances and interviews with indie artists around the world.
Find your next music obsession on itsaschoolnight, Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm PT / 8pm ET.
7. There Is Light
There Is Light is a multinational music discovery channel, streaming live from the US and UK every week.
In collaboration with BrooklynVegan and DIY Magazine, There Is Light has hosted stellar performances from JPEGMAFIA and 99 Neighbors to Dan Deacon and Flock of Dimes.
Catch There is Light on Tuesdays live from the US at 5pm PDT / 8pm EDT and Sundays live from the UK at 6.30pm BST.
NOT 97, a play on the hugely popular HOT 97 station, is famously “NOT a radio show, and NOT a podcast.” But they are one of the best music curators in the game, and they’re on Twitch.
Unfortunately, NOT 97 hasn’t streamed in a while, thus the honorable mention title. However, the brand is expected to launch a Season 8 series soon, so give their channel a follow to stay in the loop.
Athena Yasaman / The Lot Radio
Athena has influenced many of us through curating Fresh Finds at Spotify, and now hosts live reviews for some of the best rising hip-hop, electronic, and whatever else might break. Although Athena hasn’t streamed recently, watch this space: