DJ OMAR ABDALLAH + NEWARK FIRST FRIDAYS
Omar Abdallah is one of dance music’s gentle giants. Modest and unpretentious as his personality dictates; however, on the decks he is a musical gargantuan—bold, brave and assured. He comes from an era when vinyl was king and DJing was an art form not to be taken lightly. Omar’s distinctive DJing style makes him revered and rivaled among the most seasoned of DJ. A native of Newark, New Jersey, he came into the world surrounded by music. His grandfather owned a record store on West Kinney and High Street called Soul City Records and his father, Karriem Abdallah, also owned a record shop called KA Unlimited Records located on Springfield Avenue and 10th Street. It is no wonder that Omar would be destined to be involved in music. It is also no wonder that his knowledge, deep devotion and skill for DJing and ability to communicate and uplift people via music far exceed the average.
By the age of 9, he purchased his first record “One Nation Under A Groove” by Funkadelic after hearing it on the radio, “I just had to have it”, says Omar. From there, he began his love affair with DJing experimenting on his mother’s stereo. As a teen, Omar frequented the hottest venues in the NYC/NJ area such as Club Zanzibar (Newark, NJ) and the Paradise Garage (NYC). After purchasing the latest in DJ equipment, he spent countless hours perfecting his craft while taking cues from legendary DJ’s: Merlin Bobb, Tony Humphries and Timmy Regisford. With sheer determination and discipline, he zeroed in on becoming masterful at DJing. As word of his turntable prowess started to spread, he soon began to gig professionally at major NJ venues such as Charades (East Orange), Club America and Mirage both located in Newark.
Omar was now a DJ to be reckoned with. His impeccable ear for overlaying, blending and mixing coupled with his ingenious music programming is clearly reminiscent of his DJ influences: Bobb, Humphries and Regisford respectively. To take his DJing to the next level, Omar became the consummate salesman and created a marketing strategy centered on his mixed CD’s to build his profile and his audience. Heavily saturated throughout the NYC/NJ dance music community, Omar’s mixed CD’s are legend. There isn’t a dance music aficionado in the tri-state area that doesn’t own at least one of them!
In 2002, Omar was invited to guest DJ at NYC’s famous legendary Shelter club, one of many pinnacles in his DJ career. Being the savvy self-promoter, for months prior to the date, he gave out from 25 to 30 mixed CD’s every week to random club heads. “The crowd knew what I was able to do from the CD’s that I had given out. This was the home of Timmy Regisford…I knew I had to rock hard”, explains Omar. That night was magical, intense and musically diverse and the audience echoed with cheers and ovations.
The excitement in the air was thick after Omar’s successful DJ performance at the Shelter. Everyone wanted to hear him play on a weekly basis. He got together with some friends and they decided to rent a loft space in downtown Newark. The G-Spot opened in 2002 and became THE only Friday night “true underground” late night party in Essex County. For eight hours each week, Omar was relentless on the decks pouring his heart and soul into entertaining and telling his story through dance music. For Omar, the G-Spot was “his first home” something that was musically all his.
After the G-Spot’s abrupt ending, he continued to move forward consistently distributing his CD’s and guest DJing throughout NJ and NYC. One special event, The Disco Party fundraiser at the Taj in Manhattan in 2007 where he played a five-hour classic set for about 200 clubheads ranging from 35 to 65 years old! When Omar is not DJing, he spends his leisure time studying martial arts. Since the age of 3, he has been training under his father Karriem who is the founder of the K.A. System of martial arts. Settling for nothing less than excellence in this art form as well, he held the W.W.K.A. Light Heavyweight Championship title from 1997-99, winning 9 and 0—an undefeated record! Omar’s benevolent persona also found him employed at Newark’s Division of Public Welfare up to 18 years as a social worker.
Currently, he holds down a monthly DJ residency at the new but legendary Club Sensations in Newark, and can be found every Sunday on www.cyberjamz.com from 9pm – 12midnight spinning the latest soulful house tunes. With sights set on studio production, the dance music world can expect nothing but quality music coming directly from his soul. Omar’s amiability, cheerfulness and humility juxtaposed to his extraordinary mastery in presenting the total experience in DJ entertainment is refreshing, exciting and musically gratifying. Omar Abdallah is the light leading dance music’s future.
NEWARK FIRST FRIDAYS
Newark First Fridays is an all inclusive platform to showcase emerging artists, makers, entertainers & creatives while driving economic impact.