Apple Music’s latest initiative provides an in-depth look at how deaf people develop their music preferences. By developing Apple Music’s “A Playlist Curated by Deaf People”, the streaming giant hired deaf curators to discover their favorite songs.
Electronic music producers, including Mura Masa, Kaytranada, and The Chainsmokers, have all been on this diverse playlist. The popularity of record releases such as the latter’s single “Closer”, even among the deaf, gives credence to the old adage that music is truly a universal language.
Interestingly, many curators cite the unique vibes generated by rumbling baselines as a factor in which songs they enjoy. Others cite their understanding of a song’s lyrics by reading the artist’s lips as a determining factor. There are still others who prefer to dance and are able to rate the dance of a song based on their ability to sense the sound waves of the drums and rhythms of the song as they travel through space.
Jessica Flores explained how Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” stuck with her after she got to grips with the feel of the beat. “I first heard this song when I was 13, but without being able to hear the lyrics, I couldn’t understand the title or the artist,” Flores recalls. “Years later this song started playing at a house party and my eyes lit up. Even though I still couldn’t hear the words, it was pretty crazy that I still remember the feeling of rhythm. “
The initiative was inspired by the award-winning original Apple TV + film at Sundance CODA, which follows the fictional story of an artist born to two deaf parents. As the only hearing member of her family, Ruby struggles to balance her family’s needs with the pursuit of her own artistic dreams.
You can browse the full playlist here.