The third Urban Desi conference and concert was held March 29-30th and fans were in for a pleasant surprise with an appearance by Queens’ very own Anik Khan at the event’s pop-up shop and concert!

POP x POC UDC, Anik Khan and the ladies behind Product of Culture, Monika Sharma and Archana Jain, Photo Credit: Farhat Sikder

The pop-up shop was held in New York City’s Soho Friday morning before the concert in collaboration with the talented ladies of Product of Culture. Vendors at the pop-up shop included Rootsgear Clothing, Babbu the Painter, ByBadal, Jasmine Lakhesar, Atif Ateeq, Jessie Sohpaul, Raxstar, Fateh, and more. The event was bangin with DJ Sharad poppin’ off beats and with Khan’s special appearance, all in all giving the event some true star power.

Fans went wild to see their favorite local hero, Khan, hit the stage late Friday night at Live Nation’s Irving Plaza. His performance was energy filled and powerful, leaving audiences in awe. With his lyrical prowess, he most definitely garnered new fans in the audience. This young artist focuses on honoring his hometown of Queens, NY. Even his merch features advertisements for the restaurants he grew up visiting. His music is filled with stories of growing up South Asian on the streets of New York City and it allows him to connect with his fans on a personal level.

Khan is truly a man of the people, he uses his influence to bring awareness to worthy causes, so, it was an honor to have him grace the event with his infectious smile and humble attitude.

Presented by Saavn and powered by B4U, the urban desi filled weekend saw 1,500 fans at the concert and over 400 attendees at the conference. This year the team added a pop-up shop which had over 450 guests stopping by. The weekend kicked off with an exclusive press conference for the media at UDC’s grub partner, Indikitch’s Flatiron location. The event was hosted by co-founder Monty Kataria and featured a few concert headliners and conference panelists. The next day was the official first day of events for fans with a conference held at New York University’s Kimmel Center.

UDC conference 2018, women’s panel, Photo Credit: Asim Farooki

The conference kicked off with a female-powered panel moderated by Brown Girl Magazine’s CEO Trisha Sakhuja-Walia. Female panelists including fashion designer Megha Rao of HoliChic, Emmy award-winning journalist Narmeen Choudhury of Pix 11, Time Inc’s reporter Priya Desai, Saavn’s artist and relations manager Hiba Irshad to name a few. The women spoke about topics ranging from show their vulnerabilities at the workplace to fighting their way to the top in their respective fields as South Asian women.

After the unique female empowered panel filled with #GirlLove, there were three smaller panels ran simultaneously during the first hour: Philanthropy and Nonprofits, Entrepreneurship and Startups, and Made in New York. The second half consisted of Health and Fitness, The Audile Image: Film and Digital Media and The YouTube Frenzy panels.

Terry Mardi, the man behind the term “urban desi” was the keynote speaker. He gave a mini-presentation about his new documentary regarding the history of urban desi music highlighting the artists that opened doors for the Anik Khan’s of today.

UDC conference 2018, Terry Mardi’s keynote, Photo Credit: Asim Farooki

The night ended with the “Kalakaar” panel, featuring concert headliners, Arjun, Jaz Dhami, Raxstar, The PropheC, Kamal Raja, Fateh, Master D, and Kashif. They sang a few bars for their fans and answered questions from the audience.

The concert included a phenomenal line up including local talents like Dixi Patel, Gurleen, Samica, Ah Murda, iSick, and Neel to international headliners like Arjun, Jaz Dhami, Bohemia, Deep Jandu, Raxstar, The PropheC, and The Bilz and Kashif. Khan’s surprise performance was the cherry on top of an already amazing weekend.

UDC concert 2018, Anik Khan, Photo Credit: Asim Farooki

Keep it locked for the fourth Urban Desi Conference and Concert slated to take place the weekend of March 29, 2019.


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