New York 4th April 2013, saw Manak-E and Dj Gurps bring in 16 years of Basement Bhangra with Dj Rekha at Le Poisson Rouge, New York.
British born, New York City based, Dj Rekha, DJ, curator, record label owner, educator and activist. Called the “Ambassador of Bhangra” by the New York Times and named one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, Rekha is among the first DJs to merge classic Bhangra and Bollywood sounds into the language of contemporary electronic dance music. Since establishing herself on the club scene with her inaugural event, Basement Bhangra at SOBs nightclub in 1997.
Since Basement Bhangra launched Dj Rekha has hosted many bhangra artists, and taken Basement Bhangra to the top of the charts in terms of big club nights. It is arguably the most popular worldwide.
I started basement Bhangra in New York because I was repeatedly told by other south Asian promoters when hired to DJ not to play Bhangra because it was Cab driver (implying lower class) music and hip-hop which would attract the wrong crowd. I wanted to do a night that embraced 2 styles of music I love.
It’s been an amazing 16 year trip. My highs have been meeting my Bhangra and other musical heroes- Malkit Singh, Panjabi MC, Apache Indian.
Breaking or showcasing emerging artists — Hard Kaur and DJ Kayper, who were not the huge stars they are now, when they first performed at Basement Bhangra.
Sad moments are that since we started the night so many young Bhangra singers have passed on- Soni Pabla, Karan MC, Kaka, the great Kuldip Manak.
The future is dictated by the audience. As long they keep coming we keep going. I have avoided overselling Basement Bhangra notice there are fitness DVDs or dance teams.
Our basic mission is to be one of the best dance parties on the planet. We play the best dance music on the planet that is Bhangra with a mix of choice hip-hop and a splash of dancehall and global grooves.
Chakdey.com would like to congratulate DJ Rekha and Basement Bhangra for 16 years of hard work. Long may it continue.
DJ Rekha also produces a weekly radio show, Bhangra and Beyond on Breakthru Radio.
Basement Bhangra happens the first Thursday of ever month at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City.