|Birth name||Marko Vuoriheimo|
|Born||June 26, 1978|
|Associated acts||MC mahtotapa, DJ sulava|
Signmark (born Marko Vuoriheimo on June 26, 1978 in Helsinki) is a deaf Finnish rap artist. He describes his music as being party hip hop that takes a stand. Born into a signing family, Vuoriheimo feels that society should not treat the deaf as disabled people but as a linguistic minority with their own culture and history.
Although it was only in 2004 that Vuoriheimo started creating his own music, he has signed poetry and music since he was a child. Christmas carols were some of the first music he learned to sign. When performing, he rhymes signs by ensuring that they have the same types of hand forms and signs. The bass line is important for him, as it helps him follow the music and time his rhymes. His facial expressions reinforce the signs, while improvisation is an essential part of the overall package.
His debut album, Signmark was released on 29 November 2006. The album included the soundtrack on CD and signed music videos on DVD. The album had eight songs on it, many of which dealt with the history, culture and rights of the Finnish signing community. His songs are freeform signing, even though the vocal versions rhyme. His goal is to incorporate more rhyming signed lyrics on his next album.
Signmark was one of the artists competing in Finland’s national qualifications to represent it in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. Signmark won his qualifying round on January 23, 2009 with Speakerbox, which he performed with Osmo Ikonen, as he received 46.5% of the votes. At the finals on January 31, Signmark placed second behind Waldo's People with 41.2% of the votes.
The original Signmark group split up in May 2009, after which Signmark signed a record deal with Warner Music as a solo artist. His record deal was a historic moment as he became the first deaf person to sign a recording contract with an international record company.
- Signmark (2006)
- Breaking The Rules (2010)
- "Other News: Signmark". European Union of the Deaf. February 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2010.
- Stenros, Nuppu (2008). Signmark (in Finnish). Otava. ISBN 978-951-1-22930-8.
- "Maailma kylässä: Signmark" [World Village Festival: Signmark] (in Finnish). 2006. Retrieved September 29, 2008.[dead link]
- "Bio" (in Finnish). Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Signmark feat. Osmo Ikonen" (in Finnish). YLE. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
- "Suomen karsinnan kutsuartistit valittu" [Invited artists selected for Finland’s Eurovision semi-finals] (in Finnish). YLE. September 25, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
- "Signmark feat. Osmo Ikonen ja Jari Sillanpää veivät viimeiset suorat finaalipaikat" [Signmark feat. Osmo Ikonen and Jari Sillanpää win the last direct spots in the finals] (in Finnish). YLE. January 23, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
- "Suomen euroviisuedustaja on Waldo's people" [Waldo's people to represent Finland] (in Finnish). YLE. January 31, 2009. Retrieved January 31, 2009.