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Chicago Born NRI singer Zeshan Bagewadi revives George Perkins' 1970 hit "Crying In The Streets" civil rights anthem
which was based on observation of the Martin Luther King funeral.

Los Angeles, Feb. 16, 2017
NRIpress.club/ NYC-Soshil Sharma/CA-Gary Singh

Jimmy Carter emphatically stated, “I have never heard a more beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner than the one we just heard when Zeshan opened for the Carter Foundation in Detroit with a performance of the US national anthem in 2015”.

An invitation from President Obama to perform at the White House for the inaugural Eid celebration in 2016. This is  great honor for Zeshan. .

NRI Zeshan Bagewadi has repurposed George Perkinss 1970 song "Cryin in the streets" as a song for todays civil rights struggles

The original song was based on an observation of the Martin Luther King Jr's funeral by George Perkins (1942-2013).  Soul giant behind “Cryin’ in the Streets” , was an American soul singer, best known for his 1970 hit "Crying In The Streets" which was based on observation of the Martin Luther King funeral.

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Zeshan Bagewadi was born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants who came from India in 1960. His mother was a social worker at the notorious Cook County Hospital on Chicago’s West Side and his father was one of the few journalists in India to cover the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 70s-- was immensely fond of Black artistic expression, and as such, Zeshan grew up with the sounds of his father’s blues, soul and r&b collection as well.

Zeshan decided to study of music in college and his vocal talents earned him a full scholarship at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music because of in his early life Zeshan’s natural aptitude for music was discovered and to that end, while excelling in band, orchestra and choral programs, he felt most at home in being the lead soloist of his school’s gospel choir.

Zeshan started to blend the hard-driving grooves and horn heavy sounds of late 60s/ early 70s American soul with the angsty scats and vocal stylings of early Indo-Pakistani film/folk tunes, Zeshan’s live embodiment of brown skinned soul has garnered him sold out performances at the Apollo, Cobo Arena (Detroit), Excel London, Millennium Park (Chicago), Coke Studio’s Jaipur Literature Fest, as well as the privilege of opening for acts like Mos Def, A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Aasif Mandvi and Rev. Jesse Jackson. 

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Indian American singer revives George Perkins' civil rights anthem

Washington, Feb 14, 2017: (IANS) Indian American singer Zeshan Bagewadi has repurposed George Perkinss 1970 song "Cryin in the streets" as a song for todays civil rights struggles, an American radio network reported.

The original song was based on an observation of the Martin Luther King Jr's funeral, but Bagewadi echoed it as the reflection of his own experiences as a Muslim and Indian American.

"I see somebody marching in the street. I see somebody crying in the street. I see somebody dying in the street.' [I was] struck... how simple it was, how poignant it was," Bagewadi told Public Radio International (PRI) reported.

"What needs to be done here is simple. Muslims need to ally ourselves with those who have paved a path for us and who has been on the front line of the struggles. So we need to appropriate their struggle. We need to appropriate the pain," Bagewadi said.

Bagewadi was born to Indian Muslim parents in Chicago. His father was a journalist, one of the few in India to cover the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 70s, American Bazaar Online reported on Tuesday.

"My father was always drawn to the black artistic expressions and read Lanston Hughes, Zora Hurston," Bagewadi added.

"You listen to Curtis Mayfield sing ‘people get ready, there's a train a comin.' You listen to Mahalia Jackson singing ‘Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho.' If that doesn't galvanise you, I don't know what will," he said.

Music has more power than mere words, he added.

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