January 25, 2018

Sam “Big Makk” Koroitamudu

Samisoni “Big Makk” Koroitamudu was an up and coming DJ and music producer taking over the scene in Orlando, FL. Tragically, he was killed in a car accident on August 29, 2016 during the prime of his music career.

Born Samisoni Laweca Koroitamudu, Big Makk was one of Orlando’s hottest DJs. He was also an entrepreneur who used his mixing skills to produce sizzling hot tracks that were all his own. The rising star was just 25 years old at the time of his death.

Honoring Big Makk with a Music School Scholarship in His Honor

Big Makk’s mother, Jill Abraham, is paying tribute to her son by establishing a recording arts scholarship at Orlando’s F.I.R.S.T. Institute. This is the recording arts school from which he graduated. She established the Big Makk Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to raise money for the music scholarship award.

A Note from Jill Abraham AKA Mama Makk

Also called Mama Makk since her son’s tragic death, Jill Abraham is determined to help others become music professionals in Big Makk’s name through a music school scholarship:

“I am raising money for Scholarships for students that want to go to school for music. My son Samisoni “Big Makk” Koroitamudu was tragically killed in a car accident in August 2016.”

The Rise of a Star Named Big Makk

Big Makk was one of the hottest music producers and DJs in the game, according to fans. Born and raised in Orlando, his career began at the age of 13, when he realized he had a gift for spinning records. Years later, he took his game on the road, going on to tour with industry experts, such as Keys N Krates and Zed’s Dead.

The rising star soon began hosting his own weekly parties for the Orlando crowd called Shake n’ Bass, which was a huge success. Some called it one of Florida’s wildest weekly parties ever. Then, there was Makk Sauce Radio, his monthly radio show. It featured many prominent guests within the local music scene, including Choppa Dunks, Astronomar and Four Color Zack.

As a mix master, Big Makk created tracks that were said to be “off the hook.” The support he received throughout his career showed just how far he was going musically. These are just some of the industry heavy-hitters who supported him and played his music:

  • Mad Decent
  • Main Course
  • Slow Roast
  • Dim Mak
  • Diplo
  • Mr. Carmack
  • Bassnectar

An Interview with Sam “Big Makk” Koroitamudu

He did a November 2015 interview with Smash The Club at EDC Orlando. The diverse DJ talked about his life, his career and working with Mr. Carmack. By this time, he’d been in the game for about 10 years, according to him.

It all began in middle school. He’d listen to the hottest DJs on the radio at the time, such as DJ Chino and DJ Nasty. Big Makk told the interviewer that it intrigued him how the DJs were able to manipulate the music they played on the radio.

He began his professional career as a virtual DJ. Once he saved up enough to buy himself a “Gemini turntable package,” he took it to the next level. His greatest music industry influence was Mr. Carmack, who he called his “homie.” Koroitamudu said the music Mr. Carmack created was unique and very good.

They connected because of this, and the fact that they were both Polynesian. Together, they went on to collaborate on a track on Mad Decent entitled, Tip Toe Wing in My Jawwdinz.

When asked what three words he would use to describe his own style, Big Makk responded:

“Random, unexpected, and crazy.”

Who Was the Orlando DJ Known as Big Makk?

Samisoni Laweca Koroitamudu was born on February 18, 1991 to Seta Koroitamudu and Jill Abraham in Kissimmee, FL. He graduated from high school and went on to attend Valencia Community College. Later, he enrolled in and graduated from the Recording Arts program at Orlando’s Florida Institute of Recording Sound and Technology, also known as F.I.R.S.T. Institute.

He worked diligently to hone his music production and DJ skills. In time, he became one of the well-known players in the music game, gaining his own fan base on local, national and international levels.

And, no matter how much he traveled the globe producing tracks and spinning wax, he always called Orlando home. There, he enjoyed the simple pleasures of life:

  • The Orlando Magic
  • Skateboarding
  • Dining Out
  • Travelling
  • Shopping
  • Hanging with Friends
  • Spending Time with Family

Big Makk Takes Orlando By Storm

Sami went on to co-found Shake n’ Bass, a weekly event that was extremely popular within the Orlando party scene. He played numerous venues and events, not only locally, but across the country. Some include:

  • The Avalon in Hollywood, CA
  • Life in Color Miami Festival
  • Dreamscape Music Festival in Baltimore, MD
  • South By Southwest in Austin, TX

Big Makk had true love for his city, and it showed in everything he did. He went out of his way to let the world know he was from Orlando, Florida. The musical genius was humble about his success and upcoming status in the music world. Well-loved by everyone he touched personally and professionally, this confident artist always made time for his family, as well as his loyal fans.

The death of DJ Big Makk was a great loss to his electronic dance music (EDM), house and Hip Hop fans, and the entire music industry as a whole. He was a passenger in the vehicle crash that took his life on Monday, August 29th, 2016 in Casselberry, Florida.

2016 Brings Tragedies to the Music Industry

The year was 2016. And, it was a horrible year for the music scene, with multiple industry deaths affecting its players. This wave of musician deaths was bizarre, to say the least, touching music lovers globally, and on a local level as well.

For Orlando, this included the tragic death of Samisoni Koroitamudu AKA Big Makk. He was well-known in the local area for his curation skills at Backbooth, where he successfully entertained via the Shake n’ Bass booty-thumping nights.

When the August 2016 car crash took his life, he was only 25 years old. But, by then, he’d already released multiple tracks on highly acclaimed labels such as Mad Decent and Dim Mak.

Since his death, supporters have thrown various events to pay tribute to the popular DJ. The proceeds from these events have gone to the Big Makk Foundation, established by his mother, Jill Abraham, to raise money for a music school scholarship to be awarded in his honor. This musical scholarship is for young adults interested in pursuing careers within the music industry.

Ms. Abraham wants to make sure her son’s name lives on forever. Offering a scholarship to F.I.R.S.T. Institute, the same music school Big Makk graduated from, will help accomplish that.

The Big Makk Special Sauce

Creatives tend to know their passions early on in life. DJ Big Makk was no exception. His passion came from the need to know how to manipulate music on records, and the feeling that he could be great at it.

The record producer was influenced by the music he listened to throughout life, especially as a child. His parents were major fans of classic music artists, such as Bob Marley and Earth, Wind and Fire. They’d play jazz and old school music all the time, which truly inspired him.

He put in a lot of time and hard work making a name for himself in the local music scene of Orlando, performing at Backbooth downtown and other clubs. Big Makk played this venue faithfully every Sunday night.

The artist was also a feature of the weekly dance night at Shake ‘n Bass. Today, the self-proclaimed “church of twerk” is the only weekly nighttime dance event still running in Orlando, which is now featured at V Group’s Vintage Lounge.

A Beat-Making Monster

DJing was not the only thing Koroitamudu spent his time doing. On any given day, he could be found in the recording studio perfecting his own tracks. His goal was to make music that got the crowds moving and ready to dance.

This type of professional dedication won him major lineups at various music festivals, such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Ultra Music Festival alongside such major musical acts as Riff Raff, Juicy J and Chief Keef.

But, it was his work on his guest mix with Diplo & Friends that sent him rising toward stardom and into the spotlight. That’s when his music was exposed to fans of electronic dance music on an international level. This created a new fan base of EDM lovers altogether.

In an interview with F.I.R.S.T. Institute, DJ Big Makk said:

“Life is pretty good now, I can’t complain. I can support myself with my career and that’s what really is important to me.

Just playing all these shows around the country, meeting new people, the new experiences, meeting my peers, especially, and just having all the opportunity really [is amazing].”

Big Makk Talks About F.I.R.S.T. Institute

The famous Orlando DJ is proud of graduating from the F.I.R.S.T. Institute music production school. He credits the educational institution with teaching him the fundamentals he needed to succeed in an industry notorious for its competitive nature.

Big Makk highly recommended the music school’s program. When asked why he considers F.I.R.S.T. Institute to be such a great school, he says the small class sizes and hands-on experience were what helped him the most.

The Orlando DJ advised anyone aspiring to launch a career in the music business to never give up. He says no matter how hard things get, and they will get hard, just stick with it. If you are truly passionate about succeeding in this industry, and you’re willing to work for your success, you’ll do what it takes to make it work.

About the Non-Profit Organization the Big Makk Foundation

The Orlando-based music producer and DJ known as Big Makk was known for his rhythmic and unique sound. Even at 25 years old, it was evident that he knew what he wanted out of life professionally and worked hard to get there. This confident young man was destined for great success.

After his tragic death, his mother, Jill Abraham, decided to do something big and meaningful in his honor. She established a non-profit organization and named it after her beloved son, the Big Makk Foundation. The ultimate goal was two-fold:

  1. To help his legacy continue on for generations
  2. To provide young adults in Orlando with scholarships to a music school to help them pursue their music careers

Big Makk graduated from the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Recording Arts program in Orlando, FL. The graduate was so successful as an up-and-coming DJ and music producer by then, that he was featured in one of the music school’s graduate spotlights. Check it out below.

Because Big Makk gave F.I.R.S.T. Institute so much credit for helping him take his skills to new levels, it was only fitting that his mom chose the same audio production school for the scholarship. The lucky winner will have the chance to attend F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Recording Arts program, in honor of DJ Big Makk. What an honor!

True Legends Never Die

One of the most popular, profound statements ever made regarding legends came from the late, great Babe Ruth, who said:

“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

And, when it comes to the late, great Big Makk, this is definitely the case. The Orlando music icon’s tragic death turned the entire community upside down. However, through the efforts of his fans, friends, family and other local legends, his legacy lives on to this day.

His tune Honey (Makk Day) had been stashed away at the time of his death in August 2016. Soon, the release was made public. All proceeds from its downloads go directly to the nonprofit organization his mother established in his honor, the Big Makk Foundation.

These proceeds are being used to fund the music school scholarship Mama Makk created in her son’s honor. This will help the scholarship award winner get the education and foundation needed to pursue a successful career in the music business.

You can check out his Makk Sauce mixes and other musical releases on Soundcloud. Listen to the Big Makk hit release Honey (Makk Day) below:

Click here to donate to the Big Makk Foundation, and help transform someone’s musical dreams into successful realities.