How sign language innovators are bringing music to the deaf

Amber Galloway Gallego is one of a growing number of ASL interpreters that specializes in the performing arts, specifically music. She’s interpreted for over 400 artists at this point and has a special knack for interpreting hip-hop acts like Kendrick Lamar and Drake.

If we merely show the sign for music then we are doing an injustice as an interpreter. So after listening to the beat and how their their tonality is and all the instruments then what I do is I break it down from English to ASL. So rhyming, metaphor, and wordplay are an intrinsic part of lyrical music especially hip-hop. …Since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 concert venues have been required to provide interpreters for deaf attendees. …It’s vitally important that concert venues hire interpreters who understand the emotional power of music.