Listen to a playlist of sentimental songs curated by Arooj Aftab
Welcome back to Selections, a series of artist-curated playlists from those in the know.
In April of this year, Arooj Aftab released her third album Vulture Prince – a meditative record that sounded both comfortingly familiar and unlike much else.
Sonics and Aftab’s bewitching vocals (largely delivered in Urdu) aside, it’s a sense of solace that permeates the seven-track release. For listeners – be it new fans or long-time admirers of the Pakistani-born, Brooklyn-based vocalist, composer and songwriter – the album arrived amid the uncertainty and anxiety of early 2021. The calm, whispering nature of the record, which veered from the sparse to the lush, from jazzier elements through to Hindustani classical, was a welcome respite from the outside world.
For Aftab, the album was also a real-time documentation of personal tragedy. During the writing process, Aftab’s younger brother passed away. Inevitably, this shaped the record in considerable ways; impacting its mood and themes, as Vulture Prince evolved from a fun, groove-oriented project into a personal one steeped in sorrow.
Her Buy Music Club playlist leans in a similarly intimate direction, as Aftab selects sentimental songs “composed and performed by musician friends old and new”. Tune in below to hear music from the likes of Patrick Jonsson, Qasim Naqvi and Jace Clayton, as well as Mabi Fratti, Aman Mahajan and more.
Arooj Aftab plays Stone Island Presents Milano as part of Stone Island Sound – curated by C2C Festival on 10 November