After debut LP’s success, Zeshan Bagewadi sets sights on Mideast

Zeshan B is no stranger to the limelight. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2018
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After debut LP’s success, Zeshan Bagewadi sets sights on Mideast

  • Bagewadi has his sights set on performing in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia

SWITZERLAND: Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Zeshan Bagewadi (aka Zeshan B) has sung for two presidents, been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as an “artist to watch,” and seen his first album, “Vetted” receive rave reviews from international media and debut at No. 8 on Billboard‘s World Music chart.
The album is a blend of tempestuous soul arias, urban love dramas, and Memphis blues, all performed with an idiomatically Indo-Pakistani feel.
“It was weird,” recalled Bagewadi, of the Billboard ranking. “It was my debut album and I was just happy to put it out there. I was fortunate to get a lot of accolades from it.”
It was, he told Arab News, a deeply personal album, drawn from his own upbringing.
His parents exposed him to Indo-Pakistani music, and his father also introduced him to blues, soul, and R&B, while his mother — a retired social worker — introduced him to the plight of disenfranchised minorities. “Vetted” was born from those ideas and sounds.
The album was a runaway success. “Yeah, it did the rounds,” said Bagewadi with a grin. “It was just about transforming obscure soul songs that no one knew about. I put my own spin on them. It was as personal as it could have been; I definitely injected my own personality into them.”
The LP’s success led to his debut on US network television on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” He has since sold out shows across America, the UK, Italy and India.
“There was life before — and life after that show,” he said.
Bagewadi has his sights set on performing in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia. “If the opportunity arises there, of course I would love to,” he said. “Especially if it involves making meaningful surface impact. I would love to … show them my story as a American-Muslim kid.”
Meanwhile, Bagewadi hopes to release his next single in November, followed by a second album.
“I am a pretty harsh critic of my own work,” Bagewadi admitted. “But I’m sitting on several songs. And for once I think ‘Gee, I really have some really cool stuff here.’”


Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

Updated 18 January 2019
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Banksy ‘snow’ pollution mural sold for over $130,000

  • The ‘snow pollution’ mural appeared in the town of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world
  • The buyer will lend the mural to Port Talbot in hopes it would attract international artists to the area

LONDON: A mural by elusive British street artist Banksy depicting a child enjoying falling snow that is in fact pollution from a burning bin has been sold for over $130,000 to a British art dealer.
From one side, the “Season’s Greetings” mural on a concrete block garage in Wales shows a small boy with his tongue out to catch snow that, when viewed from another side, turns out to be ash from an industrial bin.
“I bought it and it cost me a six-figure sum,” John Brandler of Brandler Galleries, told Reuters by telephone.
“I am lending it to Port Talbot for a minimum of two or three years. I want to use it as a center for an art hub that would bring in internationally famous artists to Port Talbot.”
The mural appeared last month in the town on the edge of Swansea Bay, home to one of the biggest steelworks in the world.
Brandler, 63, said the entire mural — on the corner of a garage — had to be moved in one piece. He declined to give a specific price for the piece.
When asked how he could afford such luxuries, he said: “I am an art dealer. I own several Banksies, I also own (John) Constable, (Thomas) Gainsborough, (Joseph Mallord William) Turner, I’ve got (urban artist) Pure Evil — I’ve got all sorts of art.”
“My hobby is my business. The last time I went to work was when I was 18,” Brandler said.
Banksy, who keeps his real name private, has become the most famous street artist in the world by poking fun at the excesses of modern capitalism and lampooning hollow icons, slogans and opinions.
Previous works include “Mobile Lovers” which shows an embrace between lovers who stare over each other’s shoulders at their mobile phones and an abrupt warning near Canary Wharf in London that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock.”