Shakil Khan, the head of special projects at Spotify and co-founder of Student.com is one of the fixtures in Internet circles. And connected as he is — is the guy who got many of my peers to support CharityWater — no one really knows him. These days he is Spotify’s special ambassador and a wellknown and beloved fixture in tech circles. He is “Shak,” not “Shaq.” It is hard to describe this tall, British-Pakistani guy who starts his Sunday by sharing some amazing desi songs from Spotify’s vast library of music with me and a handful of friends of South Asian heritage. He is always there to help his friends, make impossible happen. He hides behind an easy smile, putting his rolodex towork for others and tweeting links to some of the best desi (aka South Asian) music. I met Shak ten years ago and we have become what is known as Internet friends.
Recently, Shak had a heart attack (much like me about ten years ago). I shared some tips with him on how to get better, how to focus on the right things and why he needed to take a step back and focus on health and life. And during those talks, I wondered if he would come on my podcast — which I am re-branding it from The PicoCast to The Om Show — and share his story. He agreed and bared his soul to me: from dealing with racial slurs in BNP’s England to running away from home, becoming a street kid, a thief, a drug dealer, a convicted felon. From his personal hell, Shak clawed his way up. Don’t read my words — just listen to his story. To be honest, I am still shook up with what I heard — and so much so, decided to not even bother editing the file. You can get it on iTunes or listen to this on SoundCloud.