New York-based DJ Rekha has brought bhangra to new heights with her founding of Basement Bhangra, a monthly party in New York City that aims to celebrate bhangra’s roots and fill the void of South Asian music in the New York City club scene. Now a global phenomenon, Basement Bhangra celebrated its 17th birthday yesterday, featuring Dhol Nation and Mandeep Sethi as guests.
Seventeen years is a landmark that is both awe-inspiring and heartwarming! Artists such as Hard Kaur and Apache Indian tweeted their congratulations and wishes.
— HARDKAURCLIQUE (@HardKaurWorld) April 3, 2014
BiG Congrats to @djrekha for giving us 17 years of Bhangra Bassment in the USA! She is a Pioneer & Legend, Always supporting the Movement!
— APACHE INDIAN (@ApacheDONRAJAH) April 3, 2014
To celebrate, Bittersweet NYC donated a cake which was cut and distributed. DJ Rekha addressed the crowd to thank them for their support, and Mandeep Sethi added a shoutout for Basement’s 17 years during his set. Playing an upbeat mix of 90s bhangra hits like Gurdas Maan’s “Apna Punjab Hove” and recent favorites like Panjabi MC’s “Moorni,” DJ Rekha stayed true to the Basement Bhangra tradition of memorable music, talented guest artists, and a festive atmosphere.
— Basement Bhangra (@basementbhangra) April 4, 2014
— SETI X (@mandeepsethi) April 4, 2014
Priya Arora is a graduate student at New York University studying human development and social intervention with a research focus on mental health in LGBTQ youths. Born and raised in California, Priya has found a home in New York and will be attending Columbia University this fall to become a licensed mental health counselor. Follow her on Twitter at @thepriyaarora.