Deaf Rapper Signmark Plays Shenzhen and Xi'an Strawberry Festivals
Signmark arrives from Finland to inspire with Silent Shout
Signmark (né Marko Vuoriheimo) does not like to be told "no." Growing up in Helsinki, he saw images of musicians on MTV and decided he had found his calling˜despite being deaf since birth. The booming beats and heavy bass lines of hip-hop especially appealed to the budding performer, who went on to pen songs like "Impossible Is My Thing."
Proving the naysayers wrong, Signmark released his first hip-hop DVD in 2006, followed by the album Breaking the Rules, released by Warner Music and making Signmark the first deaf artist to get a record deal with an international label.
Since then, he's performed in 38 countries, including Ethiopia, Spain, Brazil, and the US, and placed second in Finland's Eurovision Song Contest. With music that's equal parts inspirational ballads and dance floorˆready jams, Signmark believes that deaf people form a linguistic minority with its own culture and traditions, and that signing is a language like any other that can be used to make art.
This spring, Signmark brings his captivating live show to China with stops at the Strawberry Music Festivals in Xi'an and Shenzhen. He'll perform his lyrics in International Sign Language and Southern Chinese Sign Language (which he learned from a master translator), alongside a vocalist who helps the hearing understand his world.
In advance of those gigs, the album Silent Shout, written with composer/producer Joel Atilla, comes out in China on May 2, with four songs in Southern Chinese Sign Language. He's also taken on the Chinese name 默喊 (Mo Han or "Silent Shout") and will be releasing a song from the new record every day starting May 2 on his official Weibo account. Signmark will also spend time reaching out to the local deaf community, which as already been reacting positively to his videos on Tudou).
Saturday, May 17, 14:00ˆ14:40pm
Sunday, May 18, 14:30ˆ15:10pm