Brudenell Presents...

Arooj Aftab

@ Project House

Grammy®-winning Arooj Aftab is set to release Night Reign, the follow up to her critically-acclaimed album Vulture Prince, on 31 May on Verve Records. Today, she shares ‘Raat Ki Rani’, the album’s debut single, with an accompanying music video helmed by actress Tessa Thompson (in her directorial debut) and produced by Kishori Rajan, who heads Thompson’s production company Viva Maude. Night Reign will be supported by an extensive tour of the US, UK and Europe from June.

“‘Raat Ki Rani’ is about a person whose allure, magnetism, and charisma floats through a beautiful evening garden party,” Aftab says. An infectious rhythm (closely related to the Brazilian maracatu) drives the song forward. Aftab’s voice (teased with autotune for the first time) provides an evocative vision of this “queen of the night” aka “Raat Ki Rani,” the intoxicatingly fragrant, night-blooming flower with which the track shares its name. The titular jasmine blossom also plays a significant role in the Thompson-directed visuals.

‘Raat Ki Rani’ serves as a regal introduction to the world of Night Reign. Aftab’s voice, as emotive as ever, echoes in the evening, accompanied by a longing piano and steady drumbeat. Harp and tuba tumble the song further forward into the fantasy, as ‘Raat Ki Rani’ paints a cinematic portrait of heart-racing emotion within the paradigm of quickly fleeting romance. “Interaction with the queen of the night feels unthinkable,” Aftab suggests. “Sometimes we must be content with an exchange of glances.”

Aftab makes the night the focus of this nine-song collection. Entirely in her own voice and through her own story, she delves into the multifaceted, bold and fascinating realm that comes to life after dark. Some nights are for falling in love, some are for solitude and introspection, some are to be annoyed at a forced social gathering–and so go the stories of Night Reign.

The album features new friends like Cautious Clay shredding on flute, Moor Mother echoing Aftab’s sentiment of how cruel the world is, and Chocolate Genius aka Marc Anthony Thompson lending his tender sensibilities to a song about being grounded. Longtime collaborators Petros Klampanis and Maeve Gilchrist also continue their musical partnership as core members of Arooj’s musical family. The resulting new music again showcases Aftab’s striking ability to build a thing of beauty from distinct elements. Night Reign is a clear departure from tradition or the reinvention of ancestral music. It’s a reflection of Aftab’s 15 years living in New York City and her unapologetic commitment to stay true to herself. With open-heartedness, candour and wit, Aftab lets us get even closer to her.

To support Night Reign, Aftab will embark on a major tour across the US, UK and Europe, starting in June. She’ll play dates in the US, including some shows alongside Khruangbin, as well as live performances in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland and Denmark. She’ll also hit festival stops at Glastonbury, Lowlands, Oslo Jazz, North Sea Jazz and Pitchfork London among many others. Full list of tour dates below (with more to be announced).

In their review of her 2021 breakthrough, Vulture Prince, Pitchfork took special note of “Arooj’s powerful voice, suffused in a sorrow so deep that it seeps into your bones.”  The album spurred a cultural shift and helped move music rooted in South Asian tradition into the larger contemporary modern music conversation. Vulture Prince cast a wide net of admirers; everyone from Elvis Costello to President Obama found a part of themselves in Vulture Prince. It would go on to earn two Grammy® nominations for Best New Artist and Best Global Music Performance with a win for the latter (making Aftab the first Pakistani artist to win a Grammy®). The following year, ‘Udhero Na’, a collaboration with Anoushka Shankar from Vulture Prince Deluxe, netted Aftab a second consecutive Best Global Music Performance nod. In the three-years since her major label debut, Aftab has continued to wow fans and critics globally. Spotify selected her as one of their Equal Ambassadors. She’s played festivals including Coachella and Glastonbury. Last year, she teamed up with Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily for Love In Exile, which netted two Grammy® nominations for Best Alternative Jazz Album and Best Global Music Performance and won the Edison Jazz 2023 award in the Global category.

Have a listen…

Sunday 3rd November 2024

Price: £27.50 Adv. (stbf)

Doors: 18:00

Buy Tickets

Band Links

« Back to Previous Page

Brudenell News

  • Be Kind // Re-opening Statement

    Be Kind // Re-opening Statement

    Friday 16th July 2021

    On the whole, we want our message to convey that there is a need for a level of personal responsibility, compassion and kindness for each other that essentially helps us all. We appreciate your continued support.

    Read More

Brudenell Social

Brudenell on Spotify

Follow us on Spotify for playlists featuring upcoming gigs & music from our friends!