A TikTok of an American Sign Language interpreter translating “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion has been viewed millions of times online. Then, interpreter Kelly Kurdi took the opportunity of her newfound fame to elevate deaf creators and highlight ways to provide better access for the deaf community.
Last weekend, Megan Thee Stallion performed at Lollapalooza, where she sang the steamy summer anthem.
People in the audience enjoyed the music but were also blown away by the spirited on-stage translation of the song, which was performed by Kurdi. A recording of the show went viral on TikTok after attendee Guilherme Vital Senise da Silva posted a video of it on his account.
As of Wednesday night, the video had been viewed more than 11.7 million times on TikTok and close to 4 million times on Twitter.
Responding to her viral fame, Kurdi gave a nod to Raven Sutton, the dancer who created the interpretation of “WAP.”
“Thanks for the love on my page from hearing people but I’m just an interpreter passionate about providing access to a community I love and have learned everything from,” Kurdi wrote on Instagram.
She called on her new followers to do their part to make the world more accessible by captioning content, providing ASL interpreters whenever possible and supporting deaf creators.
“And if you’re still wondering why deaf and hard of hearing people go to concerts, follow these pages and learn something new,” she added, giving links to the pages of other creators, including @freelove19xx, @_jtay_,@deafinitelydope, @redmenace11 and @slntwrlddd. “Seeing an interpreter at a concert shouldn’t be shocking. Seeing a deaf interpreter on tour with every artist should be the norm!”
Admiration for Kurdi’s work poured into the TikTok comment section.
“I’m Deaf and interpreters at concerts and plays are phenomenal cause they’re part of the process and production so they’re super well-rehearsed,” wrote one user.
“She understood the assignment,” wrote another.
Da Silva, the person who shot the footage, told BuzzFeed News he was glad the clip could provide visibility for ASL in a fun way and hoped it would prompt viewers to learn more about sign language and the culture surrounding it.