Have you seen our recent TV video featuring Alex Nowak, a Deaf actor who enjoys the music of Queen? He’s seen air guitaring and tapping his foot, feeling the vibrations of the iconic music through the speaker.
Many assume there is only one way to enjoy music but in both our advert and website video (which will form part of a series) we wanted to highlight that music is accessible to everybody and can be enjoyed in a range of different ways.
We partnered with the British Deaf Association to create and film the advert and extended video for our website.
Justin Smith, Research and Communications Manager at the British Deaf Association told us; “When The Royal Mint approached us with the idea, we loved it and were delighted to be involved. It’s great to see awareness being raised around people who are Deaf but can still enjoy music. Whether that’s detecting vibrations of sound waves by placing hands on speakers or wall, connecting with lyrics or idolising the bands, the video series is a great way to show that music is accessible to anyone.”
Queen are a band who exude attitude, from Freddie Mercury’s flamboyant outfits and stage presence, to the emotion their music draws out. Many agree that you ‘feel’ music; there are some pieces that seem to connect on a far deeper level than others. Bohemian Rhapsody is an example of this; an operatic, pop music amalgamation of theatre, head-banging and musical genius that can be universally enjoyed by so many, even years on from its original release.
Justin continues, “Our first priority was to ensure that Deaf people and British Sign Language is represented appropriately and we are delighted that The Royal Mint has taken a sensitive approach to raising an important issue and have cast a Deaf actor in the role. Alex has done a fantastic job of demonstrating that music can be enjoyed by everybody universally. We’re also very pleased to see British Sign Language used at the end of the advert; 151,000 individuals in the UK using BSL every day, The Royal Mint have raised awareness of how important it is for accessibility in music to be highlighted in mainstream culture.
“I love the Queen coin and look forward to seeing the next coins in the Music legends series.”
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director for Commemorative Coin and Royal Mint Experience comments, “It has been a fantastic opportunity to work with The British Deaf Association on this video and to draw attention to the fact that Queen really are ‘more than just the music’. The range has been incredibly popular and we’re delighted that we can highlight this through working with Alex and the team at BDA.”
In recent years, the importance of accessibility to music has become more and more prominent. Hip hop act Kevin Walker, AKA Signkid has performed his tracks at a number of festivals including Wireless, and Ed Sheeran has also raised awareness and highlighted the importance of producing accessible music by using sign language in his video for his hit single 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You'. The renowned composer Ludwig Van Beethoven also became deaf during his lifetime and some of his most timeless pieces were composed after losing his hearing.
Actor Alex Nowak comments, “I was delighted to be involved in such a fantastic project. The advert promotes deafness in such a positive concept. I don't think anything like this has been done before. Queen’s music is legendary and it's an absolute delight to be promoting them on the coins.
“It's great that The Royal Mint are breaking down barriers and showing mainstream audiences that deaf people do enjoy music. When the silence is deafening, I have to put music on!”