We posted an article about a little 15 second video that Gareth Emery posted on his Facebook page a couple of days ago. The video is of a girl signing the words of U by Gareth Emery to her deaf friend. Luckily, we were able to find both of the girls and get to know them a bit better. Below is a higher quality video of what has been shared on social media. This video may cause a wet substance to leak from your eyeballs while simultaneously experiencing joy.
The interpreter is Keelin and her friend is Monica. Keelin and Monica met in their final year at Gallaudet University in Washington DC back in 2010. Gallaudet University is a school almost exclusively for deaf people (5% of their student body is not deaf). They were put together in the dorms and became instant friends. Keelin would share videos of shows that she had attended in the EDM scene to Monica and play music in their room.
It wasn’t until 2013 at EDC that the PLUR bug bit Monica. Keelin had been going through a bit of a rough patch when Monica came out to see her and support her through her hard time. Keelin luckily convinced Monica to come to EDC with her. Since then she has been an avid trance fan. Most people assume that for deaf people it’s just about feeling the beat. It’s so much more than that. For Monica it’s the whole experience: the love, the comradery, the acceptance, the visuals. Everything.
“It gave me so [many] memories that I could never forget. It gave me so many new connections and friends. It gave me a beautiful experience. An inspiration in many different ways, inspiring others and inspired by something and how people are welcoming me even if I can’t hear. That means a lot to me.” –Monica Frederick
Keelin finds nothing but absolute pleasure in interpreting for her at all the shows they attend together. For Keelin, it’s about making the dance community more accessible for deaf people and creating an equal access environment. Keelin would love to do it professionally at shows as well; most of all she would like to interpret for Above & Beyond since the lyrics and emotions of their songs are so powerful. You may even see her at Above and Beyond Group Therapy 100 in New York at Madison Square Garden.
The video has garnered millions of views in just a couple of days and impacted so many lives. In the ensuing days, they’ve been inundated with compliments and friend requests from the people that the video touched. EDM has provided Keelin with so much and has shaped the way she lives her life. More than anything though, she feels blessed to be able to give back.
“It’s a great time to forget about life. To enjoy the experience. To live life! It gives me chills thinking about the atmosphere, beautiful people, great music, lights, laughter and love. Music actually helped shape my life. and I’m so happy this scene is somewhere I feel accepted. Every event helps shape the way I am and is so different. Plus, they create amazing memories.” –Keelin Lambert
The biggest thing that they both would like out of this is to raise awareness for the deaf community, as they too represent a large part of our scene.
What this seemingly innocuous video has done is embodied the culture of dance music. The video has helped to open the world’s eyes to what we really are all about. It is also a beautiful distraction from what the media paints about us. There is still a long way to go to change perspectives, but we should certainly thank Keelin and Monica for bringing our culture so much further, elevating dance music.
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