"Now I am a full-time artist, maybe I won’t just die of natural causes sitting at my office desk,” says a relieved Arooj Aftab. “Maybe I’ve created a record that can support me.”
The Pakistani-American singer and composer is speaking from her Brooklyn apartment, six weeks after her third album, Vulture Prince, won her two Grammy nominations. This poignant, grief-immured collection of reimagined Urdu verse and ghazals (Arabic verses of loss and longing) has earned the 36-year-old one nod as best new artist – one of the ceremony’s “big four” awards – and another for best global music performance, up against heavyweights Angélique Kidjo and Yo-Yo Ma. It has been a rapid ascent after more than a decade of music-making; it was only in 2021 that she left her day job as an audio engineer to pursue music full-time.
Read the interview in the Guardian.
[This piece was published on 24/03/22]