Robbie Wilde aka “That Deaf DJ” is a man that defies the idea of conventional. As a DJ and musician that is Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Robbie Wilde has made more happen in his 27 years than most hearing DJs to date. You have to give respect to a guy that, despite being Deaf and Hard of Hearing, has taken what some would call a handicap and turned it into an enterprise. Not just any enterprise, but an enterprise in a field that is precisely juxtaposed to his particular so called handicap, DJing.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Robbie to discuss whats going on with him now, then and in the future.
For those that may not yet be familiar, tell us about who Robbie Wilde is?
That Deaf Dj, chilled, music lover, turntable enthusiast, creatively driven person and DEFINITELY a great listener(lol).
The moniker “That Deaf DJ” is so dope because I knew that moniker before I knew your actual name, Robbie Wilde. What’s the story of how that all came about?
Well, around the NYC/Tri-State area, there were and still are a lot of DJs, with a good majority of them having the name Rob. So when people asked or spoke about me, they would say, Robbie Wilde, That Deaf DJ, and it stuck since then.
Were you born Deaf and Hard of Hearing?
No, I lost my hearing at age seven due to severe ear infections and no insurance.
Did you begin DJing Before or after you became Deaf/Hard of Hearing?
How did you get introduced to DJing?
I went to an underground party back in the day in ATL and one of my buddy’s brothers was spinning house music, all on wax. The beatmatching, scratching, base kicking, feeling the energy of the crowd and their reactions, was amazing. Just got hooked from there.
How does being deaf/HOH effect or change the experience of DJing for you?
I enjoy music the same way as before, only difference is I can’t understand the lyrics or certain instrumentals. Sucks sometimes because I could be more creative if I knew the lyrics, but I do what I have to do and research online, study it, practice it. But it doesn’t stop me, just takes me a little more time.
For the Techie Bboys and DJs out there… What gear does your live set up consist of?
2 techniques turntables, Rane 57L, and monitor. Simple. Traditional.
What was your first DJ set up like?
My first official setup? My boy, G-Wiz, gave me 2 broken techniques and said “Here kid, wanna learn how to scratch? Fix these and they are yours” Got em fixed, bought a Vestax mixer, called it a day. Still have them.
What is the one piece of Gear that you could not live without?
It seems that DJ and Beat Making culture go hand in hand now a days. Do you also make beats?
Yes, actually finishing up my EP very soon.
I have DJ homies that are adamantly opposed to any sort of DJ set up that does not include real wax and turntables. How do you feel technology has affected DJing culturally?
I agree with your homies, I’m the same way. I DJ with keeping the art of turntablism alive but as time passes, technology advances. I’m not against technology with spinning, as long as you’re using it to be more creative and faster. Not using it to cheat the art and act like a f@&$ing iPod. But I use technology a bit with my sets, but just to be more creative and faster.
Reading your BIO, it says you have become an ambassador for HP. Tell us a bit about that and what that means to you as a DJ?
Working with HP has been and is still an incredible experience. Their global influence really allowed me to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the leading technological leaders of today and how that relates to being a DJ. It really has been a life changing experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I recently did a story on an amazing piece of gear, The SubPac. I understand that you are working with the creators of SubPac on some new and exciting things. Can you speak on what’s in the works?
Sure. The founders of The SubPac, myself and my team have been working tirelessly to develop a SubPac specifically tailored to the Deaf/HOH community. Being that I am a deaf DJ that clashes both the music industry and the deaf/HOH community, we saw it fit to work together; to develop something that could possibly change the world. The end result was the Robbie Wilde Branded SubPac. (Picture’s attached). We are currently mid-launch, and still have much to do. I recently did a segment with FUSE NEWS that touched upon our launch. Check it out:
I definitely foresee great things happening with this movement.
What has been the highlight of your career as a DJ thus far?
Meeting many of my idols that I’ve always looked up to and have been inspired by. Being by their sides and meeting them is a highlight every time.
Any advise to those that look up to you, and your skill as a DJ, that may face adversity in achieving their dreams?
Yeah man! Just don’t give up. Love it? Go for it. Chase it and don’t let anyone hold you back. Follow your heart, not someone else’s dream.
What’s does the future hold for Robbie Wilde, “That Deaf DJ”?
Truthfully, no one knows. But I can tell you this much, that myself and my team never intend on stopping, and with positivity, persistence and endless ambition, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can make anything happen.
Keep up with Robbie Wilde