Arooj Aftab becomes first Pakistani artist to feature on Times Square

Mar 24, 2022: : Arooj Aftab two-time Grammy nominee and the Ambassador of EQUAL Pakistan, Spotify’s Global Music Program, becomes the first Pakistani artist to light up Times Square in New York City, USA.

Representing women creators of Pakistan at a global level, Arooj Aftab is being featured as Spotify’s EQUAL Artist of the Month on the digital billboard ad in New York Times Square as part of EQUAL’s global campaign. The world’s most popular streaming platform, Spotify, aims to celebrate women creators by giving them a platform to share their content with the world.

“I am extremely excited to be the first Ambassador of EQUAL Pakistan because this kind of well-structured program will help uplift women in the audio industry of Pakistan.” said Arooj Aftab.

By introducing EQUAL Pakistan, Spotify’s mission is to celebrate Pakistani women creators by utilizing the platform’s resources and providing new opportunities for these creators through a globally cohesive and branded experience.

The Pakistani-American singer and composer’s Vulture Prince, won her two Grammy nominations six weeks ago.

“I’ve always focused on putting music out with integrity,” she says. “People have been loving this record and it just doesn’t happen in the music industry that you can have popular appeal and critical acclaim. So two Grammy nominations is nuts – it restores my faith in the industry and in the listeners.”

Born in Saudi Arabia, moving to her parents’ native Lahore at 11 and later settling in the US, Aftab absolutely is global in many ways, and that background is what helps her confound traditionalists.

After an early taste of viral fame with a tender cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah when she was in her teens, she won a scholarship to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music for a degree in music production and engineering. Graduating in the throes of the 2008 recession, she landed in New York to begin her career.

She is now working on her next album and beginning research into the poetry of Chand Bibi, a female warrior and ruler in the Deccan empire.

“I’m in a good place right now,” she says. “For once, I’m not fighting. I’ve already won.”

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