Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Zeshan Bagewadi’s musical identity was formed at the junction of two different worlds.
His parents’ nostalgic yearning for the sounds of their native land gave him a profound exposure to Indo-Pakistani music. However, his father, having been one of the few journalists in India to cover Black literature and music in the 1960s and 70s, was immensely fond of Black artistic expression. As such, Zeshan grew up with the sounds of his father’s blues, soul, and R&B collection as well. Additionally, his mother--a retired social worker at Chicago's Cook County Hospital--imbibed Zeshan with a sensitivity and awareness of the plight of disenfranchised minorities.Those two worlds collide on his debut album Vetted. Produced by Lester Snell (the legendary arranger for Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Mavis Staples), Vetted is a mixtape of Zeshan’s originals and lesser known 1960s and ‘70s deep soul gems. The album was recorded in Memphis at the famed Ardent Studios with a wrecking crew of Stax Records’ sidemen.
And in 11 tracks and 3 languages--English, Urdu and Punjabi--Zeshan pours his heart out.