Arooj Aftab innovates off classical Pakistani, Sufi & pre-partition South Asian music, creating original compositions honoring ancestral roots,for a sound that is fresh, graceful, and musically complex. Paying homage to classical sufi legends such as Abida Parveen and Reshma; neo-soul and jazz icons such as Sade and Ella Fitzgerald; and contemporary world musicians such as Marisa Monte and Fat Freddy’s Drop, Arooj presents an original, interactive sound embraced by young and old, South Asian and beyond.
Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Arooj moved to the U.S. in 2005 to study Music Production and Engineering at Berklee College of Music. Having completed her education and now based in New York, Arooj is working as a fulltime performing artist, music composer and sound editor.
Through exposure to diverse musical genres and incredibly talented artists in Boston and in New York City, Arooj is inspired to continuously develop her art and deepen her understanding of the possibilities of music. Layering subtle, intricate, dynamic vocals over acoustic instrumentation, Arooj skillfully re-imagines indigenous soul with signature ‘cool.’
Arooj will soon be releasing her debut album as part of Rebuild Pakistan, an initiative she created to promote a vision of peace and healing for Pakistan, inspiring a global community to rebuild perspective on Pakistan, and urging the people of Pakistan to actively engage in rebuilding their homeland. The album and the initiative harness collective creativity to express solidarity with politically stigmatized, economically marginalized, culturally and spiritually powerful people across the earth.
an acoustic guitarist with a minimalist delicate approach that compliments and amplifies Arooj’s style. Through a deep understanding of Sufiana/classical phrasing and an innate sensitivity to this complex musical genre, Bhrigu partners with Arooj in composing and creating an innovative expression of South Asian Ancestral wisdom.
Originally from Germany, Jorn is a percussion sound artist who supplies live, analog processes drum set to accompany time and sound in a way that is always fresh, innovative and deep. A resourceful and efficient player, Jorn creates an electronic soundscape without sacrificing the acoustic root of his instrument.
A versatile bassist skilled in the upright an the electric base. Mario can hold down the soul in a diversity of collaborations from jazz, funk, and electronic to Eastern, Flamenco and Cuban. With roots in a small town near Madrid, Mario draws from indigenous Spanish musical traditions to interpret South Asian rhythms with intuitive grace.
Arooj is also frequently joined on stage and blessed by these outstanding artists:
Stelios Michas guitar
Magda Giannikou accordion
Grey McMurray guitar
Sonny Singh trumpet
Meshell Ndegeocello bass