Video Transcript: Signing and captions bring music to life.
KEVIN: My name is Kevin Walker. However, my stage name is Signkid. I am the first and only Deaf producer, writer and performer to sign songs. I would like to share my story about my love and passion for music as a Deaf person. Now some would ask, “How can you hear music, if you are Deaf?”
My love for music started around the age of 11 in the '90s. I watched people dancing around on TV, with gold chains, big fast cars, models, and huge homes. I watched Michael Jackson do the moonwalk and I was in awe. I questioned what this was and soon realised that these were music videos. These music videos were played loudly, and allowed me to feel the beats. It was electrifying!
Soon music videos had captions, and I later realised that some of these songs had so much profanity! That was a big shock to me... However, this did not stop me from watching these videos in amazement. But not all music videos at the time had captions and that frustrated me. Later there was a wave of signers interpreting on TV, mostly late at night. But I never saw any interpreters sign any music. Once the internet started booming and YouTube became big, I eventually started seeing interpreters signing to songs. This brought music to life in my language! This inspired me to do what I am doing now!
I had decided I wanted to be like these artists, I wanted the opportunity to be as big as them... The fashion, the cars, the house and even the models. Fast forward, I now understand that all of the material things shown in the music videos are only for promotional advertising, this glamour life, and it's not real.
Now, with access to the words via captions and understanding the message the songs were portraying, I realised I wanted to be different, I still want to be known through music and I will not allow any obstacles come in my way, like the fact that I am Deaf.
My main focus is to talk about issues like war, poverty, accessibility and so on, through my sign songs. Issues that mean a lot to me. Access to captions and signers on TV has had a huge impact on my understanding of music and the world we live in today. Without access, I would not have hope, strength and passion about what I do.
You can listen to the EP at this link: http://hyperurl.co/bxzoc5
If you can't hear the music, read full lyrics at this link: https://genius.com/albums/Signkid/Music-is-the-message
Thank you to all of you for watching. Bye!