Arooj Aftab is a Brooklyn-based Pakistani vocalist, music composer, and producer. The 36 year old has no constraints of musical styles, working in jazz, minimalism, neo-Sufi, and other idioms.
She has been nominated for the Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.
Born in Saudi Arabia, she started her music career as a cover artist when she shifted to Lahore with her parents. In early 2000, at the age of 18, she sang Canadian singer Leonard Cohen’s song “Halloween” which went viral on YouTube and social media.
In May this year, Arooj Aftab released an album titled ‘Vulture Prince’ which include seven songs.
Arooj admits that she has been greatly influenced by Urdu poetry. She describe her music ‘New Sufi Semi-Pakistani Classical’. Former US President Barack Obama added her song “Mohabbat” to his official Summer 2021 playlist. This song, based on a ghazal of Hafeez Hoshiarpuri, is one of her hit songs which was first sung by late Mehdi Hassan.
Aftab moved to the United States at the age of nineteen and earned a degree in Music Production and Engineering and Jazz Composition at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. She moved to New York in 2010 and began working as an editor and scoring films.Since her graduation, Aftab has lived there, being part of the city’s jazz and “new music” scene.