Pakistani singer Arooj Aftab is the first Pakistani woman to make it to the Grammys nomination list! She’s secured a place in the Best New Artist category alongside artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, FINNEAS, The Kid LAROI and Jimmie Allen as well as a nomination for Best Global Performance.
Along with being the first Pakistani woman to ever be nominated for an award, she is also the first Pakistani to be nominated in the Best New Artist category. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was nominated in 1996 for Best Traditional Folk Album and Best World Music Album.
The Grammys nominated the singer’s song ‘Mohabbat’ from her album Vulture Prince, which has been a favourite since its release and made it to former US president Barack Obama’s 2021 summer playlist as well.
Aftab hails from Lahore and attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music where she studied music production and engineering. Her sound is heavily inspired by classical music, such as ghazal. She grew up listening to artists such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and American singer Jeff Buckley.
The Grammys, the highest honours in the music industry, will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on January 31, 2022. Nominees in each of the top three categories — album, song and record of the year — were increased to 10 from eight for the first time this year.
Amongst the Grammys overall, American rapper Jay Z rose to the top of the list of artists with the most Grammy nominations on Tuesday, hitting a lifetime total of 83 that put him just ahead of former Beatle Paul McCartney. The three latest nominations for Jay-Z came for collaborations with other artists. He made guest appearances on DMX song ‘Bath Salts’ and Kanye West’s ‘Jail’ which also earned Jay-Z a nod for West’s album ‘Donda’.
Jon Batiste led the Grammy nominations in a best album field that spanned rap to jazz music and embraced newcomers like Rodrigo and veteran Tony Bennett alike. Batiste and Justin Bieber will compete for the top prize – album of the year – along with Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, R&B artist Doja Cat, singer-songwriter H.E.R, West, Bennett’s collaboration with Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and rapper Lil Nas X.
Eilish (‘Happier Than Ever’), Rodrigo (‘Drivers License’), Bieber (‘Peaches’) and Batiste (‘Freedom’) were among the 10 nominees for record of the year, along with Swedish band Abba’s new comeback single, ‘I Still Have Faith in You’.
Swift — an 11-time Grammy winner — snagged a best album nod for her best-selling Evermore but was shut out of the other races, disappointing fans who felt she had been snubbed.
K-pop band BTS, which has yet to win a Grammy despite dominating the US music charts for almost two years, scored a single nod on Tuesday for the performance of their top-selling single Butter in the pop group field.