UCF community remembers Orlando artist Big Makk

Photo courtesy of Blaise Castellano.

Orlando DJ and producer Big Makk, 25, was killed in a one-vehicle crash Monday morning at the intersection of Lake Drive and Park Drive in Seminole County.

Big Makk, whose given name is Samisoni Koroitamudu, was one of three victims. The driver of the Dodge Challenger was identified as Alexander Rivera, 26, and the third victim was identified as Gady Carl Gaspard, 27.

After the car hit a tree, it burst into flames. There was no evidence of breaking or any visible skid marks. Speed may have been a factor, according to Casselberry police.

After the incident, Central Floridians took to social media to mourn the loss of Koroitamudu, who was a well-known name in the Orlando music industry.

“Everyone has shared his music, their memories and their experiences,” said Phillip Molina, an audio and music business management major and bartender at Gilt, a nightclub Koroitamudu would frequent. “He was loved by everyone.”

A pioneer of the EDM sub-genre moombahton, a fusion of house music and reggaeton, Koroitamudu helped create the Moombah Mafia and Shake ’n Bass, a weekly event at downtown Orlando’s Backbooth.

Koroitamudu was also a member of Diplo’s Mad Decent label and was scheduled to play at Orlando’s Electric Daisy Carnival at Tinker Field in November. Fellow DJs like Zeds Dead, DJ Snake and Bro Safari took to Twitter on Monday to share their condolences.

“All the DJs tweeting is so insane,” said Blaise Castellano, a UCF alumnus and friend of Koroitamudu’s for almost six years. “It goes to show it doesn’t matter how big or famous you get or how many people you reach out to — it’s just about how good of a person you are.”

Castellano described his late friend as someone who inspired others.

Koroitamudu’s success in the industry encouraged upcoming Orlando DJs to follow in his footsteps. That was an aspect of his life that Cassidy Gardner, a UCF alumna and fan, thinks he would have wanted to be remembered for.

“He would want us all to continue making music and for other local artists to not give up and keep working on their dreams,” Gardner said. “Because that’s what he did, and he was headed for success.”

Some of Koroitamudu’s fans said they were not only taken by the music he cultivated, but his humble personality.

Tiffany Conlee, a junior hospitality management major, remembers the first time she met Koroitamudu. He was far different from other artists in the industry, she said.

“There was something different,” Conlee said. “You could tell he thought of himself as just a regular guy. When I finally met him, he was super sweet. We talked about music and he gave my friend a lot of pointers and encouraged him to continue making music.”

Cory Grossman, a sophomore majoring in business and sports marketing, said he was taken by Koroitamudu’s small acts of kindness. He recalled a night after a concert when Koroitamudu offered his couch to Grossman’s friend who had nowhere to sleep.

“I became a fan of his not only because he created unique music, but because of all the great stories I was fortunate enough to hear about him,” Grossman said. “He grew his career here in Orlando and stayed humble throughout.”

A tribute concert is scheduled for Sept. 13 at Gilt Nightclub, where 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Koroitamudu’s family. A GoFundMe account for Koroitamudu has been established to support his family members and assist with funeral expenses.

A viewing will be held on Sept. 8. A mass and burial service will take place on Sept. 9.