Arooj Aftab has released a live recording of her song “Aey Na Balam” featuring internationally-acclaimed musician, composer, and activist Anoushka Shankar.
The video was filmed during her performance at the Barbican Center in London this past June on the Vulture Prince tour. With Maeve Gilchrest on harp, Petros Klampanis on bass, and Darian Donovan Thomas on violin, this spectacular ensemble of musicians delivers a riveting never-before-seen performance of the song.
The live performance sees Arooj flanked by an assembly of strings, all bathed in a vibrant red light. About the live performance, directed and produced by the artist, Arooj had this to say: “The stand-out track from my first album, ‘Aey Na Balam’ comes along as the encore song on the Vulture Prince tour. It’s such a fun arrangement with so much dynamic energy. After playing it for almost eight years, we’re so easy with it that we stretch it to really beautiful heights in our performance. It stems from a centuries-old semi-classical thumri. With barely any rehearsal, revisiting my arrangement with Anoushka made the performance uniquely exciting and alive. We had a great time listening to each other, responding to each other, and letting the performance take us on an awesome journey.”
With this performance, Arooj breathes new life into the beloved track, originally released on her 2014 debut album Bird Under Water.
In the wake of a tidal wave of praise, including a win at the 64th Grammy Awards, Arooj Aftab released Vulture Prince (Deluxe Edition) last June via Verve, which included a new double LP pressing. The album expands upon Arooj’s breakout record, Vulture Prince (2021), which resonated with listeners far and wide, landing on Year End lists from The New York Times, Pitchfork, NPR, and Variety.
At the 64th Grammy Awards, Aftab made history as the first Pakistani artist to be nominated (including Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance) and win. Spotify also highlighted Aftab in their Best New Artist series and selected her as their inaugural EQUAL Ambassador for Pakistan for March 2022.