After TJ Rozdilsky moved from Connecticut to Califor-nia, he needed something to play at all his new pool-party gigs.
He decided to take the song Funky Kingston by Toots and the Maytals, remix it with a pounding house beat, and make it one of 2012's best dance tracks.
"The vibe of it was just a feel-good, happy song, and you could see how people reacted to it," says the DJ known as TJR.
That song, "Funky Vodka," was such a ridiculously exciting anthem that it reached the top spot on Beatport. It also resulted in a collaboration with rapper Pitbull to create the mainstream hit "Don't Stop The Party."
Now, Rozdilsky is heading back to the East Coast to play at the Chelsea Hotel's fifth-floor nightclub in Atlantic City - his first performance in the city, and the city's first chance to experience his inescapably fun, funky and bouncy dance music.
"I associate music with celebrating and partying," he says, having grown up listening to Sir Mix-a-Lot, Biz Markie and Beastie Boys.
His follow-up hit, "Ode To Oi," has proven equally capable of inducing mania, and has helped spread his reputation worldwide.
"Those songs reached the corners of the world that I never thought they would," he says, "and I want to make more music like that."
Like other DJs, he aspires to headline the biggest concerts and festivals, but he is also now cultivating his newfound opportunities working with the most popular entertainers. His next big collaboration should be released in a couple months.
What keeps him creative, he says, are his eclectic roots. Even today, he will listen to strictly Aretha Franklin one week, then to Johnny Cash another week, and then Baauer the next.
"That really helps you have a broader taste in terms of styles," he says. "I listen to everything but what I'm playing."
Learn more and hear his music: Facebook.com/IAMTJR;
See him live: TJR will perform at Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City Friday, July 19, in the hotel's fifth-floor nightclub. Doors open at 10 p.m.