Teen pop star Dylan Hyde says his deafness is no occupational handicap.
  • Teen pop star Dylan Hyde says his deafness is no occupational handicap.
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“At the Del Mar Fair? We played to what they said was one of the biggest crowds ever. We were on the stage in front of the grandstand.” Dylan Hyde calls from the Chrissy Field studios in Spring Valley. “People were right in front and all along the sides and around the big fountain.” He fronts an eight-piece. “It was awesome.”

Things are heating up for the 15-year-old pop crooner from Santee. “I’ve got Teen Hoot coming up in Nashville, and then we’re gonna go on tour.” Chrissy Field, his label, will release his debut full-length in October; so far, a pair of singles have been released on iTunes. Hyde also stars in the web TV series Amazed. And then there’s the endorsement deal he just landed with Barnabas clothing. Hyde, along with Disney star Jake Short, will be a part of their “A Life Worth Imitating” campaign.

“It’s our main tag line,” says Alex Aquino, president and CEO of the Pasadena-based clothing manufacturer. “Every month, we try to exemplify someone who is living that lifestyle.” Hyde, it turns out, has what some might consider an occupational handicap to his chosen line of work: he is partially deaf. In June, he posted a YouTube video that said as much.

Using a series of hand-written flash cards, Hyde revealed that he has been hearing-disabled since birth. “My hearing impairment has affected my speech and made it hard for me to relate to others,” says one card. Another card reveals that he will need to undergo more surgery in the coming months. The video ends with Hyde stepping up to a microphone and covering a Sigur Ros tune.

“So, I’m relearning English,” Hyde laughs. “I’m learning words I heard incorrectly as a child that were not words at all.” He explains that the congenital issue was in both ears. “[Doctors] did the right one first, and it came out good. Then they did the left one, and something went wrong. It doesn’t work at all, but the right one works even better now.

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