How HeyShadyLady Reinvents Herself on Twitch

This slow burn is sure to keep you warm

HeyShadyLady is a renaissance content creator. From streaming and long-form videos to community-building, this tarot reader with a teaching streak does it all.

A portrait of HeyShadyLady - Ty Baka

Ty Baka

Ty Baka started streaming in the gaming world in 2016. Baka has a knack for reinvention, now existing as your friendly neighborhood streaming coach. What will she do next? Even she doesn’t have a clue.

"I always told my mom I wanna do whatever I want to do, and I want to get paid…and that’s kind of what I’m doing. Right now, it feels like I am in a bit of an evolutionary phase like coming out of the cocoon," she said in a phone interview with Lifewire. 

In 2020, she won the 1,000 Dreams Twitch Broadcasther Grant, which awarded her $1,000 to reinvest in her streaming career on the platform. She’s here to let the world know even small creators can cast a very large shadow. 

Quick Facts

  • Name: Ty Baka
  • Age: 33 years old
  • From: A southern gal born in Texas, but primarily raised in North Carolina, Ty had a Brady Bunch-style family, complete with her parents and six siblings.
  • Random delight: Look to the stars! Spirituality, including astrology and the occult, are huge parts of her life and streaming career.  
  • Key quote or motto to live by: "Nothing will work unless you do."

Rebel With a Cause

Throughout her life, Baka has had a tumultuous relationship with normative society. As the child of fun-loving, Southern hippies, it was all but imbued in her to be one step ahead of the culture. Her alternative style and creative disposition always were present. Whether she channeled that into educational pursuits or her art, Baka always has been a fish swimming upstream. 

Her defiant battles informed her art, which in turn informed her career choice and her eventual foray into the fluid world of content creation. There’s nothing more insubordinate than being your own boss and setting your own hours, she said. 

Her path to the status of micro-influencer is a lightly treaded one. She started older than many, but that gave her more experience and a unique sensibility that allowed her to better understand what she wanted and how to manifest it. 

"I've never felt more confident in what I represent in this world. If you don’t stand for what you are, down at the core, then that voice never exists, and it all stays at this normal status quo, and it’s never changing or evolving," she said about her experience of discovering who she was through her 20s.

A picture of HeyShadyLady - aka Ty Baka - playing a ukulele.

Ty Baka

"There’s a disservice you’re doing to a lot of people by keeping yourself to yourself."

This inspired her to create space and community for people not unlike her. Enter Offbeats, a unique community she created on Discord as a haven for Twitch outcasts. More specifically, one centered on women and queer people, and all the "dorky weirdos" she had come to associate with. 

"I wanted to make a space that celebrated witchy content like the tarot niche. It’s heavily ridiculed in the general Twitch gaming sphere," the content creator explained.  

The Witching Hour

She originally streamed popular AAA titles like Overwatch and horror games. This resulted in a predominately male fanbase that quickly soured after an unfortunate incident with a male viewer sending her a Snapchat of a screengrab of her cleavage, and saying, "More streams like this, please."

It was at that moment she began to excise the audience she had cultivated and reinvent herself with tarot, coaching, and sandbox games that attracted a more female and queer audience. Something she called "freeing."

"There’s a disservice you’re doing to a lot of people by keeping yourself to yourself."

"The scary part of being a content creator is the anonymity of the internet and becoming an object that is treated however the internet feels like treating you that day," she said, struggling with the idea of being well-known.

"I feel more confident now [and] able to express myself authentically because I've put an audience around me that supports me as an individual and not as some kind of object or an idea."”

A Taste of Success

Her first taste of viral success came with the release of her first produced YouTube video, a tutorial on how to help streamers grow their following and engage with their stream. It has amassed nearly 500,000 views since its creation and remains her most popular video to date. 

"This was just me trying to help my friends on how to talk to yourself... I watched a lot of my friends that were trying to get into streaming that would just sit there quietly and didn't know how to do it," she laughs.

"And that video blew up. Now, I get a lot of people that tell me they never would have started streaming if it hadn't been for me."

Overnight, she became an inadvertent streaming coach, flooded with requests from fledgling streamers hoping to learn how to capture the attention of an ever-elusive digital audience.

She dreamed of being a teacher and, in many ways, that is exactly what she accomplished. Her content centers around transferring information and imparting knowledge to her captive audience in ways not unlike a modern-age, digitized educator.

While she won’t name names, she’s the coach that taught your favorite Twitch Partners how to better interact with their audience and create a warm, personable brand in one-on-one coaching sessions.

That educational bent has become tantamount to the HeyShadyLady brand and where she sees her content-creation career going forward. From a typical gaming streamer to a teacher and healer. Metamorphosis and reinvention are her muses.

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