Arooj Aftab releases 'Udhero Na' featuring seven-time Grammy nominated artist Anoushka Shankar

Arooj has always been a huge fan of Anoushka's and their song is a must-listen.


Entertainment Desk March 18, 2022

Two-time Grammy nominated Pakistani-American artist Arooj Aftab has released her latest, Udhero Na, from her album Vulture Prince.

Udhero Na features British-Indian sitar player and producer Anoushka Shankar, who was the youngest and first woman to ever receive a British House of Commons Shield. Boasting seven Grammy nods, Shankar is also the first Indian musician to perform and serve as a presenter at the ceremony.

Like the Brooklyn-based Pakistani vocalist, Anoushka performs across multiple genres and styles too. While Arooj’s music exhibits her grip on jazz, minimalism, neo-Sufi and other idioms, Anoushka’s sound ranges from classical to contemporary, having blends of acoustic and electronic elements. Taking to her Instagram to announce the collaboration, Arooj revealed what a huge fan she has always been of Anoushka’s, and how great it’s been for her to finally work with her.

“I’ve been a crazy fan of Anoushka Shankar’s since I first saw her live in 2005,” she penned in the caption of her latest post on Instagram. “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,” she concluded.

In an earlier interview with the Los Angeles Times, Arooj had hoped that Vulture Prince would "transcend boundaries.” She has also previously mentioned Abbey Lincoln, Abida Parveen, Anoushka Shankar, Begum Akhtar, Esperanza Spalding, Jeff Buckley, Julius Eastman, Meshell Ndegeocello, Morton Feldman, and Terry Riley to be her influences, while expressing her admiration for Billie Eilish too. Lyrically, Arooj has cited Asian poets like Rumi, Mirza Ghalib, and Hafeez Hoshiarpuri to be her influences. Her rendition of the latter’s ghazal Mohabbat also landed her in the Best New Artist category at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.

Arooj’s vocals have been described as “meditative” and her album Vulture Prince revolves around themes of grief and longing. The singer, producer has won News & Documentary Emmy Awards in 2018. She is nominated for the Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance at this year’s Annual Grammy Awards.

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