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Pop / Rock 19/04/2024

Arooj Aftab Announces New Album & Tour Night Reign Out On May 31, 2024

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Arooj Aftab Announces New Album & Tour Night Reign Out On May 31, 2024
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) 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/Universal Music. 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.

Night Reign will be available on all major DSPs as well as CD, standard black LP, D2C exclusive purple LP, and in a limited signed edition available exclusively on Aftab's webstore, plus an indie exclusive silver LP available at indie retailers globally.

Night Reign - Tracklisting:
Aey Nehin
Na Gul
Autumn Leaves (ft. James Francies)
Bolo Na (ft. Moor Mother, Joel Ross)
Saaqi (ft. Vijay Iyer)
Last Night (Reprise) (ft. Cautious Clay, Kaki King, Maeve Gilchrist)
Raat Ki Rani
Zameen (ft. Chocolate Genius, Inc.)

Arooj Aftab Live:

North America:
July 22, 2024 Chicago, IL Millennium Park Summer Series
July 23, 2024 Ridgefield, CT Ridgefield Playhouse
July 24, 2024 New York, NY TBD
July 25, 2024 Saugerties, NY Opus 40
Sept 19, 2024 Boston, MA Paradise
Sept 23, 2024 Washington, DC The Anthem (with Khruangbin)
Sept 24, 2024 Washington, DC The Anthem (with Khruangbin)
Oct 2, 2024 St. Louis, MO The Factory (with Khruangbin)
Oct 3, 2024 St. Louis, MO The Factory (with Khruangbin)
Oct 9, 2024 New Orleans, LA Saenger Theatre (with Khruangbin)
Oct 10, 2024 New Orleans, LA Saenger Theatre (with Khruangbin)
Jan 20, 2025 Vancouver, BC Hollywood Theatre
Jan 21, 2025 Seattle, WA Washington Hall
Jan 22, 2025 Portland, OR Aladdin Theatre
Jan 24, 2025 San Francisco, CA August Hall
Jan 25, 2025 Stanford, CA Bing Concert Hall at Stanford Live
Jan 26, 2025 Los Angeles, LA Fonda Theatre

June 28, 2024 Antwerp, BE Live is Live Festival
June 26-30, 2024 Glastonbury, UK Glastonbury Festival
July 13, 2024 Rotterdam, NL North Sea Jazz Festival
Aug 9, 2024 Helsinki, FI Flow Festival
Aug 13, 2024 Uppsala, SE Uppsala Konsert & Kongress
Aug 15, 2024 Oslo, NO Oslo Jazz Festival
Aug 17, 2024 Biddinghuizen, NL Lowlands Festival
Aug 19, 2024 Zurich, CH Zürcher Theater Spektakel 2024
Oct 12, 2024 Manchester, UK Factory International
Oct 19, 2024 Berlin, DE Heimathafen
Oct 20, 2024 Hamburg, DE Mojo Club
Oct 21, 2024 Heidelberg, DE Enjoy Jazz Festival
Oct 22, 2024 Cologne, DE Kulturkirche
Oct 23, 2024 Lille, FR Aeronef
Oct 25, 2024 Paris, FR Trianon
Oct 26, 2024 Nantes, FR Le Lieu Unique
Oct 28, 2024 Lisbon, PT Teatro Tivoli BBVA
Oct 29, 2024 Barcelona, ES Sala Apolo
Oct 30, 2024 Madrid, ES Festival de Jazz de Madrid
Nov 1, 2024 Bristol, UK Beacon Theatre
Nov 2, 2024 Glasgow, UK QMU
Nov 3, 2024 Leeds, UK Project House
Nov 6, 2024 Brighton, UK Mutations Festival
Nov 7, 2024 London, UK Pitchfork Festival @ Roundhouse
Nov 8, 2024 Den Bosch, NL November Music Festival
Nov 12, 2024 Copenhagen, DK Vega
Further details at - with more dates to be announced!

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