Macy Baez Interview
Macy Baez, a hip-hop dancer who was born profoundly deaf, is fronting a new project from Sony Australia New Zealand. The collaboration with the young dancer features a hip-hop/electro track specifically designed for her, so she can literally feel the music, powered by Sony's new Extra Bass SRS-XB3 wireless speaker.
Baez is able to experience sound with the aid of cochlear implants, but relies heavily on being able to feel music vibrations, particularly bass notes, in order to dance.
The 15-year-old from Illawarra, NSW, discovered her passion for dancing at a young age. Baez started dance lessons when she was eight, instinctively feeling the vibrations of the music to help her move to the beat.
With this in mind, Sony enlisted the skills of Josh Fountain from Level Two Music in New Zealand to compose a track specifically for Baez.
Strong bass notes throughout the track enable Baez to feel vibrations that have helped her to choreograph a 90-second dance to the beat.
Baez says having a music track created specifically for her is a huge thrill: 'Dance is a language for me. I feel the beat speaks to me and I speak back through dance."
Fountain comments, 'I wanted to make a track that would kick you in the stomach and make you want to move, I wanted to strip layers away and concentrate on the bass frequencies that you physically feel."
The track is enhanced through Sony's new Extra Bass XB3 wireless speaker, which enables Baez to easily take her music with her and rehearse wherever she is. The Bluetooth wireless speaker range delivers deep, punchy bass with clear vocals and rich detailed sound.
Sony Australia New Zealand Head of Video and Sound, Abel Makhraz says, 'It's been exciting working with Macy and watching her choreograph a routine to a bass-heavy track specifically produced for her. She's an amazingly talented dancer and being able to support her dance career is a great privilege for Sony. The track is played on Sony's XB3 speaker which is designed for big bass reproduction – we hope it continues to inspire some sensational dance moves."
Visit sony.com.au/extrabass to watch Macy's video, learn more about the dancer that defies perception, and other behind the scenes content.
DEFY by Sony feat. Macy Baez, Hero piece
DEFY by Sony: Who is Macy Baez?
DEFY by Sony: Behind the Scenes
DEFY by Sony: Macy meets Parris Goebel
DEFY by Sony : Feel the Extra Bass, Group dance Vid
Interview with Macy Baez
Macy Baez is a hip-hop dancer and is a member of Illagroovers, a young Australian dance crew. She lives in the Illawarra, New South Wales, with her parents and attends Dapto High School.
Macy was born profoundly deaf. She taught herself how to sign for things like wanting a drink at a young age, as well as lip reading to be able to communicate with her parents. Macy still lip reads well and uses this technique in loud situations, when she is having trouble understanding.
Macy had her first cochlear implant procedure in her left ear in 2003, followed by many hours of speech therapy to get to a level where she could hear something and understand whether it is the sound of language or the sound of a beat. She began hearing and developing her speech after this implant. She had a second implant in her right ear in 2012.
She began dance lessons in 2008 and says it is her passion. The successful dancer has competed at the World Hip-Hop Championships with her young dance crew, Illagroovers, and recently competed in the HHI Australian Hip-Hop Dance Championships.
Her dream is to make it as a professional dancer and hopes to one day attend Parris Goebel's dance school in New Zealand.
Question: What originally inspired your love of dancing?
Macy Baez: Michael Jackson really inspired me with his music, that made me want to dance. I watched his videos to watch how he moves and how he feels the beat. Michael Jackson inspired me when he said 'don't force yourself, you have to feel it"; thinking is the biggest mistake for a dancer.
Question: Why did you choose to focus on hip-hop dancing?
Macy Baez: I think hip-hop dancing is very cool and it makes me happy – it's very entertaining.
Question: Can you tell us about Illagroovers?
Macy Baez: Illagroovers are my fam-bam; they are super nice to talk to and dance with and even through ups and downs we overcome it when performing. We're going to Vegas this year in August so we are currently doing a lot of training which has been full on.
Question: How did you get involed with Illagroovers?
Macy Baez: When I went to Brooke Tulloch's North Wollongong dance studio Street Beatz Hip-Hop in 2010 is when I started with Illagroovers. I thought it would be fun to be in a crew with people I love dancing with.
Question: What training are you doing leading up to the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships?
Macy Baez: Sometimes our training is Kinect Games to teach us to connect together and build our vibe. We train a minimum of four hours with a maximum of six hours.
Question: Can you share with us a description of your routine?
Macy Baez: The Illagroovers routine begins quite serious until a member flips and then we all begin to smile as the break-out moment and as the routine progresses our emotions change from angry to happy and chilled to gangster. It's a full-on 2 minute routine with lots of hard moves including backflips and other cool tricks.
Question: Can you talk us through your collaboration with Sony?
Macy Baez: I am excited to be the face for Sony's new Extra Bass SRS-XB3 wireless speaker - I love the speaker, it's amazing how portable it is, I can just put it in my bag and go wherever I want but still be able to train (dance). You can use two or more of the speakers, at once. I'll use the larger model (SRS-XB7) for Illagroovers training sessions.
Question: What was it like meeting Parris Goebel?
Macy Baez: It was a dream come true to meet Parris Goebel; I wasn't expecting to meet her, it was a surprise.
Question: What have you learnt from Parris Goebel?
Macy Baez: I've learnt so much from Parris Goebel. I live by her motto 'be fearless, be strong and be who you are'. I've learnt from her to be proud of who I am and understand now that we all have to make sacrifices to dance which is tough but I have always made sacrifices.
Question: What's next, for you?
Macy Baez: I am training a lot, on my own, to become an individual dancer using a variation of styles including battles and solos. I do struggle when dancing alone as I feel like I am missing the vibe, on stage. I'm looking forward to traveling to America with the Illagroovers for the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships and I hope we feel good, all together, on stage, again. I'm putting my hands down to say "we need to be in the finals" but if we make it through the prelims, that's all that matters. Two years ago we made it to the semi-final and that was massive, for us. This year we are working very hard to make the finals.
We are focusing on doing the best we can do and we will be ready to go because we've been training, training, training.
Interview by Brooke Hunter