Two incidents inspired the classic song Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, a staple of America’s Civil Rights movement. The singer-songwriter was denied a room in a hotel, and he heard Bob Dylan’s signature Blowin’ in the Wind.
Zeeshan Bagewadi’s cover, accompanied by the harmonium, is meant as a tribute to his childhood hero Muhammad Ali. The song was used in Ali, the biopic on the boxer starring Will Smith. Now, all these years later, when the United States finds itself in a renewed state of turmoil, the song has another resonance.
Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Bagewadi describes himself as the creator of a brand new genre of music – Brown Skin Soul. A genre that blends “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”. In 2014, Bagewadi had sung covers of the national songs of Pakistan and India one after the other to “remind listeners that, despite the 1947 Partition, both countries still have startling similarities.”
Here’s the original.