Rekha Malhotra, aka DJ Rekha, is a music producer, curator, educator, and activist. Named "Bhangra's Ambassador" by the New York Times and one of the most influential South Asians by Newsweek, Rekha was among the first DJs to merge classic bhangra and Bollywood sounds with contemporary electronic dance music. Since establishing herself on the club scene in 1997—with her inaugural Basement Bhangra event at SOB's nightclub in New York City—Rekha has produced some of New York's longest-running and most successful parties, such as Bollywood Disco, Mutiny, and Beat Bazaar.
Versed in a broad cross-section of musical genres—from bhangra to dancehall to hip hop—Rekha has helped launch the careers of a wide variety of artists. For example, she was the first to present Tigerstyle and M.I.A in the United States and was a key contributor to their early success in North America. In 2007, Koch Records marked the ten-year anniversary of Basement Bhangra with the compilation DJ Rekha Presents Basement Bhangra, featuring original music by Wyclef Jean, Panjabi MC, and Bikram Singh.
Rekha's success has led to collaborations beyond the DJ booth. She lent her musical expertise to Sarah Jones' Tony Award-winning play Bridge & Tunnel, the documentary film Brown Like Dat, and the BBC production of Tanuja Desai Hidier's novel Born Confused. She also works to bridge cultures through education. Rekha has lectured and led workshops on hip hop, politics, and South Asian art at institutions nationwide, and in 2009 she embarked on a three-week tour of India as a cultural ambassador to the U.S. Consulate. She currently teaches courses on Bollywood and bhangra at New York University, while continuing to perform regularly at venues around the world.