When Arooj Aftab sings, it is in the most ethereal and arresting fashion. Her music is described as ‘neo-Sufi, jazz, minimalist’ but that has never kept her from exploring music in its many incarnations.
When Arooj Aftab sings, it is in the most ethereal and arresting fashion. Her music is described as ‘neo-Sufi, jazz, minimalist’ but that has never kept her from exploring music in its many incarnations. So, it doesn’t come as a shock that Arooj Aftab has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.
While the late (and forever great) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was nominated in the ‘90s in the category of Best Traditional Folk Album and Best World Music Album, no Pakistani woman has picked up two Grammy nods prior to Arooj Aftab. Her song ‘Mohabbat’ was also on former American President Barack Obama’s playlist, and she’s been covered by international publications purely on the basis of her enormous talent.
Arooj has been nominated in the category of Best New Artist alongside Olivia Rodrigo, The Kid Laroi, Billie Eilish’s brother and producer Finneas, Jimmie Allen, rappers Saweetie and Baby Keem, Glass Animals, Japanese Breakfast and Arlo Parks. The 36-year-old singer who originally comes from Lahore also got nominated in the category of Best Global Music Performance category for ‘Mohabbat’. The song is off her third album, Vulture Prince that was released this year. Watch out, Pakistan. Arooj has done something remarkable and for that reason alone, we suggest you give her material a listen. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, since the news became public, Arooj has been congratulated by several industry insiders including Osman Khalid Butt, Meesha Shafi and Fakhr-e-Alam. May the force be with her come Grammy ceremony in 2022. Arooj Aftab will also appear on the upcoming season of Coke Studio 14.
The 64th edition of the Grammys is scheduled to take place on Monday, January 21, 2022.
Sajjad Ali releases new song after
Think of the word ‘Qarar’ and for many of us who grew up in the ‘90s, the name that comes to mind is Ali Haider’s. However, it looks like he will not be the only one. Riding high on the success of PISA Awards where his medley of songs including ‘Cinderella’ had the industry that was in attendance dancing and cheering him on, Sajjad Ali has dropped a single along with a music video called ‘Qarar’.
Featuring Sonya Hussyn, the single is a showcase of how strong Sajjad Ali still is as a singer and why power ballads by him should go far and wide. Slightly melancholic, it is a song that could also fit in a film soundtrack or as an OST to a television drama. He sings about finding something that brings a sense of calm. He and Sonya Hussyn are in different spaces physically, and Sajjad Ali sings for her with a sense of internal struggle.
It is not a ‘Teri Yaad’ or ‘Chief Saab’ or the mighty ‘Har Zulm’ but it does remind you what great music Sajjad Ali has given over the decades and has the ability to still deliver. Somewhere in his musical repertoire, ‘Qarar’ does fit in nicely.
Coke Studio 14: Faris Shafi to make
Since news became public that Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan, aka Xulfi will be helming the popular show this season, speculation about who will make the cut as featured and guest artists is one of the biggest musical wonder. Slowly news started trickling in on what to expect from the upcoming 14th season of Coke Studio.
Endorsed by co-founding producer Rohail Hyatt, Xulfi is making a lot of changes to the series. There are multiple directors such as Kamal Khan, Murtaza Niaz, Zeeshan Parwez and Jamal Rahman who will be directing certain songs, each bringing his own flavour. The set for each song is reportedly going to be different, replacing the set design that has become familiar to us over the last 13 years or so.
As for artists, among names that have been confirmed by Instep sources include Atif Aslam, Faisal Kapadia, Young Stunners, Momina Mustehsan, Hasan Raheem, Justin Bibis, Talal Qureshi, Abdullah Siddiqui (with Veeru Shan on percussions and Zain Ali on guitars).
Adding to this super list is Faris Shafi, who is considered the best rapper in the game with songs such as ‘Lafz, ‘Molotov’, ‘Nazar’, ‘Clap’ and ‘Jawab De’ with Talal Qureshi, ‘Waasta’ with Ali Sethi as well as the breakout single, ‘Áwaam’ ft. Mooroo.
His biggest national effort arrived in ‘Cricket Khidaiye’ where he raps in a TVC with the superstar Atif Aslam and electronic wizard Talal Qureshi as a celebration of cricket. In what avatar Faris will appear is yet to be known. Will it be a collaboration, or a solo track, are the big questions for fans who know that like last year, Coke Studio 14 will be a shorter season. Time will tell.
– This is a developing story.