Arooj Aftab becomes ‘first’ Pakistani to light up Times Square

Arooj Aftab is the first Pakistani musician to feature on a billboard in Times Square. She is Spotify’s ambassador for ‘Equal Pakistan’.

Arooj Aftab becomes ‘first’ Pakistani to light up Times Square

"This is definitely epic."

Grammy nominee Arooj Aftab reached a new height as she featured on Times Square Billboard as Spotify’s Ambassador for EQUAL Pakistan.

As per Spotify’s statement, the streaming service’s initiative, EQUAL, aims to celebrate women creators by giving them a platform to share their content with the world.

Arooj Aftab, who became a household name with her singing skills, is now representing women creators of Pakistan at a global level.

As part of the initiative, Spotify’s EQUAL Artist of the Month will be featured on a rotational basis on the digital billboard advertisement in New York’s Times Square, USA.

The Pakistani-American musician said: “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.”

The ‘Mohabbat’ singer also shared a picture posing in front of the sign.

In the caption, Arooj wrote: “All day, only today, on rotation, at every New Yorker’s favourite hang, Times Square.

“Thank you, Spotify and Spotify Pakistan. This is definitely epic.”

Celebrities such as Sanam Saeed, Meesha Shafi, Ali Gul Pir, Mira Sethi amongst others rooted for the Brooklyn-based vocalist in the comments section.

Earlier, the singer made history by being the first-ever Pakistani singer to perform at the American art and music festival Coachella.

Arooj Aftab took to Instagram and shared with her 36k followers that she will be performing at Coachella on April 15 and 22, 2022.

In the caption, the Pakistani singer wrote:

“See you Coachella both weekends and I am ready to partyyyyy.”

Soon after her announcement, many took to Arooj’s post and congratulated her.

Faisal Kapadia, Mahira Khan, Zara Peerzada and Meesha Shafi, among many others, extended their heartfelt wishes to the musician.

Arooj Aftab will be performing on the same stage as the likes of Billie Eilish and Harry Styles as well as Kanye West and Swedish House Mafia.

One of the world’s biggest music festivals, Coachella was last held in 2019 and scrapped in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers said in June 2021 that the open-air festival, held in the California desert, would return over the weekends of April 15-17 and April 22-24 in 2022.

The festival line-up also includes Megan Thee Stallion and 21 Savage.

Arooj rose to fame in July 2021 when her Sufi-inspired jazz sounds made it to former US president Barack Obama’s summer playlist.

Arooj’s song ‘Mohabbat’ was one of the few non-English songs on Obama’s playlist.

‘Mohabbat’ is from Arooj Aftab’s third album Vulture Prince which was released in April 2022.

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.