Interview with Troi Lee by Amy Morton

Amy caught up with the amazing Troi , founder of Deaf Rave to congratulate him on his recent Night Time Industries Association award, and to find out more about Deaf Rave.
My name is Troi Lee AKA DJ Chinaman and I am the founder of Deaf Rave.  We have been organising events, festivals and DJ workshops in the last 20 years for the d/Deaf community and also in mainstream settings.  It has been an incredible and inspiring journey!  Working with so many wonderful people in the UK and across the world.
 
Amy: Firstly huge congratulations on your recent award from the NTIA, what did this mean to you? 
 
Troi: It is an honour to win our first award in 20 years.  I received a phone call last week from Michael Kill CEO of NTIA.  He says “Troi please come on this Monday and do a cool speech and collect your award “.  Originally, I thought it was someone pulling my leg.  It was a great feeling because I have never expected any awards in my lifetime, it’s just not something I expected.  I’m just a humble guy who has a very deep passion for keeping the UK Deaf culture going. I must carry on the work I have been doing. I guess it is a bonus for myself and Deaf Rave. I hope this is the first of the many!
 
Amy: What’s the response been since the broadcast of your Deaf Rave Netflix YouTube broadcast? 
 
Troi: It has been inspiring for me as the music world is starting to open up more than ever.  Festivals, gigs, events and other amazing collaborators are very interested in booking Deaf Rave.  We are now getting into mainstream more than ever.  We want to elevate Deaf music and Deaf culture further on the map. The Netflix Turn Up the Bass has brought us to new levels for myself and the team.  I must stress to say it was a fantastic short documentary.  Thanks to everyone involved.  Everybody smashed it as expected and I hope they are all inspired further in what they do whether it is sign language rap or Deaf film director.  My job is always the same, keep motivating and empowering the Deaf community that if I can do it, we all can do it.  Make the impossibilities become possibilities. I have been doing this for a very long time now.
 
Amy: What has been your biggest highlights in your 20 years of Deaf Rave ? 
 
Troi: I have to say 2 things:
 
 1) Deaf Rave Festival 20th anniversary, the festival was for all ages at Rich Mix.  Daytime for the children was a blessing and I truly hope they were inspired.  We worked with the best Deaf performers in the game and booked the number-one Deaf rapper in the world; Wawa’s World! This was a dream come true.
 
2) Boomtown Fair – That would be the pinnacle moment of my DJ career and other Deaf DJs in my team.  We were giving a 6-hour take-over stage called the Botanica Street Party.  When we started DJing at midnight about 4000 people started heading over to our stage.  It was strictly Drum and Bass Jump Up that killed it!  The Deaf Rave crew will never forget that experience.   
 
Amy: For anyone wanting to get involved with the music industry, what would be your advice to them? 
 
Troi: I would say keep grinding, no matter what anyone tells you!  If somebody says you can’t do it, it means you CAN do it.  Never limit yourself.  This is a skill that is acquired over the years.  Only you would know your limit.  At the moment only 2 or 3% of d/Deaf & Disabled people are in the music industry.  Let’s increase those numbers as much as we can! Many will come out of the cracks and come forward the more we show that we can do it. To be honest, Deaf people have been marginalised from music lessons in the education system.  We are here to change that mindset!  A long way to go, but the Deaf Rave ethos and philosophy are now in motion.  Only time will tell.   For now, all Deaf music people, keep practising and creating. You can only get better!

Thank you Troi. We think you will all agree with me that Troi has an incredible passion for Deaf Rave! We think it’s incredible what you and your team are achieving and we wish you many more awards and success in the future! the future is bright and incredibly exciting with Deaf Rave in the world!

If your new to Deaf Rave why not head along to Deaf Rave’s festival this year ! Tickets available here.

Watch TURN UP THE BASS on Youtube here .
 

Sign Up to our

Newsletter

for all our updates, blog news, resources and more!