Web Exclusive: Partially deaf DJ feels the music to hear the music

Web Exclusive

(CNN) - He's an acclaimed DJ, who happens to be partially deaf.  DJ Robbie Wilde does hear the music, but not so much through his ears, rather through it's vibration.  Wilde has managed to make it in an industry that usually requires hearing.

During New York fashion week, DJ Robbie Wilde is busy working the exclusive Project Runway designer reunion party.  Wilde lives in a world of rhythm and bass. He just can't hear it.

Ear infections as a child left Wilde completely deaf in his right ear and with only 20-percent hearing in his left.

When asked if he ever felt sorry for himself, DJ Robbie Wilde replied, "Never, no.  I would even forget sometimes myself."

Although hearing is the most important sense in a DJ's life, Wilde was determined to make it. He got his first shot to perform at his father's restaurant nearly a decade ago and hasn't looked back since.  "I still consider it as a hobby," says Robbie.  "I really do love it.  I don't see it as a job and that's the best part.  If you love something you don't consider it as a job, you're happy to go work."

Wilde went to DJ school to learn the art of turntablism.  He also relies on his computer to see the music and feel the vibration, literally.  He's dubbed 'That Deaf DJ' by club-goers and promoters and it's a moniker even he uses. But Wilde says it's more than just about his deafness.  "I don't want you to see me as a deaf deejay, or a deaf kid trying to deejay. I want you to see me as a great DJ who happens to be deaf," says Robbie.  "I don't want sympathy. I don't want, 'Oh lets get him a gig because he's hearing impaired.'"

His skills got noticed by HP and earned him a spot in a commercial thrusting him onto the world stage.  "It doesn't matter that I can't hear the music,"  (Signing): "Because I can touch it."

"He's doing it through touch without being able to hear the music, is a wonderful thing," says Danielle Jones, Hewlett-Packard

Besides, some things are better left unheard, he says.  "There's a lot of sounds out in the world you don't want to hear.  I like it muffled.  I like who I am. I'm proud of who I am," says Robbie. 

When he's not deejaying, Wilde is in the studio producing music.  His advice to people, "Honestly, just never give up."


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment