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A Sit Down With DJ Jump Smokers

13:49 Mar/07/2018

Jump Smokers are Roman, Flipside & Johnny Digital. That ‘Jump Smokers Sound’ will make you dance, rock, shake AND pop (probably all at the same time). The Chicago based crew have created dance club anthems that have led industry insiders to nickname them “Kings of the Dancefloor”. The Jump Smokers have created club bangers for new artists and superstars alike including Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Usher, Beyonce, P!nk, Rihanna, and Pitbull among many others. The JS remix of Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” was included on the worldwide release of “Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel”. These remixes and countless others have helped solidify Jump Smokers as one of the leading and emerging forces in crossover dance music.


"DJs are the ones who let people who don’t know, know."

How did you get into DJ’ing?

I’ve been DJ’ing since I was 13 years old, and I used to break. When we’d do shows, I had to edit the tape. I started mixing with cassette tapes, then turntables. I started doing mixes, and in high school, I was doing the dances and any party I could do. It was all a love of music. Being in Chicago, you have legends like Bad Boy Bill on the radio and you get influenced by that. I’m so lucky to be from the city where house music was born.

Tell us about the whole experience you’re having right now touring in North America. What is special about the electronic music scene here in places like Las Vegas and even Canada? I think people across the pond who haven’t experienced this side of the EDM world would love to know your thoughts…

One thing that we’ve noticed about the EDM scene here in North America is that is much quicker than overseas. Here’s the intro, here’s the build, here’s the crazy part…repeat & then mix out all within a matter of minutes. One of the positives of this is that the energy out here stays very high – you definitely need endurance to rock at a Jump Smokers show.

When you play on stage, who is in charge of what and what does your rig look like? Tell us a little about your DJ set up!

On this Pitbull / Enrique Tour, Flipside is the DJ & Roman is the MC. We’ve actually got these sets down to a science, Flipside definitely drives the entire set by reading the crowd! That’s the thing about being a real live DJ, you have to be able to adapt to each crowd cuz no two crowds are the same! We’ve already found that tracks that work in New Jersey, might not work in Toronto. And songs that kill in Montreal, might not work in New York. Our sets are completely live & always different in each city.

How important are the DJ's to the music game in your opinion?

We 110% cater to the DJ's!!! I mean, two of our members are AMAZING DJ's themselves (Reydon & V-Skratch) so we know firsthand how important DJ's are to the music game. We figured out a long time ago that DJ's are the ones that play the music to the masses...so if the DJ's feel us, they'll be spinning us at all their gigs.

You’re a successful radio host and one half of the Chicago radio show Stylz & Roman, while Flipside, the other half of Jump Smokers, has his own mix show, Flipside at 5, both featured on B96. How have you been able to juggle the world of producing and DJing across the world while having a regular show on terrestrial radio?

It was a lot of work. We just finished touring with Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias and had to come back to our radio show in Chicago any night off of our tour. There were a lot of times when neither of us had any sleep, but it was definitely worth it for our careers. We love performing and producing and there’s a parallel for both what were doing in our music and radio, because we know what songs and formats work. We take and use that knowledge when we start producing to make a hit.

What would you say is the most challenging part of being a DJ/producer?

Flight layovers. My flight was delayed four hours today…. but if you’re a DJ, you do it because you love it. When you’re producing, you do it because you love music. You do it because you want to go out and do shows, you want to travel, you want people to hear your music. As a group, we feel so lucky to be embraced by DJs who support us.

You’ve had tracks reach number one in the UK and have toured as a group internationally on a regular basis. Being from Chicago, how has the transition been from playing US clubs to stadiums across the world?

It’s a dream come true. I’ll never forget: our first big tour was Pitbull and Ke$ha and I remember telling Flipside after, “If we never do this again I just lived out a childhood dream.” Then we get a phone call three months later from Pitbull asking us to do it again with Enrique Iglesias, which was our dream come true a thousand times over. Then after this, Pitbull calls us again for the second leg of the tour… Everything that we’ve done so far we’ve been pinching ourselves. Were literally two kids from Chicago living out our dreams. Everything that happens to us we never take for granted.

You guys have remixed so many famous singers, P!nk, Britney, Rihanna, Jessie J., Selena Gomez, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, One Direction– just to name a few! What are some are your personal favorites when it comes to your remixes?

Our Selena Gomez “Come & Get It” Remix was a big one for us because we originally made it with a standard dance tempo…and to be honest, it was SO boring! We easily could have handed it in that way, but we decided to just scrap it entirely and use a tempo that felt better with her vocals…Trap! It was a huge risk cuz we didn’t ask for her label’s permission, they probably would have said no if we did. But even tho it was our 1st “Trap” Remix, it was SO frickin’ good! The label freaked out when they heard it & it became one of our biggest remixes to date.

Advice for up & coming artists?

Keep hustlin'...don't give up....and work hard! No bs...we are in the studio 24/7 doing remix after remix & are constantly trying to improve our sound!


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