Pakistani Musician Arooj Aftab bags Grammy’s nominations.

  • Pakistani musician Arooj Aftab is in the running for two Grammys this year
  • Arooj has been nominated in the category of Best New Artist.
  • The musician has also been nominated for the Best Global Performance award.
  • Her singing has also been applauded recently by Barack Obama.

Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab, whose Sufi-infused jazz sounds made it to former US president Barack Obama’s summer playlist earlier this year, has been nominated in the best new artist category for the 2022 Grammy Awards. Arooj has been nominated in the category of Best New Artist, alongside Olivia Rodrigo, The Kid Loroi, and Glass Animals, among others. The musician has also been nominated for the Best Global Performance award.

Who is Arooj Aftab?

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Aftab, 36, moved to the US in 2005 to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
Describing her sound, a fusion of jazz and Sufi music sung to Urdu lyrics, as “neo-Sufi”, she followed up that success with her second album, Siren Islands, in 2018. The New York Times included the album in its list of 25 Best Classical Music Tracks of 2018, with writer Seth Colter Walls calling it “easily one of my favorite releases from the first half of this year”.

Mohabbat, from Obama’s summer playlist, is from Aftab’s third album, Vulture Prince, released in April. Dedicated to her younger brother, Maher, who died earlier this year, the album has been praised for its intensity and minimalism.

Obama’s acknowledgment

Arooj’s song Mohabbat, which means love, was one of the few non-English songs on Obama’s list, a tradition he has been sharing for a few years, even while he was in the White House.
Obama tweeted,
“With so many folks getting together with family and friends, there’s a lot to celebrate this summer,” the former president tweeted. “Here’s a playlist of songs I’ve been listening to lately – it’s a mix of old and new, household names and emerging artists, and a whole lot in between.”

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