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Dj Uri- The Profile

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When we sat down with Uri Solanki (a.k.a Dj Uri or Mr. Manali) for our exclusive Hennessy Artistry interview we found our session  fast turning into a Masterclass for spinners! When a DJ  with 2 decades of experience and a reputation for having introduced the Asian underground movement to the clubs in Leicester and the East Midlands is in the mood to chat – you take notes! Even so a little background seems appropriate before we put up our feature- Masterclass with DJ Uri

Born in East London in 1974 Uri Solanki spent his entire youth steeped in the underground movement in London.  He traces his influences back to the “Street Sounds Electro Compilations”, and the whole Break Dance Era of the eighties. The first time he set eyes on a DJ and a turntable was at the Acid House explosion in the mid 1980’s. On his 13th birthday he asked his parents for (and got) his very first pair of Technics SL1210’s. Later that year he had his first show at a friend’s party and never looked back! The mid 80’s saw him playing Classic Soul, Funk , Hip Hop, Acid House and Rave. He stuck with it through the Rave and Jungle Culture of the early 1990’s. Even played at   the legendary “Amnesia House” and “Total Kaos” (original promoters of the rave scene in the UK). In the mid 90s he continued to expand his horizons with the House and Trance movement.

In 1995 Uri (then 20) moved to India. Over the next 15 years he played various gigs across the country from beach parties in Goa to the Underground revolution taking place across Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. His experience as a DJ and familiarity with a range of different genres gave him a definite advantage and put him in the forefront of the budding underground scene in India. He soon earned himself a reputation as a no holds barred DJ with an ability to fuse styles and influences from all over the globe. He founded the Alien Asian Collective with his brother.In 2004 Dj. Uri (then known as Mr. Manali)went back to the UK and  introduced the Asian Underground movement to clubs all over Leicester and the East Midlands.Today he laughs at the memory of crowds coming in expecting a bollywood/bhangra night the first time around. The more he played though the more the crowds fell in love with the then unique fusion of classical Indian and electronica.

Over the years the style of Dj. Uri evolved and developed. He played at the Lille3000 festival in France, The Panegea Festival in Manchester (UK), The Bass Festival, Leicester (UK). His signature sets came to be known as a rich fusion of Classical Indian, Middle Eastern, Ethnic and Tribal sounds with 21st Century Electronic Music. Over the last decade his collaborations have included live classical flute, tabla percussion and turntable tricks. He plays regular gigs in the Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore UK and France. He founded “DualKore” and more recently the ‘Mosquito Masala “ collective with Dj Kris Correya (BBC) and others. In 2008, a Summer Tour of France with ‘Mosquito Masala’ included the Woodstower Festival in the Rhone Alps region, and the Visual Invaders Festival in the French Alps (close to the Swiss/Italian border).2009 had DJ Uri and his collective touring France- Paris, Lyon, St Etienne and Nimes. With a 2 hour set at The Nuits Sonores Festival in Lyon, one of the biggest Electronic Music Festivals in Europe.

Uri has always been a good teacher and is happy to share his skills and experience with younger Djs.At the Leicester College and the Regent College in the UK, Uri tutored the  ‘Access to Music’ and ‘Rock School’ programmes. He even established his own DJ & Music Production academy called “Start from Scratch” first in his hometown in Leicester, UK and this year in Mumbai, India.Today Kris Correya from the Mosquito Masala based on his experience with DJ Uri has formed his own collective – The Bay Beat Collective (BBC). This April 2011 Henessy Artistry will be bringing together DJ Uri and Kris Correya with the vocals of Suman Sridhar LIVE to Bangalore, India.

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