Jump Smokers reveal the realities of jumping into the spotlight

Noelle DeFabio interviews Roman and Flipside of the Jump Smokers at the 2013 Kiss the Summer Hello concert.

Noelle DeFabio interviews Roman and Flipside of the Jump Smokers at the 2013 Kiss the Summer Hello concert.

By Noelle DeFabio  

Jump Smokers broke out big with the DJ show last summer after opening on a five-week tour with Pitbull and Ke$ha. We caught up with two of the Jump Smokers, Roman and Flipside, to learn about their experiences in the spotlight. Here’s an edited version of our conversation:

As you think about your life and career today, what is something you would’ve never expected?

Roman: I never would’ve expected to open up for Pitbull and Ke$ha on their North American tour. I mean, when we were kids we dreamed about being on a big-time tour. Mission accomplished. Check that off the list of a childhood dream and you know we are very, very lucky and very blessed to have that happen.

What are the biggest misconceptions of fame?

Flipside: It’s not easy cause it’s a lot of hard work.  We do a lot of sleepless nights. We work really hard to get where we are at. It’s not overnight.  This is something that we have been doing for a long time and we love to do it, but it is definitely a lot of work.

How do you handle the need to handle business and the need to be creative?

Roman: That’s the deal. It’s the music business. There’s a label, there’s politics, there are radio stations that are fighting over this and that. It’s definitely a music business. If we had our choice, it would be only music, but it not. Thankfully, we are just the artists.  We have management and lawyers to handle that part of it. We try to stay as creative as possible.

Obviously you connect with your fans through social media. What are some of the coolest parts of that?

Flipside: I think one of the cool things that we do is when there’s a situation where someone wanted tickets but didn’t get them, and we reply, “Here you go, two tickets.”

Roman: And it’s instant. I mean, like we get off stage and legitimately we will see Twitter just blow up and so it’s kind of cool to get that feedback. We step offstage, we know if the crowd was feeling us or if they weren’t, as opposed to back in the old days you probably had to wait for a review the next morning in the paper. Now it’s Twitter — boom, it’s instant.

What have you learned about handling the spotlight that comes with this job?

LSY!'s Noelle DeFabio and Catherine McDaniel with Roman, left, and Flipside of the Jump Smokers.

LSY!’s Noelle DeFabio and Catherine McDaniel with Roman, left, and Flipside of the Jump Smokers.

Roman: Stay grounded.  We are not big stars by any means yet. But as you get bigger and bigger and become a Justin Bieber or whoever the big stars are right now, obviously it’s probably harder to talk to all the fans, but I think that’s something that we will never lose. Without anybody listening or buying our music or our DJs playing us in the club, we would be nothing. I think no matter how big we get we will never forget that.

What have you learned about the concept of hard work?

Roman: It pays off. We work hard but Pitbull, who is arguably one of the biggest artists on the planet, works harder than anybody. I mean this dude is just work-work-work-work. He doesn’t have to — he’s famous, he’s rich, he’s successful. But he works harder than anybody. He motivates us because if an artist that big and that powerful and that successful is still working really, really hard to stay at the top spot, it shows us we have to work hard to make it in this business. To make it, keep working as hard as Pitbull because that dude works harder than anybody.

Noelle DeFabio is a junior in our program at Mount St. Mary Academy in Buffalo, New York.

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