Raving for a cause: Matt Taylor

Hey guys, this is an article I published this past week in The Samford Crimson (this hyperlink will lead you to the actual article) It’s about my good friend Matt Taylor, an exceptionally talented musician and DJ. Read to the end–there’s a surprise!

The lights go out. The beginnings of a dub step track reverberate off the wall. People clump together in the middle of the dance floor. Glow sticks are passed around, and Matt Taylor, junior music composition major, announces the start of his album release party.

Taylor, under the stage name DJ Roomba, has been deejaying for over a year at Samford. He has covered the annual freshmen 90s party, sorority functions and impromptu raves. Establishing a reputation for his up-tempo raves, he worked on a mash-up album over the summer. It was released Halloween night.

Taylor’s DJ career launched July 2011 when he got a free computer program that let him create mash-ups of songs. “I loved it and reached a point where I was willing to risk money to do more with it,” says Taylor.

A month later, Taylor began to deejay at events. “I realized that I probably needed a name for myself, but I wanted one where I wouldn’t take myself too seriously.” Taylor’s stage name, DJ Roomba, comes from an episode of “Parks and Recreation,” one of Taylor’s favorite shows, where one of the characters puts an MP3 player on top of a vacuum cleaner and names it DJ Roomba.

During this past summer at Brevard Music Center, Taylor spent his free time mixing the album, commenting that he “burned through five to 10 songs” for each successful mash-up. “Working on the album was hours of painstakingly slow failures followed by 10 minutes of absolute bliss when it worked perfectly,” says Taylor.

As Taylor was finishing final sections of the album, he heard about an organization named Stella’s Voice, focused on giving a voice to Moldovan orphans victimized by sex trafficking, through fellow Samford student Stephanie Guckenberger. “I had invested so much time in [the album] that I wanted to do something big-picture, ultimately bringing glory to God,” says Taylor. Junior religion major Codi Norred notes that Taylor “keeps his faith as the central point of his life and finds a way to make all of his talents and skills revolve around that faith.”

Taylor and Guckenberger came up with a simple plan: to collect a $5 donation from each student who wanted the album immediately after the album release party. They donated all the proceeds to Stella’s Voice. The album release rave generated around $350 for the organization, who recently found out about this donation and are posting Taylor’s album to their website.

As a music composition major, deejay-ing enables Taylor to fulfill a creative itch outside of his regular studies. “A lot of deejays are focused on just transitions or just having the right songs when really I’ve come to see that it’s a compilation of those things, and it’s creating moments that has every single person in the crowd saying, “No way, that did not just happen!””

Taylor thrives off the challenge to find “the two most obscure songs from different ends of the spectrum that somehow mesh beautifully in an epic dance groove.”

To get DJ Roomba’s mash-up album “OH YES” for free, click on the link and the download will begin automatically. http://goo.gl/SR6cB

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