Music. Makeup. Video Games. And, most importantly, vibes. That wonderful concoction comes through the screen every time the lady streamer known as "DaGeecheeGamer" presents her latest batch of content. As a variety streamer, DaGeecheeGamer lives her best life by playing anything and everything that manages to grab her attention. And thankfully, that same sentiment is felt by us and the loyal community she's built up during her content creation/streaming career thus far. ONE37pm caught up with the proud leader of the #GeecheeGrotto and got some backstory about her video game origins, her biggest inspirations, her favorite musical genres, and so much more.
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ONE37pm: So your three main loves are music, makeup, and video games. Walk us through what jumpstarted your love for gaming.
DaGeecheeGamer: Well, my first introduction to gaming came when I would watch my dad play Super Mario Brothers on NES and Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega (I can still remember hearing that sound in my dreams as a kid! Lol!). For a while, that was my only experience with video games until my cousins got a PlayStation and introduced me to a rhythm game called Bust-A-Groove. It's a really dope game that came out in the 90s where you had all these awesome-looking characters with different dance styles that had to basically battle one another through dance and the songs were FIRE!
That was the first game that really had me hooked. My mom eventually got me and my sisters a PlayStation and we had Bust-A-Groove, a few of those OG demo discs, and whatever we could get our hands on at Blockbuster that week with our $5. A few years later, I remember seeing a commercial for Final Fantasy IX on TV (yes y’all a real commercial, not this "ad" business y’all know so well today lol) and I was CAPTIVATED! I just thought to myself, "I don’t know WHAT this is, but I HAVE to have it!" I asked my mom for it and that year for Christmas, she wrapped it with the Unleash the Dragon album by Sisqo. Best Christmas ever. I put Sisqo in my boombox that I also got for Christmas that year and loaded up my game and it’s been up ever since. To this day, Final Fantasy IX is in my top three.
ONE37pm: What types of musical genres are you the biggest fan of? And who are your top five artists of all time?
DaGeecheeGamer: I am honestly not very picky with my music. I tend to consume music from a pretty technical standpoint so when I listen to something, I like to take it apart and piece it back together before I decide if I really like it. I am a HUGE fan of classical music. I absolutely LOVE symphony orchestras and hearing all of the many different instruments come together with so many different dynamics and such. I really like to dance and move my body so I have a love for house music as well. And of course, I love a good hip-hop or R&B track! I just love to experience a really well-put-together composition.
As far as my favorite artists of all time? That’s REALLY hard to say, but I’ll try!! So, Michael Jackson is definitely #1 on my list. There is nothing I can say that he's released that I did not enjoy, period. I LOVE Outkast! I think they’re an amazing duo and Big Boi and Andre 3000 compliment each other SO well and the creativity is unmatched. I have a long-time love for Destiny’s Child and Beyonce, because around the time they emerged, I was just getting into watching music videos as a little girl and everything they did really stuck with me.
Nobuo Uematsu is hands down my favorite composer if that counts? I’m so happy to learn that they're introducing an OST/Game Scoring category to the Grammys - he deserves ALL the awards. It’s so hard to narrow it down to five sheesh, but I’ve gotta give the last spot to Rihanna. Her music is just so fun and she touches so many different genres and sounds and does it well!
ONE37pm: Describe your love for the makeup game and how you incorporate it into your Twitch streams.
DaGeecheeGamer: For me, makeup has always been a form of artistic expression. For a while, I almost used makeup as a form of therapy without even realizing that's what was happening. I would just feel wound up and say "I’m gonna go play in some makeup." And from there just a little bit at a time, while I’m dolling myself up, I could just feel myself releasing so much tension and relaxing. It felt a lot to me like, painting a whole picture, except my face is the canvas. I figured if I felt this way, there are probably others that do as well.
I used to have a segment on Mondays called "MMMMondays" or "Triple M Mondays" which stood for "Music, Makeup and Mental Health." Sometimes I would create music, and sometimes I would play in makeup and just kind of vent or purge and have conversations with my community about what was happening in the world that week. I don’t do it as much now because I started to actually burn myself out by trying to stream five days a week, but I plan to bring it back soon once I can upgrade my setup just a little bit!
I would also bring other makeup lovers on the stream to talk about the things that other people were afraid to, like body hair removal for example. Now, I just like to come up with a good look and get really pretty before the stream. It’s a part of my "get ready ritual" almost like a performer would have before a concert.
ONE37pm: Speaking of Twitch, what made you decide to start streaming on that platform?
DaGeecheeGamer: When I started my journey in content creation, I had initially intended to just upload YouTube gameplay videos. I had been watching quite a few different gamers and I thought, I can do this! I underestimated the work that it takes to get videos edited though lol.
I had a friend with an esports management group who really kind of encouraged me to start streaming on Twitch immediately. I kept saying, "Well, let me just take care of these videos first, and then I’ll start." He kept pushing and finally on March 26, 2020, I went live for the first time! I always felt like Twitch was just a little too complicated and since I wasn’t a regular consumer of Twitch content starting out, I really had no interest in using it myself, at first. I’m very glad I took that step because it's been an amazing journey thus far!
ONE37pm: DaGeecheeGamer is one of the best game streamer nicknames I've ever heard! How'd you come up with it?
DaGeecheeGamer: As most know now, ya girl is from North Charleston, SC, the home of the "Gullah Geechee" people. My family and I are the descendants of the enslaved Africans that were brought to the lower Atlantic coast. My great-grandmother Leizanna Hart (rest her soul) was the matriarch of the family and she was born on Dewey Hill in North Charleston in 1913. She raised a LOT of people in her area, including my mom, my sisters, and me, so the traditions and the culture are embedded in us.
From the way we talk and greet one another, the foods we eat like chewies and red rice, and things like "not splitting the pole" when we walk together, it's all culture. The Geechee culture is one I grew up closest to so I wanted to represent the folks as a creator and pay homage to my people in the process. It always feels so amazing when people come into my stream and they say "Geechee?? Are you from Charleston??" because they know! It's so exciting because they see me and recognize that I’m representing the people who don't get a lot of love, although we've contributed so much to American culture.
ONE37pm: I definitely peep you playing a lot of Apex Legends! So besides that game, what other games have you gotten the most enjoyment out of as a variety streamer thus far?
DaGeecheeGamer: Ah, Apex. Yes, I have a problem lol. But I would say the games I get the most enjoyment out of playing are definitely any choice-based games. I am a big book nerd and I've always loved the choose your own adventure books so to me it’s the same, just more interactive. Telltale's The Walking Dead series is one of my favorites that we’ve played together on stream. The characters are so easy to love (or hate) and the story plays out so beautifully. I’ve definitely shed a tear or two.
I also love learning what choices other gamers have made in the same situations playing these games, and maybe I even get a kick out of the community judging me for my terrible choices lol. I’ve never been big on horror games, but I kind of enjoy playing them on stream, just because I know how much I like to see other people react to horror and I know the people watching me are having a great time watching me do the same.
ONE37pm: What would you say are some of the hardships and benefits that come with being both a female and a Black streamer?
DaGeecheeGamer: The hardships that come with being a black woman in gaming really go without saying. Discoverability is damn near non-existent and the trolls come in droves. You get extra because not only are you dealing with misogynists, you get drama from the racists as well. I imagine the black women creators who are queer have it even harder. It's almost like a multiplier that gets added on when you don't fit the "cis-hetero white male" bill, so it definitely can be hard sometimes.
But I did grow up in North Charleston, SC, so I’m tough and at the end of the day, it's just the internet (for me, for now). A lot of times, people will try to downplay ANY and EVERY accomplishment you achieve because they feel like maybe being a black woman in this space affords you some kind of handicap, but they don't see the hate and the discrimination we deal with on a regular basis. They don't see the conversations that happen when someone approaches you to do business with 30 deliverables and they want to pay you pennies IF anything at all. They don't see the death and assault threats and they think when we call someone out to be held accountable for their behavior, we’re being dramatic for a look.
I will say the benefits that come with being a black woman streamer, though, for me have been the community for one. Nobody is going to ride for a black woman like another black woman and I see that every single day in the content creation space. I have met and worked with some of the most amazing people who have been so supportive and do a fantastic job of representing black women in gaming. I think it's because nobody can understand what we deal with as we do, so when we have a chance to make it easier or just show support in this space, that's exactly what we do.
Another benefit for me that comes along with being a black woman streamer, is knowing that there are people who are showing up to support me that feel SEEN. When I started recording my first YouTube videos, the only other black women I could find were JazzyGuns and AyChristene (who are amazing by the way!) so I’m glad to be able to add my presence to the lineup and hopefully continue to make a positive impact!