Arooj Aftab – A female singer/songwriter to watch
By Chris Boylan
Sometimes you stumble across something on the Web that is just too good not to share. Arooj Aftab is a twenty year old woman from Pakistan who taught herself how to play guitar instead of becoming a good little accountant like her parents wanted.
Because she was forbidden from going into a studio, she recorded her own demos on the computer and sent one to Berklee college of Music, who promptly offered her their first Steve Vai online music scholarship. So now Arooj can study music (long-distance… for now) at one of the most prestigious music schools in the world.
Her “sound” is a refreshing blend of traditional western singer-songwriter with clear middle-Eastern influences, maybe Tanita Tikaram meets Edie Brickell with a touch of Norah Jones? Nah, that’s not exactly it, but it’s on the right track. Her haunting version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” sends chills down my spine.
Check it out, along with two other covers and two originals at her web site. There are more songs here.
She also maintains a blog, but be sure not to bother her too much… after all, she has studying to do!