Arooj Aftab was nominated for Best Global Performance — which she won — and Best New Artist.
The Brooklyn-based American-Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab won a prestigious Grammy award on Sunday night for her song ‘Mohabbat’ in Best Global Performance. She becomes the first Pakistani to win a Grammy.
Her work, which merges ancient Sufi traditions with folk, jazz, and minimalism, has steadily gained global attention over the last 15 years.
Additionally, she is a finalist for the coveted Best New Artist prize, handed out during the main Grammy broadcast.
“I’m beyond excited,” the artist told journalists backstage at the pre-gala ceremony, in which most of the awards are presented. This feels great. I have been feeling nervous all day. And we are off to a good start.”
Born to Pakistani parents in Saudi Arabia, Aftab spent most of her teenage years in Lahore before attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee School of Music to study music production and engineering.
In 2021, former U.S. President Barack Obama included the song ‘Mohabbat’ on his list of summer favorites of 2021. Vulture Prince was her third studio album.
Moreover, Ms Aftab has appeared at The Brooklyn Steel, Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Modern Art, among her other New York performances. She opened for Mitski at The Brooklyn Steel in 2018.
The ceremony also featured a surprise message of support from Ukraine’s wartime president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who won the album of the year award. Jon Batiste and Silk Sonic won top honors during the ceremony.
In addition, The night’s biggest prize went to Batiste for his album. We Are, which was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. “I believe this with my whole heart – there is no best musician, artist, dancer, or actor,” Batiste said. Putting my head down and working on the craft daily is all I can do in the creative arts.”
Moreover, Zelensky’s video message appeared midway through the ceremony, hosted by Trevor Noah. He contrasted the joy found through music with the devastation caused by Russia’s invasion more than a month ago. “Is there anything opposite to music?” Zelensky, wearing a green t-shirt, asked hoarsely.
Over 11,000 voting members of the Recording Academy selected the winners.