The concept of “the hustle” has always played an integral role in the mythology of music success stories. In the estimation of Roman, one-half of the Chicago-based electronic dance group Jump Smokers, it is the integral element for his group’s ascent up the EDM ladder.
Since the Jump Smokers’ first release in 2009, Roman and his partner DJ Flipside have made a name for themselves in the EDM world by way of relentless remixing. If a successful artist with significant pop credentials has released a crossover hit in the last decade — think the Katy Perry’s and Justin Timberlake's of the world — there is a significant possibility that a Jump Smokers remix exists. Their Soundcloud page is adorned with 194 tracks, most of them
Both Roman and Flipside attribute their love for DJing and dance music to their Chicago upbringing, as well as their gigs on Chicago’s B96 radio station.
“We grew up in Chicago when top 40 radio was house music. When we formed this group back in ‘09, it was easy to be a dance music group. House music is in our blood.”
The duo, who will be performing at the Wall Lounge tomorrow, January 8, have a longstanding and affectionate relationship with Miami. “Man, Miami is awesome,” Roman says. “Whenever we have a gig in Miami, we always circle it on our calendars. First of all, the weather is perfection. Second of all, the women are on a whole different level of beautiful.”
It certainly helps that the group has a working relationship with Miami’s native son, Pitbull. It should come as no surprise then that when asked who his favorite Miami artist is, Roman expressed no hesitation to cite Mr. Worldwide himself.
“I remember the week Pitbull put out a new album, he hit us up and asked for tracks for the next record. Seeing an artist work that hard, that showed us that you’ve got to have a good work ethic to make it in this business.”
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Not content with their sizable body of work and the fame garnered by their remixes, the group is eager to produce a new record of original material. Their lone LP, King of the Dancefloor!, was released in the long-ago days of 2010, with only two EPs having followed in the ensuing six years. If the excitement present in Roman’s voice is anything to go by, this is an oversight he and Flipside are chomping at the bit to rectify. “We’re starting the new year off with original productions — trying to figure out what the new album sounds like. We’re working right now to put out, at the least an EP, but hopefully an LP by the end of the year.”
Jump Smokers are hoping to translate that same excitement into a Miami concert for the ages. Beyond the stated goal to “have some fun,” Roman and Flipside want to give back to the city that they feel has not only given so much to
“Miami crowds know their dance music. We’ll play some records for Miami on the Latin tip that we probably couldn’t get away with in Cleveland, Ohio.”