Marko Vuoriheimo aka Signmark

I love the greenery, architecture and cleanliness of this city.

Marko Vuoriheimo, aka Signmark, is a deaf rap artist who performs in a sign language, as well as a father of three and an entrepreneur.

I was born and still live in Helsinki, and I do not think I will ever move anywhere from here. As a young man, I dreamed I would one day become an artist who would step on stage to perform. At the time, I listened to bands like Bon Jovi.

I decided to see how far I could get. The path of a deaf artist to signing for an international record label has been rocky and hard at times, but fortunately I was able to hold on to my dreams and managed to meet the right people at the right times. I released my first album in 2006. After that I signed a record deal with Warner Music, and since then I have performed in more than 50 countries. I am currently finishing work on my fourth album.

It is a blessing to be Finnish and live in Helsinki

I am a complete native of Helsinki. I was born at the Naistenklinikka women’s hospital, my first home was in Oulunkylä and my second in Pakila. After studying elsewhere in Finland, I returned to Pakila again, and here I am still.

I love the greenery, architecture and cleanliness of this city. Now during the corona pandemic, I have realised just how much I appreciated participating with others and working together. When this period of isolation is over, I believe that Helsinki with its people could be a good place for many who want a genuine sense of community, new friends, hobbies, culture and events.

Helsinki could be even more accessible

Helsinki is a very good place to live for deaf people who use sign language. In fact, sign language is not much different whether you are Sámi, Finnish-Swedish or even English-speaking. You do not need a wheelchair, walking stick or guide dog, only an interpreter if necessary.

Many city and state services have been made accessible to the deaf, at least to the minimum standards. The City of Helsinki is moving in the right direction, but personally I would hope for even more comprehensive services, such as real-time sign language interpreting of press conferences. Many Finnish and Helsinki agencies already use various interpretation services and software to make things easier. On the whole, I would say that for the deaf, Helsinki is one of the best places in the world.

Places that inspire me:    

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