Image:
Instagram/@anikkhan_

Denied/Approved: Anik Khan’s Double EP tells the story of his life as an artist and immigrant in the United States

By:
Roshni Rakshit/@roshni_rakshit

It was his trip back to his home country of Bangladesh that defined the trajectory of the path that Anik Khan’s music career would follow. An idiosyncratic rapper from Queens with Bengali background, Anik Khan has carved his own niche in the world of music. 

His 2-part EP Denied/Approved explores Khan’s life as an artist and immigrant in the U.S without legal citizenship.

The first part, Denied, dropped in July this year, with the second part, Approved, set to drop this month. 

According to a release, “the first part, “Denied,” focused on his life while being denied U.S. citizenship and feeling invisible, whereas “Approved” speaks about life after receiving his papers and experiencing the world.”

Denied is already a fan favourite, and is rapidly gaining popularity, with the lyrics being a testament to the disappointments and rejections Khan has faced in the United States as an immigrant and as an artist. 

Most importantly, the lyrics speak to a much larger immigrant experience that immigrant families of colour go through as they move to a new country. What makes the sound even more real is the honesty in which the words have been penned. 

The lyrics are raw, real, honest, and simultaneously relatable and personable, with an appeal to a larger audience who has lived through the immigrant experience. 

What goes on in the inner world of a human being who has moved away from their roots and is trying to figure out where they belong, or if they belong at all? The answer to this question is extremely beautifully portrayed in the words of Denied . 

Khan was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from where he immigrated when he was 4 years old. His father was highly revered back in Bangladesh and was a freedom fighter during the Bangladesh Liberation War

His family settled in the New York City borough, Queens, and his earlier EP, Kites, is considered “a sonic reflection of his physical journey through Queens, paying homage to the people and places of his youth.” 

Throughout Kites, one can find several little bits and pieces of meaningful moments that he shared with his friends and family.

In a previous interview, Khan said it was his trip back to his homeland of Bangladesh that not only made him realise the beauty of his roots, but also made him question his tendency to run away from it. 

In an interview with FADER, Khan said that the lack of South Asian characters and narratives on TV was partly the reason why he never felt proud to be South Asian, but now maybe he could be the bearer of change.

 “Maybe I can do something and make people who come up or grow up the way I did proud to have someone. And maybe I could be that person for someone,” he said.

Khan is certainly on his way to becoming the bearer of change he always wanted and we are extremely excited for the second part of his EP to drop this month! 

Catch him live on the 5X Fest Instagram on Wednesday September 8 at 6PM PST, as we talk to him about his music, background, community, and much more.

You can also check out his music, here.

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About the author: Roshni is a self-proclaimed Comedy Queen who specializes in laughing at her own jokes. Her hobbies include making people smile, watching movies and analysing them, reading books, practicing yoga (occasionally), hogging on well-cooked biryani and scrolling through dog videos and memes on Instagram. Her love for writing stems from her love for art in general, which is fuelled by her background in theatre. Catch on her instagram at @roshni_rakshit daily, where she regularly shares her experience with movies and occasionally offends people with her political sense of humour.

5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.

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