Basement Bhangra Unplugged

In 1997, DJ Rekha (Rekha Malhotra), brought her love of bhangra and hip-hop to the New York City party scene and launched Basement Bhangra at SOBs. One of the longest-running club nights, Basement Bhangra has provided the soundtrack for a generation of diasporic South Asians, and created a progressive, inclusive nightlife experience for the past two decades.

On Thursday, July 13, 2017, just weeks before Basement Bhangra’s last hurrah, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU celebrated the party’s twenty-year legacy, and the communities, life-long friendships, and enduring organizations that were born on its dance floor.

SAADA was on hand to record Basement Bhangra memories from event attendees. Listen to their stories below:

Storytellers included: Aizaz Akram, Aleyamma Mathew, Anthony Lin, Arun Venugopal, Cassandra Barnes, Chaya Babu, Christina Newhard, D’Lo, Jagga Singh, Jay Dulani, Jim Bessman, Kiran Rajagopalan, Nandini Banerjee, Natasha Raheja, Oma Beharry, Sasha Ahuja, Shilpa Mankikar, Vivian Ohtake-Urizar, Yusuf Siddiquee

Basement Bhangra Unplugged was presented by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and co-sponsored by the South Asian American Digital Archive and the South Asian Women's Creative Collective.