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How did Stylz & Roman on B96 come to be?

ROMAN: We both started as promotion interns for B96 years ago. [Dougie Stylz] had been doing his own shifts for awhile on the weekends. Our boss knew we were friends, knew we had good chemistry together and had the idea to put us together but first they wanted us to do a demo to see how it went. Our program director, Todd Cavanaugh, said it was the best first demo that he has heard in 25 years of radio so he offered us the night show on the spot.

STYLZAnd we were extremely good looking so he just knew it was gonna be awesome.

ROMANYeah, for radio our looks were really important. So we did the night show for two years and then got promoted to afternoons and have been here ever since.

What goes into creating the best demo your program director has heard in 25 years?

STYLZWe got together at Roman’s parents house in his bedroom and put this whole packet together on how sales could sell us, different ideas we had and different names we had for our show. Then we did our demo and put it all together for when we met with them and they just pretty much signed the contract right there.

ROMAN: They accepted every segment that we came to them with for our show. At the time there was no live mix show on the radio, now we have “Flipside at Five”. Back then it was a 10 o’clock mix tape, we had someone in the studio mixing live and legitimately no one was doing that. That was our idea, they approved it and it was the first time it was done. Now if you go to any station in Chicago they do it so it’s pretty cool.

Who came up with the name of your show?

STYLZWe wanted to be called The Young Gunz before Stylz & Roman but there was a rap group already out by that name so it was copyrighted.

ROMANOur boss made up Stylz and Roman and we hated it. I don’t know why we hated it, we love it now.

Your real last name can’t be Stylz.

STYLZ: Yeah, my last name is not Stylz. I don’t know, I think I have a cool style. When I was in college I was Dougie Fresh but there was a rapper already named Dougie Fresh so I just switched it to be Dougie Stylz and it stuck.

Your faces used to be plastered all over the billboards in Chicago. Did you guys take a picture by them?

ROMANOh yea! My mom would pull over on 290 and I’d have to stand next to the billboard.

STYLZOr when were were on dates we would occasionally drive by the billboard. I’d be like, “Oh, look at that! Hey!”

Do you have any good stories about crazed fans?

STYLZWe have a fan that got our logo tattooed on her arm. An actual girl has “Stylz & Roman” tattooed on her arm. That’s pretty cool.

ROMAN: We don’t say crazy fans, we say fans that are passionate about our show. We love ’em.

Have you ever dated a listener?

STYLZWait dated or? [Laughs] No, it gets too tough. I do have a girlfriend now.

ROMANWhy isn’t it Facebook official?

STYLZWe’re about to do that but what I want to say is that the girl that I’m dating now had no idea who I was, she wasn’t a big fan of the station so it’s been awesome. That has made it a lot easier on the relationship.

How does your schedule affect your relationships?

ROMANI’ve had three girlfriends since I’ve been on the radio. This job killed my first relationship, absolutely killed it. We were the night show back then so it was 7 p.m. to midnight and she worked a 9-to-5 so it puts a damper on it for sure. You have to be with a girl who can trust you, who has faith in you and believes in you.

STYLZYou have to be with a girl who knows that it’s a job. There comes times where there is some flirting but it’s pretty much just showing loyalty and that you appreciate your listeners and fans that help you out throughout your career. You need a very strong, honest girl who trusts us as much as we trust her.

What’s so great about Chicago girls?

STYLZI like Chicago girls because they are edgy, they’ve got a cool style but they still have midwestern values. The girl can be nice and you can introduce her to your parents but when your parents aren’t around she has that little streak.

ROMANA lady in the street but…

Where are your favorite spots to hang out in the city?

ROMANWe are actually new investors in the brand new Barleycorn that’s going to be opening in River North. So we love Moe’s & Barleycorn.

STYLZ: It’s gonna be the only bar in River North area with a rooftop that’s an actual bar not a club or lounge or anything like that.

You get to meet almost every celebrity that rolls through Chicago. Who has been your favorite?

STYLZOne of our favorite of all time was Jennifer Lopez. We interviewed her at like 7 o’clock in the morning and she was flawless. She was beautiful and down to earth.

We were hoping it was all airbrushed.

ROMAN: No, Jennifer Lopez is the most perfect woman on the planet and it’s not just her looks. She’s obviously gorgeous and in person drop dead gorgeous but also she is one of the sweetest people we’ve ever met in our entire lives. It was 7 a.m. and she could not have been a nicer girl. It was mind blowing.

Who has been your most interesting interview?

STYLZ: Usually when we have artists on we don’t put them on live unless they’re huge. We had Jay Z on one time live for like 25 minutes. No music, no commercials, it was just Stylz & Roman and Jay Z talking. One time we had Snoop Dogg live on the radio for like 20 minutes. It was funny, he had head-to-toe Detroit Pistons gear on and when he took his glasses off we realized he was rocked, so high! It was one of those things that just adds to a good interview.

ROMANMariah Carey we have interviewed probably three or four times and she has always been great to us. She would be drinking champagne in the studio while we were interviewing her.

Of all the celebrities and athletes in Chicago, who do you think represents this city the best?

ROMAN: I’d say Derrick Rose because he’s so classy. You get all of these athletes that are showboats, that are gaudy and cocky but I feel like Derrick Rose is a very classy person. He is an amazing talent and he handles himself very well.

STYLZ: A player on the Bears that has been cool with our show for a long time is definitely number 54, Brian Urlacher without a doubt. He is so classy, a hall of famer for sure. He does a lot of charity work here in Chicago and he calls our show, he comes to our concerts. He’s definitely a down to earth and really cool guy.

You get to see all the best concerts up front and center. Who is your favorite artist to see in live?

STYLZ: Pink. She sings everything live and when she was here she made everyone in the concert feel at home and just showed Chicago meant something to her. She was talking about Giordano’s Pizza, Portillo’s, about walking her dog on Michigan Avenue. Unlike Britney who just turns on her microphone once and says, “What up,” and that’s it.

What’s something your listeners would be surprised to know about you?

STYLZWe’re both mommas boys! We love our moms.

ROMANWhen I go to my condo right now I’m actually going to defrost one of my mom’s dinners in the microwave. I can’t cook. I’m a momma’s boy to the Nth degree.

Why is working in Chicago so special for you guys?

ROMANWe both were born and raised in Chicago. We grew up listening to Eddie & JoBo and B96 was our favorite station. Eddie and JoBo were gods to us so the fact that we’re having this success at the same station, we’re actually living our dreams. Normally in radio you have to go to Columbus, Ohio or Des Moines, Iowa but we actually started in Chicago at the station we grew up listening to so going on stage and hearing the audience go crazy for us the same way we went crazy for Eddie and JoBo back in the day is a really cool thing. To be the voice of Chicago as two kids that were born and raised here, you can’t ask for a better job.

If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

ROMANMichael Jackson. You may know Michael Jackson fans but I even have a Michael Jackson wallet, it’s velcro and everything. When I was a kid all I wanted to do was be the next Michael Jackson or pitch for the Cubs. I grew up idolizing the guy so I would love to have a drink with him. Not even so much a drink but a conversation to talk to him, to pick his brain and find out why he did certain things.

STYLZ: I’d probably have to say Michael Jordan. He pretty much changed Chicago sports. He changed the Bulls franchise for sure, without a doubt. He brought so much joy to Bulls fans here in Chicago and to the United Center.

Photography by Natalie Probst

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