Streamer of the Year 2015 (Main Channel): Akyllah

One tradition that remains a staple in the RizeUp family is our annual vote for the Streamer of the Year, which comes in two categories: Main Channel streamer and Off Channel stream. To her own surprise, Akyllah (RU’s resident tea enthusiast) not only won a spot in the nominations for Main Channel stream, but ended up winning the award altogether.

Akyllah, who is usually called Aky, is a regular caster for the main channel and also works for RU as a recruiter. As a fairly laid back individual, you can expect a relaxing and enjoyable experience upon wandering into one of her casts, or even just speaking to her directly, which I had the chance to do when I caught up with her to chat about her newfound title.

Zelda: “So please tell us something about yourself, whatever you’re comfortable sharing.”

Aky: “Oh, I’m comfortable with a lot! [Laughs] My name is Jenny, Jennifer Conn, and I was born in Arizona. A few of you guys might not know, but I do have a twin, a fraternal twin brother. He’s like the reason I believe that I am who I am today because I learned a lot of restraint, temperament, and understanding of the world around me from him and his disabilities. He has cerebral palsy and severe mental retardation, so he’s a 24-hour case. He’s my special little man, aside from Sean.”

Zelda: “How did you get into RizeUp Gaming then?”

Aky: [Laughing] “My case might not be the same as everybody else’s case, I was kind of thrown into it, per say. Dating Sean, which is Rev and Monika’s son [two of the founders and majority owners of the company], it was a thing that I wouldn’t say was ‘Do or die’, but I live the lifestyle every day being here and being around them, so why not? The story itself is kind of sad, but when Sean was in the ICU, he was really depressed that I wasn’t there by his side, so Rev contacted me and told me that he wanted me to move down there and be by Sean’s side. That’s when I first started streaming alongside him, just being in his streams and stuff like that. That’s when he told me he wanted me in the company and to be more interactive with the family. [Laughs] Personally, I think that was his way of seeing if I was girlfriend appropriate for his son.”

Zelda: “Aw, that’s kind of cute! How would you describe your experience in RU then?”

Aky: “This might sound like one of those types of people, but I truly believe that I’ve had a life changing experience meeting everybody and being able to help those around you because it’s kind of like an eye opener of sorts. You see these people benefiting from the changes that you’ve helped put out, and you get to see the changes (however small they might be) out there in the gaming community. It’s kind of like it changes you eventually. It turns you into the person that RizeUp wants to show others type deal.”

Zelda: “I think that’s a very sincere answer, very few people in our group would disagree with you there. So, you did win Main Channel Streamer of the Year for 2015; how do you feel about winning this title?”

Aky: “Personally, I had never expected such an honor in the first place. It completely threw me off guard when I got nominated and then when I actually won I was ten seconds away from being like ‘No, you’ve got to give it to someone else’. I didn’t feel like I actually earned that position, I felt I didn’t do nearly enough in regards to [the award] if you put me side by side with Farrington and Firecrow, or someone who I believe better deserves that position.”

Zelda: “Well it seems quite a few people disagree with you there. [Laughs] Seeing as you have won, what advice would you give to streamers who would like to be at the level that you’re at?”

Aky: “Honestly? Just be yourself, don’t worry about being the best, or being popular. Just be yourself and people will find that attractive more than if you force something else upon them.”

Zelda: “And since we all have casters we enjoy more than our own casts, who are some of your favorite casters here on Twitch?”

Aky: “Goobers, oh my gosh, I love Goobers. Of course Firecrow and Farrington. For newer streamers, if you want to get into the groove of things, watch Firecrow and Farrington because I think they’re two of the more seasoned streamers in RizeUp. And Rev, but I can’t say Rev because people will be like ‘Oh, she’s just saying that because she lives with him’. [Laughs] Rev’s standing behind me! [Giggles] Ah, just kidding!”

Zelda: [Laughs] “We obviously do a lot of serious work in RU, but we all know how to hang out and have fun with each other. Do you have a favorite RU related memory from 2015?”

Aky: “Well since they are RizeUp Gaming themselves, I have to say my favorite memory was moving in. The first time I actually got to meet Sean, Monika, Rev; actually hugging them and stuff like that. I think that has to be my favorite memory.”

Zelda: “As a closing statement, is there anything you’d like to tell our community?”

Aky: “Welcome to RizeUp Gaming. Sit back, relax, and enjoy yourself a nice cup of tea.”

True to her image on screen and off, Aky was a delight to interview. Make sure to catch her casts on the main channel and to follow her on TwitchTwitter, and her family’s new twitch channel