Get a sense of what to expect from Arooj Aftab's sold-out live performance at Rewire x Korzo on 26 November via the music below.
The sound of Brooklyn-based Pakistani composer, songwriter and vocalist Arooj Aftab floats between classical minimalism and new age, electronic trance, jazz structures and states of pure being. Aftab’s latest work, Vulture Prince, honors and reimagines centuries-old ghazals, a form of South Asian poetry and music that she grew up listening to with her family. Her album Vulture Prince did not remain unnoticed. The song Mohabbat from Vulture Prince won Arooj a Grammy Award for Best Global Music Performance. “I was really surprised when they said my name, but also I was like, Yeah, fucking say my name, let’s go!’’ she mentioned to Crack Magazine for her cover story interview.
Arooj Aftab to Pitchfork on corporating the ghazals in her work and mixing it with jazz structures: “People ask, ‘Is this an interpolation? Is this song a cover?’ No, it’s not. It’s very difficult to do this, it has taken a lot of time and energy as a musician, so it’s not a fucking cover. I’m taking something that’s really old and pulling it into the now.” Ghazals are old poems which originated centuries ago in South Asia and functioned as a medium to express the melancholy of pain and loss.
Through her YouTube channel, Arooj Aftab has shared a live version of Udhero Na, performed at the Barbican Centre in London. Watch the live version:
Arooj Aftab will perform live during Rewire x Korzo #20, as well as Lucrecia Dalt, on 25 November. Tickets for the show have sold out.