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

Zeshan B is no stranger to the limelight. (AFP)
Updated 01 October 2018

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.’”


Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

Updated 19 August 2019

Alaska man discovers 50-year-old message in bottle from Russian Navy

  • Then Russian Navy Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko wrote the letter when he was a 36-year-old aboard the Sulak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A man discovered a 50-year-old letter in a bottle from the Russian Navy on the shores of western Alaska.
Tyler Ivanoff found the handwritten Russian letter early this month while gathering firewood near Shishmaref about 600 miles (966 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, television station KTUU reported.
“I was just looking for firewood when I found the bottle,” Tyler Ivanoff said. “When I found the bottle, I had to use a screwdriver to get the message out.”
Ivanoff shared his discovery on Facebook where Russian speakers translated the message to be a greeting from a Cold War Russian sailor dated June 20, 1969. The message included an address and a request for a response from the person who finds it.
Reporters from the state-owned Russian media network, Russia-1, tracked down the original writer, Capt. Anatolii Prokofievich Botsanenko, KTUU reported.
He was skeptical he wrote the note until he saw his signature on the bottom.
“There — exactly!” he exclaimed.
The message was sent while the then 36-year-old was aboard the Sulak, Botsanenko said. Botsanenko shed tears when the Russian television reporter told him the Sulak was sold for scrap in the 1990s.
Botsanenko also showed the reporter some souvenirs from his time on the ship, including the autograph of the wife of a famous Russian spy and Japanese liquor bottles, the latter kept over his wife’s protests.
Ivanoff’s discovery of the bottle was first reported by Nome radio station KNOM.