The America’s Got Talent Semi-Finalists for 2017 included 29-year-old singer and song writer Mandy Harvey, who is deaf and very talented. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and specializes in jazz and pop music.
Born with hearing problems, Mandy Harvey started singing at a very young age.
In high school, she was named the “Top Female Vocalist” at her graduation and was one of 15 students accepted to Colorado State University to be vocal majors. She lost all of her hearing when she was 18 due to a connective tissue disorder that affected her nerves. She also had to leave Colorado University where she majored in singing education. After grieving for a year, she returned to performing in 2008 and has released All of Me in 2014, After You’ve Gonein 2010 and Smile in 2009.
She took American Sign Language classes and courses in Elementary Education in Longmont, Colorado.
She revealed that learning the American Sign Language enabled her to accept herself and try new things again. However, she stated that she had finally returned back to her passion with the aid of muscle memory, usage of visual turners and trusting her pitch. “I’ll feel and concentrate the drums through the floor, through my feet and then the bass through your chest. And if a saxophone player is next to me then it will be on my arm. So you just designate parts of your body so you can concentrate on who’s playing what and when,” she said.
The talented deaf musician appeared on America’s Got Talent singing several of her original songs during the competition.
The judges were all in awe at her performance. Her first performance in front of the jury earned her a golden buzzer from Simon Cowell! Her latest performance in which she sang one of her original compositions wowed the audience, and Mandy gathered enough votes that got her a spot as a semi-finalist.
Harvey sings barefoot onstage in order to feel the vibrations and beat of the music, she also uses a visual tuner that helps her visualize her singing tone.
“Whenever I’m singing and looking at the tuner i’m also feeling the movement in my own body. A long time ago I started talking with a balloon so I could feel myself talking, to practice judging volume, and compare it to other musicians” she said. She gave credit to her parents who urged her to try music again. “I started to play music because of my dad and mom. I grew up playing guitar with my dad and he and my mom encouraged me to start again” she told Elle in an interview.
Harvey is currently touring and will be set to release her book at the end of September.
She is a motivational speaker and has served as an inspiration for many, making them aware of how their disorders, limitations or barriers can’t and should not stop their dreams and aspirations in life.