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The Untold Truth Of Jay-Ann Lopez

If you don't know who Jay-Ann Lopez is yet, take note, because she's making waves: Lopez is working to heighten the voices of Black women in gaming, and she's a nominee for Content Creator of the Year at 2020's Game Awards. While she may not be the same type of content creator as some of her main competitors for the title are — Valkyrae, TimTheTatman, and NickMercs made their names as streaming personalities and/or esports competitors — her behind-the-scenes actions have helped women of color find a community and become more visible in the gaming space. 

The British author and blogger is best known with gamers for founding Black Girl Gamers, a 50,000-strong online community with a presence on Twitch, Discord, and other social media platforms. As part of her work for this organization, she organizes events and workshops, manages social media (using it to call out publishers for a lack of representation, for example), and has become the face of a growing segment of diverse gamers who have traditionally been underrepresented. However, she says she has never wanted to be the sole face of that community, which explains why the BlackGirlGamers Twitch channel features 12 other gamers. But what's the truth about Lopez? Read on to find out more.

She also focuses on hair, fashion, and beauty topics

Along with BlackGirlGamers, Lopez has created plenty of content on beauty and fashion, including advocating for Natural hairstyles on Black women. She and her partner Trina Charles wrote the book Kink, which was published in 2016, to celebrate different skin colors and hair textures. They also created Curlture, an online empowerment platform that celebrates Black beauty.

But that doesn't mean that her beauty content is totally separate from her gaming content, In fact, Lopez says, the two go hand-in-hand. In an article about a 2019 fashion collaboration between Collusion and three women gamers (including Lopez), she made a clear connection between the two topics that have made up the bulk of her career.

"There should have been a link between gaming and fashion a long time ago," Lopez said. "There's been a huge fallout in terms of people feeling they cannot reconcile these two areas but they're both creative and expressive."

She has a Spotify gaming playlist that reflects her interests

Lopez used to play violin and piano and took all manner of dance classes: "Music is an integral part of my life," she told Spotify. Thus, her playlist includes a number of UK artists and is inspired by the tunes she grew up with. 

Her list includes Che Lingo, Ms. Banks, The Lioness, Will Smith, Beyoncé, D Smoke, Snoop Dogg, and what she called "a grime, hip-hop trap kind of feel at the beginning." She says her list includes some more mellow takes "for when you're building your Sims houses or when you're playing a game that's about strategy." It also includes Avatar: The Last Airbender songs because she loves that series. 

"I play that music when I am playing a game based in magical fantasy, because it gets me hyped to take on that battle," Lopez explained. Her list is available as part of her takeover of Spotify's Start Select, a gaming playlist that includes other curated selections as part of Spotify's Gaming Hub.