PREMIERE: Zeshan B’s “Nausheen” Is an Ode to South Asian Women

The Indian-American songwriter shares his latest single from the forthcoming album Melismatic.

Trilingual songwriter Zeshan B is gearing up to release the follow-up to his 2017 debut album Vetted, which led him to appear on such outlets as DemocracyNow! and PBS NewsHour—not to mention performances for Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. His new record, Melismatic, promises to deliver just as much in the way of civil rights–related messages and catchy hooks, with his new single “Nausheen” delivering both.

“It’s an ode to the intelligence, beauty, and effervescence of South Asian women—who for centuries have always outshone their less-than-stellar male counterparts,” he shares of the track, which often sounds like David Longstreth collaborating with Rostam.

“Being a South Asian male myself, having grown up in the diaspora, and having made several trips throughout my life to India and Pakistan, I’ve seen firsthand just how low the bar of expectations is set for men like me and how unfairly high it is set for women. The result has and continues to be an entire gender group that is far more intellectually curious, well-rounded and talented than the other. In other words, if all the “Nausheens” of the Indian Subcontinent ran the show, I have zero doubt in my mind that the entire region would not be the poster child for third world poverty, misogyny and backwardness that it is now.”

Of the track’s sound, he says he aimed for “instruments that [he] felt were evocative of grace and intellect.” Landing on harpsichord, flute, mandolin, and harmonium, the result, as he puts it, was an overwhelming sense of “renaissance fair vibes.”

Stream the track below, and keep an eye out for Melismatic when it drops May 15.

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