Posts Tagged Ambassador

DJ Rekha presents “Bollywood Disco Xmas” with Rajstar and DJ Rekha at Le Poisson Rouge on Christmas Day at 10pm

DJ Rekha presents Bollywood Disco Xmas!

Doors Open: 10:00 PM (Happy Hour from 10pm-11pm)

Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleeker Street NYC Tel)212-505-FISH

DJ Rekha presents the return of…

Bollywood Disco – retro filmi classics, eclectic disco grooves. DJ Rekha digs through her digital and actual crates, spinning a range of filmi songs from retro tunes to the latest dance floor hits and everything in between.

Bol•ly•wood, n. [Humorous blend of the names of Bombay and Hollywood.]

1. The Indian film industry, based in Bombay; Bombay regarded as the base of this industry.

Bollywood is shorthand for the Hindi-language film industry centered in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. It is the world’s largest, yearly churning out hundreds of 3-hour musical epics that also drive South Asia’s pop music industry. To the current generation of South Asian club-goers, Bollywood is synonymous with the 1970s golden age of masala films. This decade produced blockbusters like Don and Sholay (which still holds the record for most-viewed film ever made) not to mention “some of the fattest funk tunes that ever pimp-rolled their way down Music Street, Bombay.”

Recently, Bollywood has lit up the cultural radar of the west, resulting in extensive press coverage, references in films like Moulin Rouge and Ghost World, and the nomination of Lagaan for best foreign film Oscar. Not surprisingly, classic Bollywood soundtracks from the 70s have been the focus of no less than 5 compilations in the past few years. (However, with the exception of Outcaste Records comp Bollywood Funk, these have been mostly compiled by and for outsiders to South Asian culture and often provide an uneven view of the genre.) Even the cutting edge of hiphop production has been shaped by the retro Bollywood sound, as producers like Dan the Automator, DJ Shadow, Timbaland and DJ Quik dip into Bollywood’s back-catalog to widen their production palette.

Dis•co n. pl. dis•cos 1. A discotheque.

2. Popular dance music, especially of the late 1970s, characterized by strong repetitive bass rhythms.

In NY the rise of interest in Bollywood coincides with a general resurgence in the sounds of the city’s own musical golden age: the progressive disco associated with legendary clubs like the Loft, the Paradise Garage and Studio 54. In addition to the numerous compilations & re-releases focusing on the producers and DJs of this era, the Garage ethos has inspired a new generation of happenings at clubs like Spa & APT, as well as a new generation of electronic musicians.

Raj “RajStar” Makhija is a freelance music producer, composer, sound engineer, writer and musician based out of New York and Mumbai with a fresh sound described as Timbaland meets AR Rahman. RajStar was always involved with music growing up in New Jersey around a musical family as his mother sang in a traditional Indian style and his father played Tabla, an Indian percussion instrument. In addition to this, playing bass guitar and guitar in and out of school bands (i.e. marching band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, out of school jazz programs, etc.) gave him a unique blend of musical sensibilities. He became interested in recording and composing music in the 7th grade when he bought himself a 4-track cassette recorder and began making songs. Later, Raj worked his way into some local studios and became well versed in high end recording techniques, then pursued an audio engineering degree at SAE Institute in New York. He interned at Water Music Studios in Hoboken NJ and after some time he was able to land an internship at the world-famous New York division of Quad Studios ( Raj and his brother formed their production company, RVM Sounds (, and their record label/artist management company, Soul Tap Records ( At Quad RajStar was able to climb the ladder quickly and after assisting some of the best engineers in the business he began freelance engineering at some of the most respected studios in New York (Sony, Right Track Recording, later known as Legacy, Hit Factory, etc.). He was fortunate to work with many of the biggest names in the American and International markets including Musiq Soulchild, Nona Hendryx, Chamillionaire, Missy Elliott, Pandit Jasraj, and Eddie Gomez, to name a few. Through Soul Tap Records Raj and his brother managed, produced, and developed artists and were able to help push the envelope of what South Asians could do in the American mainstream, namely finishing in the top of Doritos’ Crash The Superbowl contest taking with him Nivla, P. Oberoi, and DJ Sharad. This allowed his single (Produced by RajStar & Bobby Konders) “Be Easy (Koi Naa)” to be released on Interscope Records. Raj also won 1st place by popular vote and judge’s vote after competing against almost 2000 people worldwide in the official John Legend remix contest hosted by Indaba Music. RajStar has also been a guest speaker at New York University as well as SAE Institute
DJ Rekha
New York City based, DJ Rekha, is a recognized leader of the community, a renowned music producer, DJ personality, curator, 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, Rekha has produced some of the longest running and most successful parties in New York including Bollywood Disco, Mutiny, and Beat Bazaar.

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Chico Art

If you’ve ever visited East Village and LES in New York City, you might have wondered about the artist behind that masterpieces of rural paintings. You found him now, Antonio “Chico” Garcia.

Like many graffiti artists, Chico started out spray-painting subway cars in the early 80’s. His career as a graffiti writer is a true inspiration from once being chased by cops to now, being awarded by them. Chico was born and raised in the Lower East side where he still currently resides. At the earliest memories the community began to recognize ChicoÕs work as he began to “dress up” his neighborhood with bright, contemporary renderings on the sides ofÊbuildings and playgrounds.Ê In areas often plagued by drugs and violence, his murals tend to be socially conscious and uplifting. Through the years, Chico has been arrested, shot, stabbed and yet nothing has stopped his passion to create striking messages that alert the community and arise inspiration. Chico never wears a mask when he works, people say; the noxious krylon fumes have made him insane. His passion and drive is still and has always been in driving force. No one can remember a time when the neighborhood wasn’t one big gallery of his work. Chico believes it’s important to try and help people through his art.

He has developed both an underground and mainstream following over the years. Local businesses hire him to create anything from storefronts to advertisements. There is at least one bar or store on every block that Chico has touched in the Lower East Side. There have been many people from the community that come to Chico to put up memorials for the dead. One of his most recent memorials was just created in January 2006, for Nixzmary, who was brutally beaten and murdered by her parents. His murals also include world icons such as the Pope, Celia Cruz, and Selena. People choose Chico because his work responds to emotional issues. His work transmitters feeling and enlightens the community as well as passerbys about the current issues in today’s society.

Chico’s fame has brought him to many places in the world. He was commissioned in 1992 by a London Jean company to spray paint a mural in Piccadilly Circus to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix‘s death. His influence on the art world has also been witnessed in such places as Japan, when he constructed a backdrop of NYC for a popular television show, as well as a project he worked on for Nike while he was there. In Amsterdam his work was viewed at the Nova Gallery. He also created a peace mural for the American Ambassador in Italy, and in NYC he was commended for his work when he received the “Token to the City” award. Some of his work has even madeit to the big screen debut in movies such as “Blackout” a Columbia pictures film that was released in summer 1994. Also in the movie Rent which was released in December of 2005. Every great artist must eventually, at some point, go through struggles to rise to the top and Chico has proven his worth as an artist, who will go through great lengths to represent his community.

-Biography by Antonio “Chico” Garcia


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