Interpreting music lyrics into sign language at a live concert seems challenging enough – doing that at the rapid pace of rappers seems near impossible.
So when a video of famed American Sign Language interpreter Holly Maniatty keeping pace with Eminem’s fast-paced song Rap God at a music festival was uploaded on the internet, it unsurprisingly went viral. The video was first shared on Facebook by Kate Starr Fillingame two weeks ago and has racked up 19 million views so far.
Eminen had performed at the Firefly Music Festival, held this year from June 14 to June 17 at Delaware, United States. Maniatty has also worked at concerts of several other popular artists including Jay-Z, Beastie Boys and Snoop Dogg.
In recent years, several musicians have roped in sign language interpreters for live musicians to make their performances more inclusive.
According to reports, Maniatty is a resident of Maine. This is not the first time that her signing skills have wowed the internet. Last year, a video (below) of her at a Snoop Dogg concert also went viral. In an interview with CBC at the time, she explained her process. “There’s a lot of cultural references references to the person who’s writing the song their life and their experiences,” she said. “So, I do a lot of research about if they’re talking about a specific kind of car or an event.”
She added, “We usually get it about 10 minutes before the show. So that requires us doing a lot of research, like in the last three or four months of their performances what songs they regularly perform. And then we kind of pick other things.”