Anton “DJ Hear No Evil” Abraham is a DJ who will not allow his disability to stop him from achieving his dreams. DJ Hear No Evil is a deaf DJ (hence the name), a barrier breaker and inspiration to everyone who hears his story.
As a teenager, he fell in love with music and soon realized his hands could speak for him. His passion and tenacity have allowed him to become not only a DJ but a producer. His work has been displayed in DJ competitions such as the USA DMC DJ battle where he was the 1st deaf DJ to participate and placed 4th in the Winter Music Conference. This is only the beginning as DJ Hear No Evil has a goal of obtaining more 1st place titles.
He also traveled to share his story at the American Sign Language workshop in Texas, Jamaica, and the youth at M.S. 88 in Brooklyn, NY.
Check out our interview with him.
MD-EN: Are you open to sharing your disability that you live with?
Yes, of course. It’s great to tell my story to motivate and inspire people to do positive things in their life. So why hide my disability where I can indicate my skills that I’m really good at. I am proud of who I am and not to be ashamed.
MD-EN: Does your disability impact your daily life and career?
Yes, and no but it’s a blessing and unique so people can really open their eyes and be able to assist me to break the barriers. You rarely see people like me do things like DJ’ing so I let my talent speak for me and people see the remarkable result. Also, my deaf community especially POC (people of color) are extremely small but we are trying to send a message to people who don’t have disabilities that we can do what they do or better than them. It comes from my passion and how much I desire to succeed.
MD-EN: What employment barriers or barriers does society place on people who live disabilities? And how do you overcome those barriers?
There are many ways to accept our circumstances and overcome disability barriers. We were all brought to this earth for a reason and have the ability to do whatever we want with our lives. The truth is that everyone struggles in their everyday life in one way or another. It’s about staying positive and making the best of what you have. I faced challenges where I thought I could be on the same level as people who aren’t deaf. I became frustrated but I took a step back and do things differently and it surprised people who aren’t deaf. For instance, they ask me how I mix or scratch so well and my style is different than theirs. I started to realize that I don’t need to copy people’s style but create my own style.
MD-EN: Are there any myths that you would like to dismantle when it comes to people who live with a similar disability, and their ability to gain full-time employment or pursue entrepreneurship?
One myth that I would like to overcome for people to assume that deaf people can’t listen to music. The experience of sound is different for everyone, including those who are hard of hearing or deaf. Music is extremely multi-sensory and people who are deaf are able to feel the music within the vibrations in the same part of the brain as everyone else. It’s simply a different experience. There are groundbreaking and successful composers and performers such as composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven. He produced some of the most powerful and recognizable compositions the world has ever known.
MD-EN: What inspired you to become a DJ?
My father (DJ L.A.) is a DJ and his best friend (Stan the Man), who is like an uncle to me, is a DJ too. Stan The Man’s son, my best friend, is also a DJ so I grew up around it. My father passed away in 2013 and my best friend passed away in 2008 so I had to keep it going, and it kept me motivated. DJ Scratch, Cash Money, Rob Swift, Roc Raida, Kid Capri & Jazzy Jeff are the DJs that I look up to. Their knowledge and pre-Serato skills, a technique with their hands on the set inspired me. I know it took long hours of practicing, exposing themselves to all types of music, and being adaptable so they can stay in the game for a long time.
MD-EN: How are you able to follow your dreams? What motivates you to keep going when you get discouraged?
God has a plan for my future and I have faith in him. By perfecting my craft and expanding my brand will allow me to gain recognition. I won a few DJ battles and it made motivated me; especially as the first deaf DJ. Not only that, I have seen other talented people who are deaf that are extremely driven to achieve their dreams. It encourages me to keep going and see the light whenever I am going through a difficult time.
MD-EN: What words of encouragement would you give to people who feel defeated by their disability and believe they will need government assistance for the rest of their lives?
Be fearless and go after what you want, if you really it, put your mind to it with your abilities and gifts. It won’t be easy but doing things outside of your comfort zone challenges you to grow professionally and personally. Having a disability is natural. We must stop believing that disabilities will keep people from doing something because that’s not true. Having a disability doesn’t stop me from doing anything.