5 Minutes with DJ Neari: The new man on the decks at People by Crystal Abu Dhabi

Yuri Omneari, aka DJ Neari, who is the new resident DJ at People by Crystal Abu Dhabi
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People by Crystal Abu Dhabi has a new resident DJ. Yuri Omneari, who performs under the name DJ Neari, has been in the booth since the 1990s in his native France and the UK before recently venturing to the UAE.

Known for his deep and progressive house style, Omneari’s experience should keep the clubbers happy on a weekly basis. We caught up with him to find out about his inspirations.

My first musical memory was Jamiroquai in Verona in 2002. No words can describe this performance, you just had to be there. I am not sure if it was the Italian crowd but it was truly magical.

The first albums I brought were when I was six or seven years old. I broke my piggy bank to buy a double vinyl pack called Essential Best Slows. I remember the vinyl box was fluro-pink. Inside were songs by The Platters, Elvis Presley and some of the cheesiest music ever made. I was so young. The second and third albums I ever bought were Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet and De la Soul's De la soul is Dead. I was raised on hip-hop and was under the music's influence throughout my youth before I sharpened my ears to electronic music.

My very first DJ set was in a club and it was anything but planned. I was 17 years old and used to spend time at this club near my house, it was called Le Blue Night in Grenoble, France. One of the DJs was the son of the owner and a good friend of mine, he was sick and asked me to replace him behind the booth. I had been waiting for my first set in a club for so long and it was the greatest joy I had experienced. It was a Monday night and it was not meant to be busy but I couldn't care less, I gave it my all and my energy was into making these people dance. When I think about it, I must have been funny to watch. Two months later I had quit school and signed with the club. 20 years later I am still in the business.

My favourite musician is Papa Guyo. He was the drummer of Sly and The Family Stone. He also played in a band called Days of Wild. We played a show a few years ago on the beach in St Barth's.

A song I wish I wrote would be Bob Marley's Redemption Song. There are a lot of beautiful songs out there that I wish I had written and this the first one that comes to mind.

People by Crystal Abu Dhabi is located in The Collection at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. For details click here. For reservations call 050 826 9698