Raving for a cause: DJ Roomba’s album release party

Matt Taylor, also known as DJ Roomba, raised funds for an anti sex trafficking organization with his album’s sales. Photo by Eleanor Stenner

Eleanor Stenner – Features Writer |

The lights go out. The beginnings of a dubstep track reverberate off the walls. 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 more than a year in different venues on Samford’s campus, including the annual freshman 90’s party, sorority functions and impromptu raves. Establishing a reputation for his up-tempo raves last year, he worked on a mash-up album over the summer that was released on Halloween night.

Taylor’s DJ career launched the summer before his sophomore year at Samford when he got a free computer program that let him create mash-ups of songs.

Matt Taylor behind his tools of the trade. Photo by Eleanor Stenner

“I loved it and reached a point where I was willing to risk money to do more with it,” Taylor said.

A month after arriving back at Samford, Taylor began to DJ at events. After doing a few gigs, he decided to make it official.

“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,” Taylor said.

As Taylor was finishing final sections of the album, he heard about Stella’s Voice – an organization that focuses 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,” Taylor said.

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

As a music composition major, deejaying enables Taylor to fulfill a creative itch outside of his regular studies.

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” and that keeps the audience turning back to the stage.

“A lot of DJs are focused on just transitions or just having the right songs,” Taylor said, “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!’”

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