Words by DJ Rekha—
DJ Rekha is the woman responsible for popularizing the South Asian diasporic sound called bhangra in the US, holding down the famed Basement Bhangra party at New York’s SOBs for going on a decade and a half. Dancehall, always a crowd pleaser at Indian parties and an influence for many a bhangra artist and producer, is a big part of her sets, whether she’s warming up for Punjabi rappers or spinning at Lincoln Center. Here, she breaks down the 10 biggest dancehall songs at Desi parties, from ’90s classics like “Heads High” and “Murder She Wrote” to more recent fare like “Dance with You” featuring British-Indian superstar Jay Sean. And, if you’re in New York this Friday, be sure to check her Bhangra + Bass event (A Dancehall and Punjabi Soundclash!) featuring the US debut of Pakistani-Canadian dancehall artist Roach Killa, and our own Eddie STATS on the decks.