Zeshan B Releases New Album Melismatic, A Soulful Soundtrack For Social Justice
Watch Zeshan B on MSNBC's Morning Joe BELOW
"Triumphant, uplifting, and powerful...it sounds as urgent today as many of Zeshan's influences sounded in the '60s and '70s" - BrooklynVegan
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Today, Zeshan B releases his debut album of original music, Melismatic (Minty Fresh Records). After channeling the great protest soul of the 60s and 70s on his Colbert-approved 2017 covers record, these eight new songs serve as Zeshan's own set of civil rights anthems. While singing in English, Urdu, and Punjabi, he cries out for equality, mental health, and the end of systematic oppression faced by fellow minorities, Muslims, and first-generation immigrants.
Listen to the album BELOW, with advance praise from The FADER, NowThis, Consequence of Sound, American Songwriter, FLOOD, BrooklynVegan, and more listed below.
Watch Zeshan sharing the screen with Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Hasan Minhaj, Jesse Jackson, Dr. Cornel West and dozens more in his "Brown Power" music video BELOW.
Reflecting on the music of Melismatic, Zeshan says, "I have seen more seismic ups and downs in the past 2 years than I could've ever dreamed of. Enormous gains. Shattering losses. And many sleepless nights. But the only thing that seems to remain stable all throughout this has been instability itself. And just as life has been unstable, so too are the bent, blue notes of my music. And the moanful melismas of my birthright music - the music of the storied Indus River Valley - are the very soundbites the mirthful ecstasy and the angsty despair that make up the soundtrack of my life."
Last week, Zeshan appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe alongside his wife Dr. Alex Roybal, an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Watch the interview BELOW, as they discuss some of the struggles that minorities and frontline providers are experiencing during the pandemic, and how Zeshan hopes these isolated times can force us to reckon with society's injustices.
Next Friday, May 22, Zeshan will perform his album release concert at home with the Blue Note NYC (streaming live on the venue's Facebook and Instagram at 10pm ET). Recently, he performed for Lincoln Center's "At Home" series, and partnered with Men's Health Magazine for a fundraising festival and a live conversation about mental health awareness with Dr. Drew Ramsey. He also joined Senator Tim Kaine, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and others for a virtual Ramadan panel this past weekend.
Praise for Melismatic
"Zeshan B is rallying everyone together...this time around he's grounded his voice into uplifting the ones who have been discriminated against" - The FADER
"A rallying cry to empower people of color everywhere" - NowThis, on "Brown Power"
"An anthem of resistance and unity…'Brown Power' claims a seat at the table for people of color, and does so with the universal musical language of the stomping rhythm and massed chorus of a protest march" - WNYC
"[Zeshan B] seems to relish using his music to bring people together" - American Songwriter
"['Nausheen'] often sounds like David Longstreth collaborating with Rostam" - FLOOD
"A master of implementing cutting social commentaries into his compellingly ornate and eclectic compositions" - PopMatters
"Zeshan B creates impassioned and transcendent music that explores internal and external unrest and hope...breaking boundaries for the South Asian community while expressing deep solidarity with other marginalized groups and challenging elitist hierarchies at their cores." - Popdust
Source Shore Fire Media
May 15, 2020 1:55pm ET by Shore Fire Media