It’s Friday night in New York City and young South Asians are looking forward to unwinding at The Bollywood Cruise that takes off from Pier 41 in Manhattan. Some 300 people show up. They’ve paid about $25 each for the pleasure of partying to the beats of DJ Ladla and DJ Karma – two DJs famous among Indian New Yorkers.
Both DJ Ladla and DJ Karma belong to a handful of DJs who started spinning in the mid-90s, spotting a business to organize parties for the 20-30 something crowd who wanted to dance to sounds of Bollywood mixes. They became wildly successful, making albums and earning a good living, while forgoing traditional jobs.