"Gesturing even faster": Holly Maniatty, a sign language interpreter for rock and rap artists

A sign language interpreter is a demanding and responsible job that allows no leeway. But not for the heroine of our article! Holly Magnatti is a girl whose emotionality outshines even Eminem. Let's find out how the Portland sign language interpreter manages to translate rappers' lyrics into sign language so clearly.

Holly Maniatty is the most famous sign language interpreter on the Internet

Many musicians take care of their fans in different ways: some serve bottles of water from the stage on a hot concert day, while others call on stage to make them happy. A new level is reached by performers who, caring for their deaf fans, invite sign language interpreters. That's how Holly Magnatti got her popularity, getting caught in the crosshairs of the cameras at an Eminem concert.

The popular video that broke all the patterns about sign language interpreters 

Holly Maniatty
Holly Maniatty

Video of the song "Rap God" by Eminem was posted on the Internet after his concert at the Firefly festival. However, it was not only the famous rapper who was caught in the crosshairs of the cameras.

A short recording shows a girl named Holly Magnatti - A sign language interpreter whose hand movements fall in time with Eminem's words. Users were shocked by the speed with which Holly spoke in sign language. Some of them were worried about whether hearing-impaired fans would understand the interpreter, to which the experts who came to comment reassured them: deaf people are more likely to come to concerts for the sense of music itself, and interpreters are more likely to interpret the text to convey its meaning.

Rap God is the fastest rap song 

American rapper Eminem's "Rap God" was released back in 2013 as a single from his eighth studio album "The Marshall Matters LP 2.". The text contains references to the performer's past conflicts, as well as to the behavior of other rappers.

In 2015, the song entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the single containing largest number of words: in six minutes and three seconds the rapper says about 1560 words. Eminem's aggressive delivery of the lyrics and the theme of the song allow for an incredible pace of 148 beats per minute. Eminem says 97 words in 15 seconds, which the singer himself describes as "supersonic speed". This makes it quite possible to mark the song "Rap God" as the fastest song - per second Eminem says about 6.5 words.

Who is Holly Magnatti?

Holly Maniatty at work
Holly Maniatty at work

Holly Magnatti - is a professional concert interpreter in sign language. She is part of the interpreting team for the annual Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee. Holly is a true Internet sensation who conquered the world back in 2013 with her concert Killer Mike Tennessee.

Manyatti grew up in rural Vermont; becoming an interpreter was her sincere desire. After studying at Rochester Institute of Technology, where a fair number of deaf people studied, she worked as a full-time interpreter at RIT for a while when her accidentally was asked to work at a concert. This began Holly's career as a concert interpreter.

Working at concerts

Holly Magnatti at a Wu-Tan Clan concert
Holly Magnatti at a Wu-Tang Clan concert

When Holly moved to Portland, she was offered a job at the Bonnaroo. It was a serious step for the girl: in three or four days the interpreter had to work at about 15 concerts.

For the kind of stunning results that Holi gets at concerts, you have to prepare more 40 hours listening to music, understanding the mood of the musician and his message in the songs.

Working at the festival, Holi was given many opportunities: she admits that she incredibly enjoyed interpreting various music - from lyrical to hardcore. In addition, Bonnaroo attracts interpreters from all over the country, and it gives study from other professionals and share their experiences.

Why hip-hop?

Holly Magnatti in concert in 2017
Holly Magnatti in concert in 2017

As for every person devoted to linguistics, it is important to Manyatti that her translations have as many variations as possible. Thus it has become very important to her hip-hop - According to the girl, it allows you to use much more means of language. She delights in the way rap breaks down barriers not only linguistically, but also ideologically. Rap culture, according to Holly, inspires people.

Hip-hop interpreter counts perfect a means for communicating in sign language, as many different concepts of language can be conveyed.

Black belt in Taekwondo

Holly Magnatti
Holly Magnatti

At the same time, Holi is a first-degree black belt in taekwondo, which is very helps her in interpreting the lyrics of the songs.

The sign language interpreter states that not only hand movements are very important in her work, but also bodies. To work with rappers such as Eminem and Jay-Z, Manyatti familiarized herself with their body language to more accurately convey the emotions of the song. She tries to capture the movements of the artists in her work, as this is necessary above all for the respect of the musician as an artist.

Who else did Holly Magnatti perform with

Holly Magnatti at the Royal Majesty pageant with one of the contestants
Holly Magnatti at the Royal Majesty pageant with one of the contestants

Before the viral video with Eminem, Holly became famous among rap fans at the Killer Mike concert in 2013. The whole audience was amazed by her calibrated moves, which exactly repeated the rapper's words. The musician was so impressed with Holly's work that he went down to the stage level, where the sign language interpreters were standing, and danced with them, and then decided to test Maniatti to see if she would reproduce every uncensored word he said. And she did this!

Earlier, the girl performed on the show with Wu-Tang ClanThe Wu brothers were so shocked by what Holly was doing on stage with them, one of them jumped on stage to perform with her. The Wu brothers were so shocked by what Holly was doing on stage with them that one of them jumped off stage to perform freestyle. Once again, Manyatti was not far behind. Before performing with Wu-Tang, the sign language interpreter had spent at least 70 hours preparing, studying the songs and biography of the band. The artists were thrilled and said that for them it was Honor To see Holly at her hard work.

Other interesting videos with Holly Magnatti

Holly has been spotted by fans Snoop Dogg at his show. The girl danced to his tracks and gestured not only to the lyrics, but also to the meaning of the song.

Not only rappers, but also a rock singer, were delighted with the girl's skills. Bruce Springsteen. With her, the musician rocked out at a performance in New Orleans in 2012.

At the Firefly festival Holly collaborated not only with Eminem. She spoke in sign language with a special feeling when on stage were Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Whoo Kid. The artists also gave their enthusiastic support to Holly.


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