Interview with Recording Artist "Anik Khan"
Anik is on a "multiyear ascension as one of hip-hop’s most notable new voices" (Pigeons & Planes) thanks to an explosive debut project, Kites, that "melds Bollywood samples with intoxicating soundscapes and club-ready bangers" (New York Magazine), a stage presence rivalling some of the greats and a dedication to pushing the culture forward while maintaining a sense of pride of his diverse Queens upbringing... a self proclaimed voice of the immigrants. And what a voice it is. Anik has garnered attention from the likes of FADER, Complex, Noisey, XXL, NPR, TIME Magazine, High Snobiety, Hot New Hip Hop and more.
Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Anik immigrated to Queens, NY when he was just 3 years old. Growing up in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, he found inspiration in his father’s
grit and hustle as a Bengali freedom fighter turned taxicab driver. Astoria’s rich ethnic diversity shaped his identity, allowing him to rap from a first generation perspective while speaking to a worldwide audience — a true representation of hip-hop’s universal appeal. Anik’s music is notable for the balance between his Bengali roots and Queens lifestyle. He first released his debut EP, I Don’t Know Yet, via Billboard Magazine, and since then has released several critically acclaimed singles — “Obsession,” “Too Late Now,” "Renegade," and "Cleopatra." His music has been championed by Ebro Darden, Zane Lowe, and Elton John on Beats 1 Radio and by BBC Asian Network and 1Xtra. As music fans begin to gather around his story and catalogue as a voice for the South Asian Diaspora, Anik aims to push the culture forward with Kites.
Daily News: What does a typical day look like for you?
Anik: Work, family, work.
Daily News: What projects have you recently been working on?
Daily News: What was the inspiration for your career route?
Anik: To prove to myself that I could do this [music].
Daily News: What do you find most challenging and exciting about your career?
Anik: The most challenging thing is also the most exciting thing, which is to introduce something that might be a new concept to people. It is challenging because it takes more time to sink in and takes more time to digest. But because it’s not a familiar concept, the excitement comes from being able to tailor the narrative my way and have nobody tell me what I need to do and how I need to do it.
Daily News: How do you manage a healthy work/life balance?
Anik: If I spent my whole life focused on work I would be too overwhelmed to create. I like taking on life with all its new experiences just to make me a better person holistically.
Daily News: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Anik: My greatest achievement so far was selling out my first headliner without an opener and having it over capacity. Nobody expected that, not even me.
Daily News: Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?
Anik: I don’t know the specifics, but I do know that I’ll be traveling and eating good.
Daily News: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Anik: Push through even when you’re at your worst because consistency is the only thing that will bring results.
Daily News: Where is your favourite place to dine in your city and why?
Anik: Trinciti Roti in Queens. You know that any place where you see so many aunties behind the kitchen, that shit is guaranteed flame.
Daily News: What’s your most treasured possession?
Anik: My family jewelry.
Daily News: Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
Daily News: If you could be in someone else’s shoes for a day, who would it be?
Anik: Anthony Bourdain.
Daily News: What’s your favourite country to visit and why?
Anik: That’s a privileged ass question. I haven’t visited too many countries so I couldn’t tell you. Come back to me when I’m rich.
Daily News: What is your greatest fear?
Anik: My biggest fear is not being able to take care of my family and not leaving something behind for my future family.
Daily News: What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Anik: It’s either eating a really expensive meal when I know I shouldn’t or driving for hours wasting gas just because I needed to drive.
Daily News: And lastly, what does success look like to you?
Anik: Happiness. It’s hard to be truly happy, and if you can attain that you’ve succeeded no matter what you’re doing.”id: Success is coming up with people you love and care about. It’s nothing if you make it alone. All our boys need the hook up too. Same goes for family.