"Curry chicken meets collard greens."
That’s how Bangladeshi born, Queens bred rapper Anik Khan defines his sound. Intensely personal, Khan’s music tells the story of the immigrant experience in poetic verse laid on top of beautifully produced, hip hop and afro-cuban tracks. His sound catches your attention as he blends the influences that defined his life growing up in Queens. You listen and find yourself nodding in solidarity.
Khan immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was 4 from Dhaka, Bangladesh. His father, a prolific writer and speaker, was a freedom fighter in the Bangladesh Liberation War. Seeking political asylum, he moved the family to Queens, leaving everything material behind. Educated, but with no money and no connections, Khan’s father began driving a cab to support his family.
Khan’s admiration for his father is palpable in every conversation you have with him. He is humble, grateful and gracious when speaking about his parents’ sacrifices - and his own childhood growing up in an apartment with 6 people sleeping in one bedroom. Family is everything to him and he strives to tell their story and his.
In the track Nomad Man you can hear the weight he carries and like many of us, his desire to make his family proud.
“Baba, I know you left everything
So your kids could have everything
And everyday that you drive that cab
Know your son is working hard to bring your pride right back”
Hip hop helped him make sense of the world outside while at home he was surrounded by Bengali poetry and music. For many immigrants and their children, mixing the many worlds that define identity proves challenging and separation wins out.
Much respect Anik.
Khan has managed to find expression of all of himself through his music. It's the reason we can’t stop listening to him on repeat.
Check out Anik Khan's work below including his latest track, Cleopatra where brings in A.R. Rahman's Jiya Jale.