"I grew up in a way that I don't want any sympathy. I don't want to be treated differently," he said. "I just tried to maneuver around, reading lips and trying to hear my own way."
When her son announced he wanted to be a professional DJ instead of joining the family restaurant business, Sapeta was cautiously supportive.
"We could see his talent and his passion, but I kept worrying about that left ear," she said. "Anything to stop his dreams, he didn't want it."
Hearing is the most important sense for a DJ, who manipulates music, scratches records and uses mixers. But Wilde was determined to succeed without his.
Always drawn to music, he discovered turntables in high school through a friend's brother who was a DJ.
Wilde got his first shot at performing as a DJ at his father's restaurant outside Newark, New Jersey, nearly a decade ago, and he hasn't looked back since.
"I still consider it as a hobby. I really do love it," Wilde said. "I don't see it as a job, and that's the best part."
Wilde started out playing CDs before pushing himself to scratch records, something he knew he needed help with.
"It's a hard business alone for the hearing community," he said, "And I was like, 'I'm hearing impaired and how's that going to work?'"
So he paired up with two-time DMC world champion DJ and Harvard math grad Sam Zornow, aka DJ Shiftee, who was teaching at Dubspot, a DJ school and production studio in New York.