Today in Tha Wire, Holly Maniatty, has become an overnight celebrity.  You may not know who she is, but given the country's reaction to her showstopping performance on Saturday May 6, I got a good feeling she'll be a household name before long.  Holly slayed the equal access stage, during Snoop Dogg’s show at this years Nola Jazz Fest.  Like girlfriend put it down!  Her interpretation of the Hip Hop icons show was recorded by a concert goer, and went viral within minutes after to being uploaded to social media racking up more than 17 million views.

This is the type of news I love to report.  The world needs more feel-good news like this on the daily, if you ask me.  Holly is a gifted ASL Sign Interpreter, who works for the American Sign Language Association.   She and her team are hired annually by the New Orleans Jazz Fest Disability Department, as part of the festivals Equal Access program. It's all about inclusion and equal opportunity for all.  Holly and her co-workers have the honor of providing the ultimate music experience to Deaf concert-goers, so they too can enjoy the live performances at the famous Fair Grounds.

This isn't Holly's first merry-go-round either, this chick has been upstaging music legends like Snoop, Jay Z, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, and Eminem for more than 10-years now.  So this sister knows how to work a crowd.  Peep Holly turnin up below, to the rap legends monster collab with 50 Cent, P.I.M.P.

You go gurl!   Video of the rockin' certified sign language interpreter made it's first appearence on Facebook thanks to the crew from, “The Good Life Radio Show.”   Nola Defender reports Maniatty commented on the post, saying she was shocked by all the attention.  She didn't take all the credit either.  Holly was quick to shout-out all the other hardworking American Sign Language interpreters she works with writing, "ASL interpreting is one part of an amazing access program at NOLA Jazz Fest," She proudly announced I am, "Part of a great team of interpreters; Amy Adkins, Jessica Minges, Denise Crochet, Monique Sarpi, Jessica Howell and Dave Coyne."

Holly's performance and viral video has caught the attention of every major media network, including USA Today.  They caught up with the busy music interpreter and asked her how she knew this was the job for her and why.  Holly explained she's a big Hip Hop fan adding,

"I've always loved hip hop," Maniatty said. "I've always been intrigued with the ability to use words to convey different meanings. Becoming an interpreter was a natural marriage there." "As an interpreter, you're only as successful as the last song you interpreted, or the 90 seconds someone caught and made viral, so I've been very fortunate that they were successful moments."


She continued, "If they are dropping with the beat and the crowd, bumpin' to a particular rhyme etc. mission accomplished! Music is such a personal experience- to be a part of that for an audience is truly a privilege."

Holly told Today, she still gets surprised her video go viral.  Below listen to why she decided to take on a job like sign interpretation, and what keeps her inspired to continue.

Don't get it twisted, Holly has made skillz, but there is a lot of work and preparation that goes into her sign interpretations.  She said she will put 50 to 80 hours studying the artist, their music, and bio to make her interpretations as authentic as possible.  In 2013 during an interview she spoke on what this entails saying,

“In order to make the interpretations as authentic as possible so the deaf patron is getting as close to the same experience as the hearing people are getting, I’m using signs that are, you know, indigenous to where that person, you know, grew up, or where they’re from or where they’re living currently.”

Holly's devotion and love of what she does shows in more ways than one.  An example of how it's paying off.. she explained a deaf concertgoer told her after the Wu-Tang Clan concert: “I never really got why people like hip-hop so much and now I get it.”  Wow!

Holly you and the entire team at ASL make a profound difference in the way the hearing impaired experience music around the world, THANK YOU!  For more on the latest entertainment, get the daily scoop with Tha Wire and only on The People's Station 107 Jamz.

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