Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
Bangladeshi American artist Anik Khan has dropped another banger, and we are here for it! His latest, ‘Unfair’ featuring another killer Bengali artist, Robin Dey, is our Tune-in-Tuesdays of the week.
Khan is a trailblazer in the mainstream music scene empowering the South Asian and minority youth today. The adept artist we see today came up from humble beginnings. He represents the epitome of the immigrant kid living in America; born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and raised in Astoria, Queens, New York. His family migrated to America when Khan was just 4 seeking asylum after the Bangladesh Liberation War. His father has a Masters degree in literature and was honored for his poetry recitations within the community, looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Aside from his father’s passion for his culture and skill as a writer, Khan’s upbringing in New York City has a clear influence on the artist.
Growing in Queens, Khan was exposed to cultures from across the globe as it is the most diverse borough in New York City where over 160 languages are spoken. Khan’s music is genre-fluid with flavors of dancehall from the Caribbean, West African beats, Arabic melodies, Bhangra, and more fused together with well-articulated rap verses. Khan’s first EP was released in 2015 but it wasn’t until 2017 when the release of his track ‘Habibi’ from his second EP “Kites” that he caught the eye of Nigerian American rockstar, Jidenna. He called the young artist to join his national tour. Besides touring with Jidenna, he also opened for the Swet Shop Boys and performed to sold-out shows throughout New York City. Khan’s 2018 track ‘Big Fax’ brought Khan to the forefront and established his place as a competent artist.
His authenticity and raw talent enticed listeners, with catchy beats as the backdrop to his eloquent lyrics. In a few short years, Anik Khan has built quite a fanbase. Today his list of accomplishments is endless. He has performed for rallies for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, has been the first Bengali to have a Billboard in Times Square, he was featured by Spotify in Times Square as well, he was featured at the Basement Bhangra’s 20th Anniversary show in Central Park and has been featured by renown outlets like Vogue, Vice, The Fader, Now This Entertainment, and more. Due to his legal status in America, he struggled with opportunities like touring Europe. Khan told Teen Vogue that the obstacles not only affected his career but psychologically as well. Lucky for us, after 2 years Khan came back with the brilliant track, ‘Regardless’ featuring Robin Dey and he has been releasing new music through this lockdown.
Khan never shied away from his Bangladeshi heritage, whether it is paying homage to his father in his lyrics, a badass desi girl in a sari in his music video, or a little desi flavor in his beats. He recently released his first all Bengali cover in honor of his family that was stuck in Bangladesh during the pandemic. The track had people of all cultures hitting repeat. His latest release is a fusion of Bhangra and Afrobeat. ‘Unfair’ is infectious. The video features dancers Izzy Odigie and BFunk’s Shivani Bhagwan and Chaya Kumar showing off their phenomenal dance skills.
To celebrate its release, Anik Khan even launched a hilarious filter on Instagram that creates a bio-data for people! Definitely give that filter a turn and don’t forget to check out the full music video below!
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.