Chanel Omari,a journalist, TV host, TV personality, POP culture expert, fashion designer, reality star, radio host and DJ.
Who is a person that you considered as a role model early in your life? How and why does this person impact your life?
I’ve had many role models that I looked up to growing up. They have helped me shape the person that I am today and shape my career in Journalism. I studied and looked up to TV and Radio Hosts like Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters, Anderson Cooper, Ryan Seacrest, Kelly Ripa, and Wendy Williams. I’ve always looked up to people who really brought heart and life to a compelling story. I believe everyone has a great story to tell and these journalists knew how to get these compelling elements out of the story being told so that the audience could relate it back to their lives.
If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?
It depends. Usually, when I am in a bad mood I like to be left alone and I crank up my favorite music and start getting lost in them. This in return cheers me up and gets me out of my funky bad mood. LOL. I am not perfect. There are challenges and obstacles I have to overcome daily in my career as a woman, as a competitor in this industry and as a human being. It’s not easy to cope with these challenges so I recommend when you feel life is throwing curve balls at you, put on a great song that makes you feel loved and only gives you positive vibes. With time you will understand how beautiful life is and will embrace these life curve balls with love and open arms.
How do you spend your weekends?
I don’t have much of a life out of work. I am usually on the air working on my radio show on 106.1 BLI 4-5 nights a week and mostly on weekends. If I am not working on my radio show, I am working on interviewing celebrities and producing content for my web series Chanel IN THE CITY, which you can find on chanelomari.com. If I do have time off, which is rare, I love spending time with my family. I am very close to them. I love spending time with my nephew who is my world right now. I love spending time with good friends or going out to social events and hanging with my celebrity pals like Paris Hilton, Food God, Shei Phan and more.
What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?
I think the biggest misconception about me is that I was handed everything I ever wanted and I got whatever I wanted easy, which is ALL false and farthest from the truth. I might have been on a show called ‘Princesses of Long Island’ but I am far from a princess. I have worked very hard for everything in my career whether it be interviewing major celebrities, producing major breaking news stories or trying to get ahead in the radio industry etc.
I have had to fight and work even harder to prove to everyone that I am hardworking and everything I’ve ever done was with 100 percent effort on my end. No one ever handed it to me. I also think another misconception about me is that I have an almost perfect life or perhaps people mistake my passion or kindness for weakness at times, which can get the best of me at times. I want people to know that I am a hard worker, I believe in everything I work on, I have a big heart and I always want to help people, including myself, be the better version of themselves.
What personal goals are on your bucket list this year?
My personal goals on my bucket list are as follows: I would love to give back to homeless charities, work on anti-bullying campaigns to help kids have a better social experience in school and really bring a purpose to this world with my platform. I would love to see Chanel in the City or the platform that I am offering for celebrities to feel safe and to utilize it to get their messages and stories out there for a greater cause.
If you could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, whose would they be? Why?
If I could spend a day in someone else’s shoes it would have to be my parents. I think parents have a really tough job and that is being parents in general. I never really knew what it took to be in their shoes. Parents make it look so easy sometimes, but they have the hardest job in life and that’s to raise another human being to be a decent one. And I believe they have the toughest job out of everyone. I also wouldn’t mind feeling Oprah’s shoes for a hot minute or Ellen DeGeneres. LOL! Those would be tough shoes to fill but definitely great ones because these people have been through a lot in life and it wasn’t always pretty for them so it would be great to see how it felt to get to the success they have achieved now and what were the obstacles they had to face to get there.
What’s one thing your mother/father taught you that completely changed your life?
My parents taught me to always be humble, have humility and integrity despite any challenges thrown at me or despite me wanting to fit into society. They always taught me to never compromise my morals, to always treat others kindly and with respect, to always think of myself in someone else’s shoes and try to make someone else’s day better, to be the bigger person no matter what and, to only lead life with love, not hate. They also taught me to never think I am better than anyone else no matter how much success I achieve and that money will never make me truly happy and that always staying true to myself is the key to being successful in life.
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I’ve always dreamed of being a talk show host or radio hosts like Oprah, Andy Cohen, Elvis Duran, Ricky Lake and anyone who has made a great impact on peoples’ lives through radio or television. I remember when I use to be left out as a kid amongst my family members, I would go to my room and record myself, pretending I was on the radio or I would film myself and start writing scripts and stories that would inspire me. Watching these GREATS in action helped me cope with my insecurities and gave me hope at the end of the tunnel. Since I was a kid, media was an outlet and a platform for me to share my creativity and my voice.
What is your physical and mental well-being routine?
I don’t have a specific routine but what I can tell you is that every morning I pray to God (as cheesy as it sounds) and I thank him for everything that he has given me, whether good or bad because they say that’s a form of meditation. I also sit for an hour in my room on a yoga matt (not doing yoga, lol) with calm low-key music and all I think of is positivity and love and it helps me get in the right mental and physical state for what’s to come throughout my day.
I also make sure I set an hour aside to dance to top 40 music and hip-hop as a mental and physical work out for me. That’s something I can commit to and do in my room before any work I set out to do for the day. It helps inspire me and get me in a better mood. I also do this amazing work out class called Xtend Barre located in Tribeca in NYC, which is a barre-based full body workout designed for everyone and probably the best work out of my life.
What is the most important characteristic that every leader should possess?
The most important characteristic that every leader should possess is patience, have a mind of their own and not let outside influences skew their perception or decision about someone or something. Always be kind, be the better person and rise above negativity so you can lead by example for your team. Leave the drama behind and even with rejection coming their way, they should always be positive and a go-getter.
What is your favorite quote? Why?
My favorite quote is the same quote I have from my high school yearbook and that is “Sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody is watching, and live like its heaven on earth,” by Mark Twain and it’s the best advice and quote that has gotten me through my darkest days and has given me hope. It also speaks to who I truly am as a human being. I’ve learned to do all that because at the end of the day, being happy and being your most authentic self is what makes you a better person at the end of the day. There is ONLY one of you in this world so know your worth, know how special you are and don’t care what people think especially if they aren’t paying your bills or putting food on your table. If you have a dream, go for it despite what others say. Everyone will always tell you not to go for your dreams because it’s too hard or it’s never going to happen, or they will just be negative about it so that is why you keep your dreams to yourself and start working on them despite what others say.
What’s your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?
I have a few favorite movies and books. My all-time favorite movie is Dirty Dancing because it has romance, comedy, action, and all great stuff. It was about an underdog who couldn’t fit in but worked so hard to fit in and eventually was loved because she was taught to be herself and that ended up being enough.
A new movie I am obsessing about is, First We Take Brooklyn, which is about an Israeli serving a life sentence in one of Israel’s toughest prisons, Mikki Levy never thought he’d ever see the light of day. But when’s he’s released early on a technicality, Mikki moves to New York hoping for a fresh start. Living with his uncle in a Brooklyn, the harsh reality of life as an ex-con sets in and he gets dragged into a brutal turf war with the Russian mob forcing him to revisit his dark past and the survival skills he learned in prison. Mikki aggressively ascends the ranks of the underworld, but his tenacious drive may be the cause of his demise.
I think I was able to relate to it and for that matter; Anyone who comes from a minority or different culture can relate to it. One of my favorite interviews was with the main star, Danny Abeckaser, who is someone we should all follow by example. He worked for everything in his life, hustled and even when he had to face rejections, he turned it into a positive and created a platform for himself. You can check out the interview coming soon to 106.1 BLI and http://www.chanelomari.com I love the classics like Good Fellas, The Karate Kid, The Wedding Planner, Vanilla Sky….all movies that encompass heart, soul, comedy and showcase the character pulling through life challenges and still succeeding in the end. The characters in these movies and actors are people who never gave up in life despite how hard life was for them and that’s a true inspiration. It inspires me every day to be a better person.
The books I love are “To kill a Mocking Bird,” such a classic! George Wayne’s new book, Everyone who is Everyone (great read on celebrity and journalism culture) from one of my favorite journalists, G.W. The Woman Code by Sophia A. Nelson. and I love me any Tony Robbins self-help books. I am all about self-help books because I truly believe that you need encouragement and positive reinforcement from people like Tony Robbins who have lived it and succeeded through it to learn from and get better daily.
What is a relationship (whether professional or personal) deal-breaker for you?
A relationship deal-breaker whether it be professional or personal is someone who isn’t honest with me or straightforward. I rather you tell me I suck (of course in the nicest way possible lol) than lie or manipulate things around me to get what you want or to feel better than me or anyone for that matter. I also can’t stand when people feel entitled and think they don’t have to work to be successful in the entertainment industry or any industry for that matter. People have to realize fame comes and go. I’ve been there. It can feel so great like you are on the greatest high in life but then it can be taken from you in a moment and you won’t know what to do with yourself so keep being humble and your humility because that shows true character.
My other biggest pet peeve is when people have me, or others do most of the work and take the credit but don’t give their team credit. It takes dream work to make the team work happen and you have to be able to admit it. I see so many artists or personalities always taking credit for themselves and never giving their team the credit, they deserve because they are afraid of what people think, but let me tell you something – when you start doing that, this is when you will easily lose your success and fame. When you give your team credit where it’s due, you will have more longevity in this career or any career for that matter.
What is your all-time pet peeve?
My all-time pet peeve is when people think they are better than others because they had some good luck in their lives or they have worked for it, no matter what social economic background you come from, what race or ethnicity you come from, you should always understand and realize that we are all equal no matter what. We all have the potential and deserve the chance to thrive no matter what gender, sexuality, race, color, religion, ethnicity etc you come from.
I would say when people think they are better than others or act in arrogance, it is usually a deal breaker/pet peeve for me. No one deserves to be treated less than, ever! I always had to fight for my rights and speak up for myself but with dignity and grace because everyone deserves that. I hope with my platform, I can give someone hope and reason to feel adequate, special and loved with any entertainment I bring to the table.