You don’t need to hear every note or lyric perfectly to feel a song’s power. For Deaf people, there are many ways to experience the magic of music—through dancing, or feeling the vibrations of the bass and treble through your skin, or tapping along to the rhythm the beats create as they pass through your body. In celebration of the original Apple TV+ film CODA, this playlist is curated specifically by Deaf people. We’ve asked Deaf contributors across the country about how they experience music and what it means to them, and have compiled a few of their favorite songs and the reasons why these resonate for them so deeply. If you hear something you like, add it to your library.
Nico DiMarco, DJ, Washington, D.C.
Eminem, “Without Me”
“I may not have heard the lyrics, but I quickly realized from the rhythm and beat that this track was one of my favorites, and it’s still a favorite of mine today.”
Jessica Flores, comedian, San Francisco
The Luniz, “I Got 5 on It”
“I first heard this song when I was 13, but without being able to hear the words, I couldn’t figure out the title or artist. 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 dope that I still remembered the feeling of the beat.”
Matt Maxey, founder of DEAFinitely Dope, Atlanta
Kirk Franklin, “Brighter Day”
“This song right here, no matter what I’m going through in life, it always puts a smile on my face, gets me dancing and enjoying life in a more positive light.”
Savannah Dahan, performance artist, Maryland
Sean Forbes, “Little Victories”
“Sean is a Deaf artist that makes music and I love dancing to his songs! This song has an amazing beat; it inspires me and makes me feel that I can do anything.“
Jacelyn Fincher, student, Washington, D.C.
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, “Señorita”
“I love hearing Camila’s voice. It’s so high-pitched and satisfying in my ear, and I can clearly hear what she is saying once I memorized the lyrics by watching [the music video].”
Additional curators: Chrissy Marshall, Destiny Lopez, Giovanni Maucere, Lark Detweiler, Rosa Lee Timm, Sean Forbes, Shaeeem Sanchez, Sheena Lyles, and TreShelle Edmond.