“In my family, the women called the shots”: Anik Khan goes OnRecord
Kunal Bambawale · August 31, 2018 · 3 Minute Read
Rising star Anik Khan just dropped his latest single, “Big Fax,” on Artist Originals. We connected with the rapper, vocalist, producer and songwriter to discuss his upbringing, immigrant pride, and message for the South Asian diaspora.
1. “Kites” was a tour of Queens — exploring the diversity, heritage, and culture of the borough in which you grew up. “Big Fax” seems to be a larger statement about the immigrant experience. Tell us as much as you can about that statement.
“Big Fax” is statement about the where I am in my life right now. I happen to be an immigrant, so those two experiences are naturally intertwined.
It’s a statement record about what I’ve been able to make of myself as an immigrant. It’s a reminder to the world that being an immigrant is something to be proud of.
2. You’ve released this record at a time when the discussion around immigration is more political than it’s ever been — at least for those of us born after 1985. How comfortable are you with the political furore that may accompany your work?
I’m not trying to be a political artist. I’m not fearful of it, but my job is to speak my truths. My truths reflect the things that I’m going through and where I am as a person. As an immigrant, I want to remind people that their truths are ultimately what will set them apart from the world around them.
3. In the video, you’re protected by women. Tell us more about the intention and construction of this powerful image, and any stereotypes it subverts.
I was raised by four women (and one man) in a one-bedroom apartment. They shaped me to be who I am.
Culturally, in my family, the women called the shots, and from my personal experience they tend to make better decisions.
Anik and his crew share a laugh as they watch some footage during the shoot.
4. What does “Big Fax” symbolize to you, what does this particular release signify in terms of your own journey and trajectory as an artist and as a man?
Big Fax symbolizes me owning who I am with confidence and poking my chest out. It’s to let people know that I’m not messing around. Men can lie, women can lie but numbers cannot! Thanks, Shawn (Carter).
5. What kind of parallels do you see between your father’s poetry, and your own particular way of speaking truth to power? What does he make of “Big Fax” as opposed to “Kites?”
I get a lot of my confidence from watching my father recite his poetry. I use that sense of confidence in my own performances.
When it comes to “Big Fax,” he just tells me to keep making more music, because he’s tired of listening to “Kites!” ? He just discovered Youtube, but doesn’t know how to find my whole album yet. He just plays what he sees pop up… lol!
6. Tell us about the making of and shooting of the video. Where was it shot, who were the individuals surrounding your car, and what significance do the locations have to you?
I wanted to show how me and my crew live.
We put a rickshaw in the middle of the parking lot and drove a Audi R8 around it, which symbolizes our personality to a T. We stay rooted in what we know while adding our own flavor to it at the same time.
The hijabis with the AK47s symbolize the women in my who protected me and the number tattoo above my eyebrow was a nod to the struggle that many refugees around the world are experiencing at the moment, to let them know that I recognize and empathize with them.
Anik steps out of the rickshaw during the shoot.
7. Anything else you’d like the people of the South Asian diaspora to know?
Be proud of who you are.
Be proud of where you come from.
We’re a community of amazing individuals and the world is going to start seeing more of us. Also, Bengali biryani is the best out. Really big facts.
“Big Fax” is out now via Artist Originals.