Pakistani vocalist Arooj Aftab on Sunday scored her first Grammy, winning a prestigious trophy for her song ‘Mohabbat’ in the Best Global Performance category.
This makes her the first Pakistani artist to win a Grammy.
The 37-year-old Brooklyn-based Pakistani vocalist has been steadily gaining global attention for her work that fuses ancient Sufi traditions with inflections of folk, jazz, and minimalism, according to The Dawn.
Aftab hails from Lahore and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music where she studied music production and engineering. Her sound is heavily inspired by classical music such as the ghazal. She grew up listening to artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and American singer, Jeff Buckley.
She made her debut in 2015 with her album Bird Under Water. Her album Vulture Prince, which includes ‘Mohabbat’, was released in 2021.
‘Mohabbat’ opens beautifully to the sound of gentle guitar strumming, accompanied by the harp, in a manner that gives the impression that the sound is meant to mimic a collaboration between the former stringed instrument with a sitar.
The song has been listed by Barack Obama as one of his favorite songs from his summer playlist for 2021.