Streamer Spotlight: DJ Mish builds up Squish City
The Taiwanese DJ talks about moving to LA, love for RayRay, and growing a community on Twitch
A lot has changed in DJ Mish’s life over the past five years. She started DJing and was performing all over Taiwan, then she decided to upend her life and move to LA to learn music production. Soon, a pandemic hit and she jumped on Twitch like a lot of her friends. A year later, she’s built a loyal group of followers called Squishies that tune into her streams to listen to good music, chat, and have some fun.
LiFTED caught up with DJ Mish to get into her mind about Hip Hop, the scene in LA, and why she does squats to keep her viewers entertained on her live streams.
When did you first hear about Hip Hop?
It’s tough to answer this question because growing up in Taiwan, the “Hip Hop” that is perceived in mainstream media is very different to what Hip Hop really is. I remember hearing rap on the radio and knowing that it was Hip Hop, but I never really asked “What’s Hip Hop?” and no one ever explained to me “Let me tell you about Hip Hop.” So I guess I would hear some popular Hip Hop songs on the radio all the time but never looked into it until I started getting into DJing.
Who were some of the first Hip Hop artists you liked when you started listening to Hip Hop? Why?
When I first started listening to Hip Hop seriously, it was when Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, and 21 Savage were poppin’ off. That was around I believe 2016 or 2017. I know..I know...it’s crazy to think I’ve only been listening to Hip Hop for five years. I just didn’t grow up with it at all. I started really getting into Trap Hip Hop and liking Migos, Drake, Ty Dolla Sign, Tyga, Chris Brown, and more. There wasn’t a particular reason I got into Hip Hop, it was just new to me, it was poppin’, and the beat really hit, so it grew on me.
Tell me a little about Giva Divas.
Giva Divas is a YouTube channel that my best friend Teri and I started because we both loved Electronic Dance Music and wanted to make it more accessible to people. A lot of the information online that you can find about EDM music was mainly in English and all the DJ interviews are in English so it’s really hard for Taiwanese people to understand more about this culture. We wanted to be a gateway for Taiwanese people to learn more.
How is it to be a female DJ in a very male-dominated industry?
It’s definitely a double-edged sword. Sometimes I would get booked because female DJs tend to attract more male audiences, but at the same time I hate being booked solely due to the fact that I am a female DJ. I don’t want to be booked because of my sex, I want to be booked because of my skills. A lot of female DJs I know are just as good as the male DJs, if not better, but people rarely get past the looks. It’s good to see that more and more females are stepping up, but I can’t even count the times that I was the only female on the lineup or in the entire party.
Who are your favorite DJs? Why?
Of course RayRay is one of my favorites. She’s honestly one of the most hardworking people I know. Her talent, persistence, and strength constantly inspire me. I relate to her a lot because our backgrounds are quite similar - we both went to the same university and started DJing in college, started off with turntables, etc. She is also one of the most genuine and humble people I know, and that’s hard to come by in this industry. Another one is DJ Nu-Mark. I’ve seen him blend more than five different genres into a 20 min set so seamlessly that it almost made me cry. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to perfect that aspect of this craft and he has been an idol ever since.
I know you moved to LA to go to school for music, right? Tell me how it's been.
Correct. I moved to LA to study music production. When I moved here I didn’t know anybody. I left my entire life behind. I hadn’t even been to LA before in my whole life before I moved. It was really lonely at first because I didn’t have any family or friends here, but that pushed me to figure a lot of things out by myself and forced me to go out and socialize. In the short span of a month, I managed to secure my first gig in LA. In 2019, I was able to play 52 shows in total. That’s a big accomplishment for someone who just moved to a completely new country. It’s also one of the reasons I have decided to stay. If I can play 50 shows in my first year of moving here, imagine what I can do in the next three years!
Do you miss Taipei?
You have no idea how much I miss Taipei every single day. As much as I love LA, I miss my family and friends back in Taiwan. I miss the food, the streets, the convenience stores, the bars, the mountains. I miss everything. No matter what, Taiwan is always going to be my home. I love Taiwan more than anywhere in this world and after I’m done with my hustle here in LA I see myself bringing all my knowledge and experience back to Taiwan and hopefully making some meaningful changes in the Taiwanese music and entertainment industry.
You started getting heavy into streaming there. Why?
Mainly because of the pandemic and I was out of gigs. I saw a lot of my DJ friends start to stream so I decided to hop on it as well.
Tell me about the first time you streamed compared to now.
The first time was extremely chaotic. I didn’t have the proper equipment. I was bad at reading the chat. There was so much going on and it was really overwhelming. After a year of being on Twitch, I now have my own overlay that I made myself, I read almost every single comment in the chat, I can transition super fast, I can even do squats and little dances here and there when chat demands them. I’ve come a long way!
Give me a little description of your channel and what's going on there. If someone is to pop up on your channel what will they see?
They are definitely going to end up vibing really hard to the music and not wanting to get off. I have a lot of viewers who say “I’m going to bed” and two hours later they’re still in my chat! I play all kinds of different music but mostly chill and vibey stuff that is not too harsh and can get you in a good mood. A lot of people say it’s perfect for working, eating breakfast, or calming down right before bed. My community is also extremely friendly and warm. A lot of people get surprised by how nice my community is and they stay and end up becoming close friends with each other.
What’s a Squishy?
A Squishy is my dearly beloved viewer. My community is called Squish City and all the people there are called Squishies or Squish City residents. They are extremely wholesome! Or, as you can say, extremely squishy!
You’re doing a bit more IRL streams now. How's that going?
It’s actually going great because surprisingly the US is one of the countries that is doing well right now due to the prevalence of the vaccine. Everything is opening back up and parties and events are going on every day so there is a lot of content to show off.
What do your parents think of streaming?
They don’t really understand how it works but they’re really happy that I’m doing well with it! My parents have always been super open-minded so if I’m happy, they’re happy.
Who are some of your favorite streamers in general? Why?
I love my roommate Rekstizzy, of course. He is just super entertaining in general. I also like Oxgang, who is also my friend. Hannahducklee is a variety streamer who is extremely funny and I always laugh so much when I’m watching her. I also really like 2chengzzzzzzz, who is actually also a Squishy. I don’t really like watching big streamers because there are too many people talking or spamming and the streamer doesn’t really engage with chat that much. I don’t really like watching DJ streams either because I get too picky and invested so I end up using too much brain power when I’m watching a DJ stream. So my go-to is usually smaller channels that do Just Chatting streams.