How Twitch Music Streamer Calvin Thomas's Dreams Came True

It just took a little confidence

Update September 13, 2021: Corrects fifth paragraph to state Calvin Thomas was born and raised in Miami, not Ft. Lauderdale. Story was originally published September 3.

By mixing a crescendo of unparalleled musical skill with an air of professionalism and the ease of hobbyism, Calvin Thomas knows how to draw in a crowd,

With his stream, CalvinThomasMusic, routinely featured on the Twitch homepage, Thomas's afternoon streams can garner as many as 7,000 concurrent viewers who relax to the tunes of his original music. In just 2 1/2 years on the platform, he has become a new-age professional musician in the era of the streamer. 

Calvin Thomas on Twitch.

Calvin Thomas

Thomas started on the now-defunct Twitter livestream platform, Periscope, then was nurtured by the supportive disposition of the Twitch music scene. Thomas now has an upcoming EP and an ever-growing base of supporters; he’s bringing unadulterated melodic fun and levity to the world of livestreaming, complete with an XL pizza placard adorned on his wall.  

"Music is the only thing that’s kept me sane. It’s been the only real thing I can say I’m good at. It’s always been a part of my life since I was a kid," Thomas said during a phone interview with Lifewire. "When I think about how big the channel is and how far it has come, I think this is crazy. It really is surreal to see’s moving so fast, and I gotta keep up with it." 

Quick Facts

  • Name: Calvin Thomas
  • Age: 30
  • Located: Maryland  
  • Random delight: All in the family! Calvin’s father was a professional musician who played blues, jazz, and gospel music. He and his three brothers all tried their hand at music to differing degrees of success over the years along with one of his cousins.
  • Motto: "Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is."

Chasing the Music

Born and raised in Miami before eventually moving to Maryland, Thomas said his family was full of music lovers. "We have a big family. I remember we’d go to my grandmother’s house with my cousins, and we would just listen to all the music and sing and stuff. It was fun times," he recalled. 

As the child of a musician, Thomas's love of music predates his own understanding as a child banging shelves in a grocery store to create percussive beats to the dismay of shoppers. As a homeschooled kid, Thomas recalls his parents nurturing his artistic predilections. Getting his first electric guitar at 13 would change the course of his life. 

Largely self-taught, Thomas always has been musically inclined. Instrumentation, he says, just comes naturally to him as he’s picked up new and different instruments for "adding more color" to his music. His journey to self-discovery as a musician and his potential for success faltered for years. 

Calvin Thomas Performing on stage.

Calvin Thomas

He went to school for computer engineering thinking it was his calling until one day, after working an odd job at a music store, he decided to try his hand at performing. His cousin introduced him to Periscope and livestream performing. This would change the trajectory of his life and become the catalyst to the fulfillment of his dreams

Finding His Rhythm 

Around 2018, many livestream musicians began a mass exodus from smaller, mobile platforms like Periscope and YouNow. Thomas, not one to be left behind, followed along and began streaming on Twitch in November 2018. With new OBS tools and increased audio fidelity, he saw it as the ideal platform for his performance-based music streaming. 

He had difficulty converting his mobile platform-based audience to Twitch, but it wasn’t long before he found his groove and cultivated a new, eager audience. Audiences kept coming back to hear his tunes, and now he has 20,000 followers and thousands of concurrent viewers sticking around.

"I didn’t know if I could even get that far. I think the stream was more ahead of me than I was of the stream. I had to catch up," he said. "People on my stream say it’s well-deserved, and I think so too without trying to sound cocky. We’ve come a long way with so many changes visually and sonically."  

Music is the only thing that’s kept me sane. It’s been the only real thing I can say I’m good at.

Change is the word that defines Thomas’s path. Discontent with allowing his dream to fade, the risk he took created the opportunity he enjoys now. Becoming a professional musician who performs online and in real life to sustain himself is a dream nearly a decade in the making. 

"I saw my dad do I really wanted to become a professional musician...but I didn’t have the confidence to do it. I didn’t think I’d be able to make a living," he said. "It took years for me to bring it to fruition. I found the confidence to say I can be a professional musician, and now I’m doing it full-time. It’s still surreal."

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