Singer Arooj Aftab made headlines earlier this year for winning a Grammy and becoming Pakistan’s first artist to have done so. The Brooklyn-based vocalist picked up the Best Global Performance award for her iteration of Hafeez Hoshiarpuri’s Mohabbat Karne Wale, previously performed by the likes of Mehdi Hassan and Farida Khanum.
Now, she has submitted another song of hers featuring Anoushka Shankar for a Grammy consideration in the Best Global Music Performance and Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocal categories. The song, Udhero Na, is part of Aftab’s latest album, Vulture Prince.
Taking to her Instagram on Tuesday, she announced, “Udhero Na featuring Anoushka Shankar for your Grammy voting consideration in the Best Global Music Performance category.” Quoting a line from the song, Aftab added, “ankhon main silay hoay ho, udhero na… this song about getting over your ex… must win for sure because we finally got over them.”
Shankar is a seven-time Grammy nominated British-Indian sitar player. She is the youngest and first woman to have ever received a British House of Commons Shield. While announcing her collaboration with Shankar for the song, Aftab had revealed that she is a “huge fan” of hers and their collaboration feels like a dream.
“I’ve been a crazy fan of Anoushka Shankar’s since I first saw her live in 2005. She saw my fandom, and offered me a beautiful friendship. This moment that she is playing on my song is insane, please pinch me I must still be dreaming. Thank you Anoushka for inspiring, steady guiding, soothing my heart with your music, and believing in me, always. Aand thank you for adding so much power and fire to this song,” Aftab wrote.
Last year, Aftab was nominated for the Best New Artist category as well. The 37-year-old, who has lived in New York for some 15 years, has been steadily gaining global acclaim for her work that fuses ancient Sufi traditions with inflections of folk, jazz and minimalism.
She has released three albums so far namely Bird Under Water (2014), Siren Islands (2018) and Vulture Prince (2021). The Grammys will take place on February 5 in Los Angeles. The nominations will be announced on November 15.