Pakistani Vocalist Arooj Aftab wins First Grammy for ‘Mohabbat’

“I am beyond thrilled. It feels great”

Brooklyn based, Pakistani singer, Arooj Aftab won ‘Best Global Music’ at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for her rendition of ‘Mohabbat’.

Arooj Aftab collected her maiden Grammy trophy at a glittering ceremony, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, the USA on April 3, 2022.

MGM Grand Garden Arena was the venue for this prestigious awards night, recognising the best artist and their performances.

A New York resident for around fifteen years, Arooj has gradually been attracting the limelight globally.

This is for her fusion of neo-Sufi traditions with folk, jazz and minimalistic avante-garde musical styles.

At the pre-gala ceremony where most of the awards are given, Arooj Aftab spoke to journalists backstage after picking up her award:

“I am beyond thrilled. It feels great. I’ve been very nervous all day.”

Pakistani singer and actor, Ali Zafar went quickly on Twitter to shed his thoughts about Arooj’s first grammy:

“Wow ! This is amazing.”

“Having witnessed your journey since back in the day, your perseverance and pursuit for knowledge in your field gives us great joy and a sense of pride.

“May you keep shining. Bohat si duyaayein.”

A Pakistani fan named Muhammad Faizan Khursheed congratulated Arooj and highlighted why this award was so special:

“Congratulations to Arooj Aftab for becoming the first-ever female Pakistani music artist to win a Grammy award.

“She has won the accolade for the category of Best Global Music Performance!”

Arooj was born into a Pakistani family in Saudi Arabia. Lahore became Arooj’s home during her teen years.

She then made a move to Boston, studying musical production and engineering at the reputable Berklee School of Music.

Her third studio album, the critically acclaimed Vulture Prince, came out on April 23, 2021. Her award-winning track from the album, ‘Mohabbat’ was particularly elevated.

This is after ‘Mohabbat’ was listed as a 2021 summer favourite by former US  president Barack Obama.

Aftab has gone on to perform at key venues in New York. This includes the Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art.

In 2018, she also opened for Mitski at The Brooklyn Steel. Leading up to the 2022 Grammys, Arooj had spoken to AFP, praising fellow nominees in the ‘Best New Artist’ category.

This includes the likes of popular singer-songwriter Olivia Rodrigo and rappers, Saweetie and The Kid Laroi. She said:

“We’re all so cool – the group itself is kind of like a win.”

DESIblitz congratulates Arooj Aftab on becoming the first Pakistani to win a Grammy Award.

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