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13 August 2023

Stormzy Interpreter On Making Grime Accessible

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Stormzy has collaborated with British Sign Language interpreter Chris Fonseca to make grime accessible to deaf music fans.

Fonseca provided sign language interpretations of some of Stormzy’s most loved songs for the Rockstar Press Play performance, now available to stream on Spotify or via YouTube – watch below.

In an interview with Metro, Fonseca revealed how the grime superstar is breaking down barriers, “This is what I hope to be the first of many. I think it’s important to reach out to other companies, other artists and have them look at what Stormzy’s done and see that yes, this is possible.

“I think we tried to remove the stereotypes and the assumptions that deaf people do not enjoy music – deaf people can’t hear, they don’t like music. It’s a complete trope. It’s not true.

“And this is why we were trying to break down these barriers and remove these stereotypes. Deaf people love music. I love music, it’s one of my biggest passions. Music is life to me.

“So I think working with this collaboration, having a platform where we are trying to show and represent in the mainstream where we’re saying, ‘Look, this should be happening’, and hopefully this will change the narrative and reach other artists and other people see what he’s done and what we’ve done.”

Fonseca went on to suggest that Stormzy’s work could change the way the deaf community and music interacted. “It might be a slow change but we need more,” he said. “We need more in this country and with Stormzy’s backing and his endorsement, it’s been amazing.

“Stormzy really is such a high-profile artist who’s lobbied for change in so many areas. He’s a very humble person who’s given a lot back and he’s always believed in people and people’s talent.

“And I think he’s seen this as a good opportunity and it’s everybody coming together to support each other, to expand.

“It’s about allyship and working together to make change happen and hopefully what you can see is a step towards change where we can work together more in the future.”

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