Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab wins his first Grammy

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Las Vegas (AFP) Brooklyn-based Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab won her first Grammy on Sunday, winning a prestigious trophy for her song “Mohabbat” in the Best Global Performance category.

The 37-year-old – who has lived in New York for about 15 years – regularly attracts worldwide attention for her work which fuses ancient Sufi traditions with inflections of folk, jazz and minimalism.

She’s also up for the coveted Best New Artist award, which will be presented during the Grammy’s main TV show later on Sunday.

“I’m beyond thrilled,” the artist told reporters backstage at the pre-gala ceremony, where the vast majority of awards are handed out. “He feels good.”

“I’ve been very nervous all day. And we’re off to a good start.”

Born to Pakistani parents in Saudi Arabia, Aftab spent her teenage years in Lahore before moving to the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston to study music production and engineering.

She released her critically acclaimed third studio album ‘Vulture Prince’, and garnered even more attention after former US President Barack Obama included the track ‘Mohabbat’ on his summer 2021 favorites list. .

Aftab has performed at a number of major New York venues, including Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, and also opened for Mitski at Brooklyn Steel in 2018.

Speaking to AFP in the days leading up to the Grammys, Aftab congratulated his fellow artists nominated for Best New Artist, a crop that includes favorite Olivia Rodrigo as well as rappers Saweetie and The Kid Laroi.

“We’re all so cool – the band itself is kind of like a win,” she said.

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