Pakistani singer, composer, and producer Arooj Aftab has once again made this nation incredibly proud. Not only is Arooj the first Pakistani to win a Grammy, but she is now also the first Pakistani artist to perform at the Grammys as well.
At the star-studded event, Arooj Aftab took centre stage along with Anoushka Shanker to perform their nomination song ‘Udhero Na’.
Her performance received widespread praise and recognition, making her one of the most talked-about artists on social media.
Arooj’s unique voice, blending traditional Pakistani classical music with contemporary elements, has earned her a loyal following and critical acclaim.
The Brooklyn-based artist failed to receive a Grammy at this year’s Award function, but her performance was nothing short of an award-winning one.
Arooj Aftab X Anoushka Shankar – Udhero Na
‘Udhero Na’, the collaboration between Shankar and Aftab was nominated in the Best Global Music Performance category. It was a piece that had appeared on the deluxe edition of Aftab’s breakout album Vulture Prince. Mohabbat was part of the original album.
Arooj Aftab wrote the piece in 2005, with lyrics ‘Ye aine mein chehra mera toh nahi, tum hi dikhayi diye har jagah kahin.’ The piece describes an ephemeral moment when a past relationship cracks open in one’s head and heart. While Aftab sang in her regular monotonous space that she usually does, Shankar’s strokes were shaky, to begin with, and then picked up along with the harp and double bass.
Arooj Aftab – Pakistan’s Musical Nightengale
Aroof Aftab has become a vital personality in the Pakistani entertainment industry having some hit songs including; Inaayat, Udhero Na, Mohabbat, Last Night and many more. Her last song Mehram from Coke Studio season 14 became a massive hit globally.
Aftab was born in Saudi Arabia and lived there with her mom, dad, and two brothers until she was 11 when the family moved back to her parent’s hometown of Lahore, Pakistan.
By the time she hit her teenage years, she already knew she wanted to be a singer. At 18, she recorded her first jazzy cover ‘Hallelujah’ and started to circulate it to different websites, before the popularity of YouTube in the early 2000s.
The song went viral in Lahore, becoming what Aroof Aftab thinks was a ‘gateway’ for women in music at the time. She then applied to Boston’s Berklee College of Music and got in. After studying music production and engineering at Berklee, she moved to New York City, where she’s been living and performing for the last decade.
Watch Arooj Aftab’s Performance ‘Udhero Na’ at Grammys 2023
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