Larger-Than-Life Big Makk Is Making Waves With His Mighty Persona & Sound [INTERVIEW]

While Miami is well regarded as a mecca for electronic music, three hours North, in the dead center of Florida lies Orlando, which has embraced EDM and the culture behind it nearly as much as the Magic City. Playing host to Electric Daisy Carnival and with a jam packed club event schedule (everyone from Kygo to Laidback Luke and Fedde Le Grand have played sold out shows in the city recently), the city best known for a cartoon mouse is quickly becoming an emerging force in terms of EDM presence. Hailing from Orlando, Big Makk has used the city to forge a name for himself in a huge way. The larger-than-life DJ is hot off a Diplo & Friends Guest Mix and an opening spot on Zed’s Dead Somewhere Else Tour, and is ready to bring his trap-heavy and moombahton-inspired sound to the masses. I spoke to Big Makk before his show at Gainesville’s Over Easy Festival and was curious as to how and why he thinks EDM has been able to thrive in Orlando and what type of sound he hears most there.

I think there’s honestly everything there. Especially like all the artists that have come up already. Artists like Henry Fong, all those dudes, they’ve all got different genres. We have our own little crew as well and everyone produces different stuff. It kind of like, all comes together as a big scene, rather than there being one niche genre.

Having been brought up in the Orlando music scene, its no surprise Big Makk himself is heavily involved in the music scene, beyond just making music. Every Sunday, he hosts Shake ‘n Bass, a weekly party at BackBooth, which transforms from an arcade-game filled bar to a mecca of twerk each week. With the beats hovering around 108 per minute, and no VIP or bottle service, Shake ‘n Bass fully (and only) embraces two things: music, and having fun. Big Makk told me about the party himself, and I could tell by his chuckle and slightly coy attitude, Shake ‘n Bake is a “what happens there, stays there” type of party that is not to be missed.

It’s pretty crazy [laughs]. Uh, it’s the only weekly in Orlando right now and it’s been going on for a little over two and a half years. Its pure ratchetness man. Everyone just goes in there and does whatever they want, we don’t judge anybody, everyone has a good time. That’s what its about.

While shades of trap and moombahton can be seen in Big Makk’s music, he doesn’t like to label himself under any single genre. Having been in the game since 13, he’s used to playing to diverse crowds, which has influenced how he produces music and performs.

I don’t put myself under one genre. It’s just a giant party man. I don’t know, I’m a traditional DJ, so when it comes to a party or a show, I try to reach everyone in the crowd. Instead of playing one genre, mix it up.

With a recent guest mix on BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends, Big Makk has seen his career take giant leaps in a short time. When I asked him about the mix, he was still noticeably pumped about it (understandably so).

Honestly, I just DM’d him on Twitter like, “yo let me get a mix,” and he was like “alright.” That was it. It just happened like that. He followed me on Twitter randomly a while ago, and I was like “yo, why not just ask him?” It happened. It’s been crazy. Everyone that comes up to me always mentions the mix. It got me a lot of exposure, for sure.

Not one to be pigeonholed, Big Makk delves into deep house quite frequently as his alter ego, Samisoni (his real first name). I asked him about what spurred his interest in the genre and what he thinks about the deep trend that has taken hold of electronic music as of late.

That style, the whole scene of music, I’ve always listened to it, I’ve always gone to the parties, everything. I saw how it was becoming popular and wanted to capitalize on the sound I always listened to. If I can make it, why not? With this crowd these days it’s all ADD, some new sound comes around and everyone just hops on it. It’s pretty much [its time], everything else is dying down, and it’s the new thing.

Just as he was preparing to take the stage, I asked Big Makk what’s next up on his slate and its clear the up-and-coming artist is going to be busy for quite a while, with an EP, a slew of upcoming label releases, some remixes, and a handful of shows scheduled for the next two months.

Look for the EP, Makk Damon, coming out Main Course March 31. It’s a mixture of everything, genre-wise. One track is a club track, one track is a 90 BPM hip-hop type joint, another is 120 BPM twerky joint. I’ve also got a Samisoni remix coming out at the end of this month on Main Course and a bunch of other stuff to look forward to!