ⓘ Nico DiMarco
Nico DiMarco is a well-known deaf DJ. He is also identified as the fraternal twin brother of America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco. Nico has become a recognized figure in both deaf and hearing communities throughout the United States as a result of his unprecedented success as a Deaf DJ.
DiMarco is a fourth-generation Deaf individual originally from Queens, NY. As DiMarco was growing up, his mother moved their family around the country in search of the best deaf education for her children. DiMarco’s family, including his mother, fraternal twin Nyle, and older brother Neal, first moved to Texas before settling in Frederick, Maryland, close to Washington D.C. Overall, Nico is one of 25 Deaf individuals in his family, and has been known to share how proud he is to be Deaf. DiMarco grew up in a Deaf family without much exposure to music. When he first became introduced to music at a young age, he became intrigued specifically by the beats, as he is unable to hear most music, accessing lyrics by reading along or through memorization. At first, his family was skeptical about Nico’s love for music, and wondered why he was so fascinated by it. Eventually, however, DiMarco’s parents purchased some speakers for him in order to aid in DiMarco’s ability to feel the beat of music. Purchasing these speakers also allowed him to have more access to music at their home. After settling in Frederick, MD, both Nico and Nyle attended the Maryland School for the Deaf, before going on to attend Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Nico has remained in D.C. throughout his life to date. He currently both resides and works in the city.
DiMarco began his first work as a Deaf DJ while at Gallaudet University, where he was well-received by his friends and peers. After graduating in 2012, DiMarco went on to earn a daytime job as an IT specialist for the U.S. government. Keeping up his passion for music, DiMarco also began working as a DJ as a part-time occupation. Prior to DiMarco’s work as a Deaf DJ, it was common for hearing DJs to be hired to work deaf events and play music that was not entirely accessible to a deaf audience. DiMarco found much success when he began to introduce the rhythms of 1990s and 2000s music to deaf audiences. DiMarco has said that there is currently no market for Deaf music, so Deaf DJs work in the music business alongside hearing people. In order for Deaf people to excel in the music and DJing industry, DiMarco has said:" All we have to do is practice and listen to the music more often than hearing people do. It just takes some extra time”. Although he is currently especially popular to book for deaf events, DiMarco also practices his DJ work for hearing audiences throughout the United States. Upon being booked, DiMarco will initially contact his client in advance via email. Once at his job site, he ensures accessibility of communication by typing out his conversations, or through the use of an ASL interpreter if his clients are not able to communicate in ASL. DiMarco often prepares for his jobs by reading the lyrics of songs, which allows him to match the rhythm to the words more effectively. Although DiMarco may not be able to hear all of the music he shares through DJing, he, like most Deaf people, is able to feel its vibrations. This is especially true for songs with lower frequencies, which create more palpable vibrations. DiMarco has said that hearing is not necessary for a person to be able to enjoy music. When asked to give his best advice to other Deaf people, DiMarco says to remember that Deaf people can do anything. According to DiMarco, if other Deaf people want to DJ, they should simply" do their homework and make it happen,” because they’re equally as capable of achieving success.