5X hosted IG lives all of last week to shine the spotlight on some of our favourite South Asian creators and influencers that are showing up for the culture.

We started off with Gurnaz (@itsgurnaz), a video creator who exudes positivity while keeping it real, hosted by Gurshabad (@gurshabadkang). 

With more than 209K followers on instagram and 346.1K followers on TikTok, Gurnaz spoke to us about how she got started and her creative process. She spoke candidly about her aspirations and growth as a creator, while citing Diljit Dosanjh, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Lilly Singh as inspirations. She also had some advice for creators starting out as well.


The 5X Spotlight series ft. @itsgurnaz giving advice on how to build a platform as a creative. Full interview on IG! ##fyp ##foryou ##creative

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Gurnaz is a mental health advocate and tries her best to create content that adds positivity to the lives of her followers. She spoke to us about finding balance and prioritizing mental health.

Rumneek (@rumneeek) hosted Gurkiran Kaur (gurkirankaur_) and started off by throwing it all the way back to “Mime Through Time”, and moving onto all the different hats that Gurkiran wears. They talked about it all; from her career in economics to being a small business owner, to now maneuvering the Canadian political landscape, while keeping in mind the importance of representation. 

Gurkiran had some advice for everyone: “If it makes you happy then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try” & she also dropped some knowledge by letting us in on a secret that the “pregnancy glow” is apparently just sweat.


Gurkiran Kaur talking about pursuing your passions, representation & more. Full intvu on IG! ##foryou ##fyp ##interview ##blog ##magazine ##southasian

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Gurkiran also spoke to us about using her platform to shed light on issues that she’s passionate about and helping her community.

Roshni (@roshni_rakshit) hosted Anik Khan (@anikkhan_), a Bangladeshi-born rapper brought up in Queens, New York during (arguably) the golden era of hip hop.

Roshni and Anik chatted all about music and Anik’s career as a rapper, along with how he navigates his multifaceted identity and the impact his roots have on his music. Anik gave us some insight into the process and inspiration behind his new two part EP “Denied/Approved”, which encompasses his journey to becoming an American citizen. 


Here’s @anikkhantwithyall talking about his 2-part EP, and “feeling invisible.” Link in bio. ##fyp ##foryou ##interview ##immigrant

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Anik also gave us a sneak peek into his upcoming tour, which will be his first as a headliner.

Rehatbir (@rehatbir_) hosted Vidya Vox (@vidyavox), a singer/songwriter who went from doing covers and mashups on YouTube to establishing her own sound and creating her own music, with over 7.42 million subscribers, and more than a billion views.

Shankar Tucker, a clarinetist and music composer, and a regular collaborator of Vidya's, also joined the IG live with her. Rehatbir, being a singer himself, nerded out with Shankar and Vidya about music. They discussed brown girl power, the impact of Vidya’s upbringing on her music, the trajectory of her career, and what her fans can look forward to. 


@vidyavox talking about South Asians telling our own stories. Link in bio! ##vidyavox ##fyp ##foryou ##southasian ##music ##interview

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We even got a sneak peek into her upcoming project.

To wrap up the week, 5X writer Anuja Bhatt (@bhattcheeks_) had a candid conversation with Jolene Queen Sloan (@jolenequeensloan) about her journey from Punjab to the Yukon, navigating her queer identity, and her journey into drag.

Jolene touched on the rich history of drag in India, and the importance of not viewing the practice through a Western lens.


@jolenesloan talks about the history of drag, her journey to being a performer, and more. ##fyp ##foryou ##drag ##punjab ##punjabi

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She also talked about how she deals with negativity, and educates people while addressing their curiosity.

5X is devoted to highlighting and celebrating South Asian art and expression, and the #5XSpolightSeries is just one part of that mosaic! Go to our IG page (@5xfest) to watch all these lives in their entirety. Don’t forget to follow us & stay tuned to see some of your favourite artists featured!


About the author:

About the author

Gurshabad Kang

Gurshabad’s educational background in Biology and Psychology is inspired by her lifelong pursuit to seek and decipher the human connection. She loves McDonald’s fries, long walks on the beach, and telling people how to correctly pronounce her name. She regularly forces her friends to sit in her car & record a podcast aptly named Sitting In The Car. You can find her but more importantly her dog, @gurshabadkang on all platforms.

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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.