As a first-generation Indian-American fluent in Italian, Urdu, and English with proficiency in Punjabi and Spanish, Chicago native Zeshan Bagewadi AKA Zeshan B has a way more comfortable grasp on culture at large than your average soul singer. Zeshan B first broke out in 2017 with Vetted, his brilliantly re-packaged collection of American soul standards that topped iTunes’ World Music chart and debuted in Billboard’s Top 10 World Music Albums. Since then he’s performed for both Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, has played alongside hip hop heavyweights like Mos Def and A Tribe Called Quest, and has had no problem conquering the Kennedy Center and the Apollo.
Continuing to fuse his formative South Asian traditions with the realities of urban Chicago, this multi-instrumentalist has just announced his first ever album of original music, Melismatic, taking Zeshan B beyond someone who just evokes the talent and anthemic encouragement of Gaye or Redding and into an uplifting vehicle entirely of his own creation. Following up the infectious contemporary civil rights-inspired “Brown Power”, Zeshan B’s shared another new single from Melismatic (out mid-May), one that puts the spotlight on gender equality and whose concision and weight are almost evocative of Citizen Cope, “Nausheen”!