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Keny Grey, the Minnesota music artist who signs and sings

He quit his career in corporate America to pursue music full time. Now Grey is speaking to an audience many artists have overlooked.

MINNEAPOLIS — With more than one million plays across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and other social media platforms combined, Keny Grey's music video is wowing an audience often forgotten. 

The Minnesota artist's personal story is wow-worthy too. Late last year, Grey left his job as a business analyst to invest in himself.

"I saved up my money and I got enough to pay my bills for a year and I'm just trying the best I can to make it in the music industry," Grey said.

Yet he's not focused solely on himself. In an effort to improve inclusion for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Grey's music video, "Wow," is both signed and sung.

"Deaf people enjoy music too," Grey said. "A lot of people are not able to enjoy the content that they love because they're not thought of and so that's something that I want to change."

Grey grew up with two grandparents who are deaf.

Credit: KARE 11
Minnesota artist Keny Grey sits on a motorcycle with his grandfather.
Credit: KARE 11
Minnesota artist Keny Grey with his grandmother.

"I [also] have a hard-of-hearing younger brother and American Sign Language has just kind of always been a part of my life," he said. "It's always kind of, I guess, bothered me that I couldn't share that with some of my family. It's awesome to be able to put those two worlds together. My family and my art."

Credit: KARE 11
Minnesota artist Keny Grey's brother is hard of hearing. Today, he incorporates American Sign Language into his music videos and social media content.

Now Grey finds himself part of a larger family: The deaf community. From the video's ASL director, Giovanni Maucere, to the talent on screen and the consumers.

"It's been really kind of amazing," Grey said. "So many people have reached out. I've just never felt more like I was doing something that was important."

While it's unlikely fellow artists will follow suit and start signing as they sing, Grey has a suggestion for content creators on social media.

"It would be great if you could just caption your content," he said. "There are many apps out there that make that easy. There's even automatic captioning apps out there where, if you're talking in a format much like we are right now, you just take the video, you run it through the app and it captions your content for you."

Keny Grey's music is available on all major streaming platforms. Updates are posted on his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages as well as his newsletter.

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