Queens rapper Anik Khan kicks off his on-the-money FADER Mix with a snippet of a child's voice: Do you know me? Do you know my name? If you didn't know Khan before, the next 43 minutes provide a glorious introduction via the music that makes his world go 'round. Indian composer A. R. Rahman, Nigerian superstar Wizkid, Toronto kings Majid Jordan, and U.K. superstar M.I.A. all feature. Also included are fellow Queens resident Kranium's "Sorry" remix and some of Khan's own fire, like the bass-heavy "Mantra." He's calling it the "Get Through Customs" mix; it's an essential listen. Dive in below, and scroll down for some pearls from the man himself, as well as that flawless tracklist. Plus catch Anik Khan performing live at Cake Shop on Thursday, February 25 (details).
Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings.
ANIK KHAN: I am currently in Fresh Meadows, Queens with one of my closest friends who happens to be a DJ (DJ Yen). He was kind enough to help me with this mix as we put some finishing touches on it. Surrounding me is an overflow of button-ups hanging from the ceiling being air-dried. A Playstation 2, a hacked Wii Console, and a stuffed Domo dinosaur on top of a dual screen work station.
Tell us a bit about this mix—what do you imagine people doing while listening to it?
This mix is a variety of different genres that I personally cater to. The world is beautiful, and I wanted to share what some other parts of it have to offer. I imagine people listening to this when en route to a destination or at social gatherings.
How has growing up in Queens shaped your music?
Queens had a direct influence in my music. It's ethnically the most diverse county in the world. I went to many West Indian, African, Hispanic, and South Asian parties growing up. I've always enjoyed how the music made people feel during these parties and wanted my music to bring that same feeling. When I'm creating I try to blend some of the amazing characteristics worldly music has to offer with the hip-hop I was raised with in New York.
What do you have coming up in 2016?
I'm working with producers outside of the country who understand where I'd like to take the music. Planning on releasing some of those records while hopefully doing some shows. Also plan on traveling a lot more this year, have a couple destinations in mind.
What's the last book you read that had a big impact on you and why?
Mira Jacob wrote a beautiful book called A Sleepwalkers Guide to Dancing. It's about an Indian family that moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and try to get through life and the things that come with it the best they can. It articulates the immigrant story extremely well while also touching on the issues and triumphs that come with having a progressive Indian surgeon as a father and a stay-at-home traditional Indian mother.
What's your favorite dish to cook and how do you make it?
Pan-fried shrimp and vegetable ramen noodles.
1. Boil up some ramen noodles in a pot and strain the noodles after they are done boiling.
2. Cut up some of your favorite vegetables. My preferences: onions, garlic, thai green chili peppers, carrots, and string beans.
3. Stir fry the vegetables and shrimp with olive oil.
4. Season with chili powder, cumin, and turmeric
5. Throw in the noodles and an egg. Start mixing to break egg with the noodles.
6. Finally, add the flavored powder from the ramen to your liking.
*In my best Pretty Toney Ghostface voice:* And that, my friends, is the most foreign/hood ramen you'll ever have. Feel me?
A.R. Rahman - Chaiya Chaiya (Dil Se)
G-Two ft. Siaira Shawn - That Soul
M.I.A. - Borders
Harvy Sandhu - Notorious Jatt 2
Anik Khan - Too Late Now
Sango ft. Faktiss & Chris McClenney - Na Hora
Wizkid - Caro
Gregor Salto & Mokoomba - Welele
Goldlink - Palm Trees
See Francis - Pimp See
Willy Chin - Give Me A Try/Hotline Bling (Black Chiney Remix)
Subdaio - Bricksquad
Sango - Toma Na Hora
Anik Khan ft. Sid Sriram & Humeysha - Obsession
Majid Jordan - Something About You
Heartburn - Wafia
50 Cent ft. Sonny Digital - I'm The Man
Kranium - Sorry (Remix)
Abir ft. Masego - Wave
Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future & Rae Sremmurd - Blase
Anik Khan - Mantra
DJ Sbu ft. Zahara - Lengoma
Asha Bhosle & Udit Narayan - Le Gayi (Dil To Pagal Hai) (DJ Yen Redrum)