Vibrating to the Rhythm of a Deaf DJ: Nico DiMarco


He's not the only Deaf DJ but, right now, Nico DiMarco is probably the most international Deaf DJ. He's the twin brother of the famous model and activist Nyle DiMarco, but it wouldn't be right to know him for that, as his talent as a DJ is exceptional.

El DJ Nico DiMarco frente a un ordenador Apple en una mesa de mezclas, camiseta oscura y fondo de arboleda
Nico DiMarco at a DJ session in 2019 (photo: Emilio Ferreiro)

Passionate About Music Since His Childhood

Nico is a 30-years-old young man of Italian descent, a member of a Deaf family of four generations, whose passion for music was born in his childhood. He felt the rhythm, looking for the pattern that would allow him to recognize the songs.

He started playing at parties using a MacBook computer when he was studying for a degree in information technology at Gallaudet University. He became so skilled at using his MacBook that even his family would joke: "Are you sure you don't hear?"

He now works as an IT Specialist for the US Department of Treasury and is a DJ in the evenings and weekends, which he considers a perfect balance for his life.

Nico is Nyle's twin brother. Being the brother of a celebrity is not something that bothers him, and even helps him become better known, although he acknowledges that it can be overwhelming sometimes. One of the stories Nyle tells is that when they were kids, his brother Nico wanted to teach him to dance but Nyle wasn't interested. Funny that Nyle later won the Dancing With the Stars TV contest in 2016.

How does He Plan His DJ Sessions?

Nico's preparation process for his DJ sessions goes something like this: when he likes a song, he identifies the song with the help of some mobile app, like Shazam.

He then plays the music in his apartment with powerful subwoofers that few hearing people would put up with for a long time, looking for musical patterns and their rhythm. Sometimes he searches the Internet for the lyrics of the song, follows the rhythm and plays it in Sign Language, which probably also helps him memorize it.

This process of memorization and feeling is also supported by powerful headphones with which he mainly perceives the bass sounds. Because that's what music is: rhythm and feeling. But he explains it better in this video (in American Sign Language and English subtitles):

Nico has his own techno DJ equipment, which he configures about two hours before he plays and sometimes asks a listener to make sure it sounds good.
If you have your shoes off and you’re feeling music, the low pitches are in the lower back and the high pitches are in the upper back. When music goes through your body, it creates a very pleasurable experience. That’s why music is universal. (Nico DiMarco)
You can vibrate to Nico's beat on Instagram and on Facebook.


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