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Chris Martin honors the deaf community with his wholesome performance in sign language at concert

Though the lead singer of Coldplay rendered the sign language performance a bit inaccurately, fans loved and appreciated his effort.

Chris Martin honors the deaf community with his wholesome performance in sign language at concert
Cover Image Source: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs at Optus Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Matt Jelonek/WireImage/Getty Images)

Music brings joy to everyone, including people who are deaf and hard of hearing. To deliver the song's lyrics, vibes and emotions to the deaf, concerts hire sign-language interpreters. But recently, Coldplay's lead vocalist Chris Martin, decided to be an interpreter and delivered a heartwarming performance in sign language. Last month's Coldplay concert held in the National Stadium, Singapore, seemed to be one of the first major pop concerts in the country that dedicated a special zone for the deaf community and Singapore Sign Language (SgSL) interpreters, as per The Straits Times. Though Martin's rendition was not up to the mark, the deaf community lauded Coldplay's effort toward inclusivity.

Image Source:  (L-R) Jonny Buckland, Chris Martin, Will Champion and Guy Berryman of Coldplay perform onstage at Rose Bowl Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Image Source: (L-R) Jonny Buckland, Chris Martin, Will Champion and Guy Berryman of Coldplay perform onstage at Rose Bowl Stadium on September 30, 2023, in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Lily Goh (@lilygoh.sg), a deaf artiste and SgSL facilitator, shared her appreciation for the band on Instagram. Goh presented her SgSL interpretation of Coldplay's "Something Just Like This," which was adapted by Martin during the concert. "Even though I did not feel good about allowing Chris to sign my interpretation as the Deaf artist, I closed one of my eyes on it," mentioned Goh. Speaking to the media channel about Martin's rendition, she said, "It is not very accurate, but only deaf signers can tell. It is like having a singer who lip-syncs while having someone singing for the singer behind the curtain – it looks fake." Nonetheless, the deaf artiste was impressed by the inclusive and immersive experience offered by Coldplay to the deaf community.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lily Goh (@lilygoh.sg)


 

The pop concert also provided the deaf audience with Subpacs, an interactive vest that helps people with trouble hearing and feel the music through vibrations. Also, there were big screens all around displaying the lyrics. Also, the inclusivity was extended to people with sensory issues and vision impairment. Goh was glad that Singapore enjoyed such a major pop concert, offering an immersive experience. The second song that Martin performed in SgSL was "Hymn For The Weekend," aided by a video made by another Singaporean deaf artiste Shariffah Faaiqah. 


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lily Goh (@lilygoh.sg)


 

While Goh and Faaiqah were SgSL consultants, three SgSL interpreters named, Daniel Yong, Shawn Fang and Azzam Akbar, were dedicated to staging every song in sign language during the concert. In the team of three, one man interpreted the lyrics while the other two interpreted the instruments and vibes of the songs. Though the trio were not particularly big fans of Coldplay, they knew some popular hits and had to practice their interpretation for hours before the concert. Together, they got the deaf audience raving with vim and vigor to Coldplay music. 


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lily Goh (@lilygoh.sg)


 

Fang told the news channel, "It is more than just literal translations of the lyrics. What we want to do is paint a holistic picture of what the soul of a concert is." Yong added, "What we're trying to do is give deaf people full access to the experience of the concert." It was a one-of-a-kind experience for the Coldplay concert attendees who lost their hearing ability. Not just the SgSL interpretations but the Subpacs and the overall immersive experience got the deaf community excited. As a cherry on top, Martin's special performance, though a bit inaccurate, threw more light on inclusivity while acknowledging deaf artists/interpreters.

Image Source: PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs onstage at Rose Bowl Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)
Image Source: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs onstage at Rose Bowl Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

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