One of the big things about dance music is the aspect of unity; people from all walks of life are (seemingly) able to jump in and express themselves however they see fit. Yet, aside from that video where Steve Aoki launched a cake into a wheelchair-bound fan's face, we don't see much about the dance music fans who suffer from disabilites... especially those who become DJs. While this isn't a look at the TOTAL population of DJs who happen to have disabilites, these are a few of the DJs who are putting in work despite their disabilities.Just know that these DJs are just as passionate as the 12-year-old on your block who can't afford a PC or turntables, yet even if they do, their battle uphill has just begun. We salute you.
In terms of dedication, this quote from Robbie says it all: "I don’t want to be looked at as a deaf guy trying to DJ, but a great DJ who happens to be deaf." He might be known as "that deaf DJ" (which is a moniker he does ride with), he's like any other DJ out there: just trying to get in where he fits in and develop his craft. It's amazing that the good people at Dubspot worked with him to get him rivaling DJs without disabilities.
French DJ Pascal Kleiman was born without arms, but that's not stopped him from pursuing his dream. Whether it's working as a producer or dropping all kinds of beats, just watching him DJ using only his feat is awe-inspiring. Plus, dude knows how to throw it down.
Norwich DJ Matt Howes has had an interesting ride; he'd been DJing since the age of 14, but a moped accident in 21 left him without a right arm. Did that stop him? Not at all; two weeks after this terrible accident, he was back on the decks doing his thing. He's done everything from spin at Ibiza to being a part of BBC Radio 1's "New Talent" DJ series, seemingly bouncing back from what many would see as a life-changing ordeal into just another bump in the road.
Philly's own Touchtone was born blind, but with determination (and a properly-cataloged collection of records), he's made his mark as a radio DJ in Philly as well as a club DJ in Philly and Cleveland.
DJ Palsy P
Palsy P speaks with a computer voice and his foot, but what he does with his life screams volumes. Over the last eight years, Palsy P has been DJing. As a DJ with cerebral palsy, he uses only his left foot to do EVERYTHING. The fact that he spins everything from UK garage to drum & bass is right up our alley.
At the age of 16, Ectic wanted to pursue his dream of being a DJ. While he was in the womb, his disability caused his muscles and joints to not form properly, rending the his arms and legs useless. Watching him DJ with his face (using his chin and mouth) is inspiring, especially when you see that he's taken his talents throughout the UK as both a DJ and a producer.
DJ Black Coffee
Johannesburg's DJ Black Coffee lost the use of his left arm at the age of 13, after being run over during a celebration for the release of Nelson Mandela. His album Home Brewed won a South African Music Award in 2006, has donated proceeds of his record sales to charity, and had even set up a foundation that's aided the plight of diabled peoples. Take a half hour and get entranced to his selection.