We've only been at this magazine thing for a couple months now, and while most of the DJs we've interviewed have completed their own interviews, I've been editing them to create the stories that draw you in as a reader to get to know them as talented individuals, from both their personal stories to their professional stories (hopefully you like them!).
If you've read more than one of our interviews, you may have noticed that my writing style changes depending on how well I know them personally. If I've recently met the streamer, the story may not be able to go as deep because I don't know them well yet. If I know them very well, it's like writing a biography for my friend. And the lovely, talented, and determined DJ Shorty K falls into the latter.
To make matters worse (read "better"), this was the first article put together with a 3-hour video call and personal interview. It's a format that may happen more often. There DJ Shorty K goes again, pushing not only herself to be better but also pushing me to be better. Damn!
A Personal Story About the Shorty-est of Ks
I first met DJ Shorty K during a New Year's Eve event on Twitch where we were both a part of the Discord audience. I had my kids on camera and she was adamant to get the attention of my now 2-year-old daughter who was dancing on camera. Later we found out we had both interacted earlier than that in chat under different usernames, both of us changing our usernames later to build our current "empires".
As we got to know each other better, we chatted about parenting, our music businesses and life in general. There are very few people who are as down to earth and on a mission as her. As you'll read in her interview, she's been a music nut and dancer since the day she learned to talk. Her family will tell her she's been drawn to music, eventually the DJ decks, most of her life. Of course, we all deal with chasing our dreams while juggling the reality of supporting family, education, and life in general. But none of that has deterred her from staying the course and finally getting there, even if it did take awhile (personally, I can relate!).
While the "Year of COVID" certainly forged a ton of new and memorable global friendships and business relationships for me, I'd have to say that getting to know DJ Shorty K and her story ranks in my top 3. She's a true Irish gem that deserves everything coming to her, both now and in the future.
An Interview with DJ Shorty K
STL: What music got you started as a DJ?
SK: As a child, my dad was always listening to music. I started with Elvis and 80s music through his influence. As I got older, I discovered pop via TV shows, such as Top of the Pops, and was really big into that.
As a teenager, I started discovering hard trance. The first track I heard was Sandstorm by Darude (wasn't it for everyone?). After playing that track over and over in my bedroom and dancing like a nut job (that hasn’t changed!), I discovered a local pirated radio station that shone a spotlight on the hard dance scene. I’d record it with my cassette tape player. Back in those days, we didn’t have the wizardry and magical spells baked into Shazam to tell us the tracks. It was then I discovered hardstyle and hardcore: hardstyle, such as Alex Kidd and Showtek, then D-Block & S-te-Fan.
I love the fact that hard trance was the one that hardstyle evolved from. It’s been a thrill to see how the genres have evolved from hard trance to more industrial sounds (much to the varying opinions of my audience... hahaha).
I then discovered UK Happy Hardcore, through DJs such as Brisk, S3rl, and Darren Styles. Later on, around my late teens I discovered uplifting trance and tech trance. And since I was about 13, I've always been a lover of Hands Up. All of the other genres just followed as my taste in the harder styles continued to develop and grow.
STL: What is your preferred music genre(s) to spin/mix?
SK: I’m a multi-genre DJ. I don’t have a personal preference, I like them all. It’s all down to the production work of the tracks and how they make you vibe and feel. It’s all about the high energy for me (even uplifting trance).
STL: What is your favorite stream you have done?
SK: I have a few favorites, but my overall favorite would have to be my birthday raid train back in January 2021. It went from Friday to Sunday, over 72 hours, with 12 DJs. It was the first and last time I drank on stream (because everything got smashed: my tip goal, my follower goal, my headphones, but not me LOL). It was the first time I experienced high viewer count as well!
STL: What made you become the DJ you are today?
SK: I had all the equipment in my room doing nothing, looking pretty (and collecting dust). Then I was fortunate enough to have Chicago-based artist DJ Cicco come along and give me a kick in the ass to get started with that dusty gear, teaching me through Discord, a half a world away. Since I pushed that "Go Live" button for the first time, the Twitch community, my mods, and their support have pushed me and made me go deeper into my career. Without their love and support, I would not be the streamer I am today.
STL: What is your favorite meal?
SK: My favorite dish is an Italian cuisine, spaghetti bolognese with parmesan cheese and garlic bread. OMG yummy LOL. Next in line would probably be lasagna, followed by chicken curry (an Ireland staple).
STL: What other DJ/artist/producer/influencer do you inspire to be most like?
SK: It really depends based on each genre I love:
- In uplifting tech trance, I am inspired by the works of Liam Melly and Billy Gillies.
- In the hard trance sector, I am inspired by Dark By Design, Renegade System, and Scot Project.
- In reverse bass, there’s only one: Francesco Zeta.
- In hardstyle it would be Alex Kidd, D-Block & S-te-Fan, and Headhunterz.
- In happy hardcore, I would have to say S3rl, Brisk, and Weaver.
- In regards to fellow Twitch streamers, there are a few I really looked up to who helped me get started and still support me to this day: DJ Cicco, DJ Mixy, PSYMILL, DJ St Luke (Bored Ravers), DJ Amber D, and DJ Bouncy. There are loads more, but way too many to mention. :). The best thing about my Twitch family is that we are all equal and on a level playing field. We do not think we are better than each other, rather we support and lift each other up!
STL: Who else in your family is a musician?
SK: No one. I was the sole person in my family to be inspired by that banging bass, and the rest is DJ Shorty K history (because I’m a hard bass slut LOL).
STL: How would you describe the energy in your streams and chat?
SK: On rare occasions it can be quiet, but as soon as I put my “naughty shorty” game face on, the chat can get raunchy quickly! The high energy causes the moistness to flow through the chat and ignites the “raving and misbehaving” my chats are famously known for.
STL: What is your favorite drink?
SK: Alcohol-wise, Jager-Bombs (Jagermeister and Red Bull) and Skittle Bombs (alcohol and skittles!). The most recent drink that tickles my taste buds would be Jack and Coke (after thinking I hated whiskey for years before). When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks I love Red Bull / Kong Strong (energy drink), tea and water (boring I know).
STL: How much has Twitch changed over the COVID-19 lockdown for you?
SK: I joined Twitch during the pandemic in April 2020 and started as a DJ streamer September 1, 2020. It made lockdown less boring and more interesting! LOL September 1st was the day my life changed for the better, making me who I am today and allowing me to follow my dream as a DJ, and hopefully one day becoming a producer.
STL: What is your biggest change since becoming a Twitch DJ?
SK: It’s been an overwhelming journey so far. I started my career on Twitch not expecting to get where I am today. It started as a hobby, having fun, trying to progress on the love I have for wanting to be a DJ. When I took that plunge, I never thought that after 6 months of being on the platform that I would have had the chance to be offered Partner on Twitch, nor would I have imagined almost being to 5,000 followers, and meeting some of the DJs/producers listed above in my influencers list. The love and support that I have been getting from the community and from well-known DJs and producers is beyond inspirational. I’ve fulfilled some of my dreams by meeting some of my DJ idols, and hope to meet more in the future.
STL: If you could give any advice to a new streamer, what would it be?
SK: The first thing I would advise them to do is to make sure they have all the equipment they need. Ask or investigate other streamers to make sure you’re prepared/ready. Always have a microphone because it’s huge to engage with your community via voice. Being able to “talk” and listen to a DJ helps as a viewer.
Having cameras so people can see you is huge. Your community loves to see your reactions.
Play music you love to play because it draws a community of similar genre lovers, and playing music for others you don’t like can come across as less authentic.
Always have that one person that keeps you level-headed, such as a family member, moderator, community member, or another streamer. And don’t let Twitch get inside your head, the platform or the community. Stay authentically you! People can see through the BS and it can hurt your stream over time.
Finally, don’t stress about numbers. Some have high, some have low, but if you stress about them you’ll stress yourself out and change the vibe in your stream. Twitch is like any other platform. You’ll have raving fans, and you will get people who may be jealous of you. If this ever happens, it means you’re doing something right. Keep your head up, you got this! Be yourself, people want to get to know the real you.
STL: How do you think things will change as lockdowns end and venues come back online?
SK: I will continue to be a Twitch streamer. It’s where my roots are and where I started. In time, I hope to start getting some gigs in clubs and begin meeting my Twitch community in person. It would mean the world to me to see the fans and people I’ve met on Twitch rock out to my mixes in person! I want them to see that this person they see on the stream is the same person they’ll meet in real life: always raving and misbehaving!
STL: If you are adding live shows to your Twitch line-ups, are you excited or nervous to add this change or go back?
SK: I will be pretty nervous. I’m always pretty nervous before streams too, so that won’t change. But if I’m looking at a crowd and I see the smiles on their faces, it will bring peace to me, calm my nerves, and make me feel better about what I am doing as an artist. To see that appreciation on my fans’ faces would make the change exciting. I already imagine what their faces look like based on the comments and banter that happens from them in my chats.
STL: What is one message you would give to your fans?
SK: I would like to thank them for the love and support during my Twitch career so far. It’s been tremendous and overwhelming and I will forever be grateful. I will never forget how they made me feel loved and appreciated for just being me and doing what I love. Keep that inspiration going, because even if you don’t realize it, that is helping the streamers through highs and lows in their career and their life. We as streamers reciprocate that by also helping our community through their own highs and lows.
STL: Are you a producer as well? If you are, is it more of a hobby or do you have bigger plans/dreams for your music?
SK: Not yet, but I hope to produce my own tracks one day. I am currently writing lyrics for tracks and hope to one day use them on my own productions or collaborations with other producers.
STL: What made you want to become a musical artist / DJ?
SK: From the first day I could talk, I have been musically attuned. As I got older, I developed a greater love for music. Then I started to get into the idea of wanting to be a DJ. However, growing up in Ireland, there always seemed to be an economic reason or other lack of funding to keep me from getting there. Finally, I decided to take out a personal loan to fund my gear, and to date it has been paying for itself in a huge way, and I am forever grateful.
STL: Did you play any instruments or have any musical interests in school?
SK: LOL, I played the tin whistle (because I’m Irish, get it? HAHA). I also did Irish dancing, hip hop dancing, and then Zumba. Now I’m a DJ streamer that dances like a dancing monkey on crack! HA!
STL: What strengths do you have that you believe make you a great DJ / performer?
SK: The fact that I have a huge interest in the music industry. It’s always something I wanted to do. I’m a very loving, caring and community oriented person. By this I mean I like to help new streamers who are trying to get to Twitch Affiliate and guide them to the best of my ability. The same goes for me and my friends. I am a great listener as well as a potty mouth (I’ve mastered this well).
STL: Do you have any weaknesses that you’re actively working to improve on?
SK: I am working through some mental health issues, as well as improving on any screw ups I make on stream (potty mouth is a result of this, as you’ve witnessed on stream). If anyone can relate, just know that it is ok not to be ok, and if anyone ever needs an ear I am always available to be that ear.
STL: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
SK: I like photography, dancing, and am a car enthusiast.
STL: What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next 5 to 10 years?
SK: I hope to be producing tracks, hosting raves and gigs, and living the DJ dream. Despite my height, I hope to be reaching for the stars and live with purpose.
STL: What is it about music that makes you feel passionate?
SK: I don’t just connect to the lyrics, I connect to the beat as well. I can listen to each part of the song and take something away from it, however lyrical tracks tend to speak to me more. Also I feel male vocals pack more of a punch, especially during the drops.
STL: How did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in music / performing?
SK: You just know when you know. You feel a connection and music has always been something I’ve turned to as a form of support through both difficult times and enjoyment. Music is my everything.
STL: In the future, when you look back on your life, what would make you say “I have no regrets’?
SK: Knowing that I took the steps I needed to pursue the music career I always dreamed of instead of ignoring it and getting a "real job" like the world tells you to do. I would encourage others to do the same because I’m the type of person that likes to inspire and uplift others.
STL: Is there anything or anyone else you'd like to acknowledge or promote?
SK: I’d like to thank my family for helping me out by caring for my children while I stream. Without them my dream chasing would not be possible, and I will always be grateful for that. It helped kickstart my career.
I’d also like to give a heartfelt thank you and acknowledgement to my moderators and the community on and off stream. The support has been amazing.
I’d also like to thank every streamer who is a member of my Twitch team, RaveStylez Krew, and for joining me on this journey. I do hope that one day (when the world returns to normal) that I can get all the members of the RaveStylez Krew together for a party so we can mix back to back!
I would like to thank StreamTribe for taking the time to interview me and giving me the opportunity to share my story with my community and the world.
Catch DJ Shorty K on Twitch
If you're excited to experience this up and coming DJ's performance, you can find her on her Twitch channel during the following schedule:
- Mondays - Moist Music
- Tuesdays - Tuesday Trance Team
- Thursday - Moist Music
- Saturday - Moist Music