South Asian American Medley: Vijay Iyer, Arooj Aftab, and Shahzad Ismaily Team Up For a Collaborative Album
- Along with “Love in Exile,” to be out on March 24, the trio announced tour dates beginning next month.
Musicians Vijay Iyer, Arooj Aftab, and Shahzad Ismaily have teamed up for a new collaborative album, “Love in Exile,” to be out on March 24 via Verve.
Additionally, the trio also announced tour dates, which will kick off at the Big Ears Music Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 31. It will end on Oct. 12 at the Infinite Dream Festival in Iowa City, Iowa.
In a statement provided to Pitchfork, Iyer spoke of the collaboration. “Our music is a process,” he said. “This fragment of ‘To Remain/To Return’ reveals not just the melody but the birth of a song. I hear Shahzad and myself establishing these haunted cycles, then slowly and delicately transforming them, as Arooj glides across like a dark moon.”
Aftab told the online music publication that the single — “To Remain/To Return” — “holds, at its core, the delicately unfolding emotion of separation anxiety-induced fury between two people who are deeply connected. One is leaving and the other is asking them to stay. The former is saying ‘I will leave but I will also return’; in better form for the both of us.’”
Per Pitchfork, the trio first played together in New York in 2018 in “an unplanned, improvised performance, and performed five more times before recording their debut.”
Aftab recently performed “Udhero Na” with Anoushka Shankar at the 2023 Grammy Awards. Last year, she took home the inaugural award for Best Global Music Performance with “Mohabbat.” The 37-year-old who became the first Pakistani woman to win a Grammy was also nominated in the Best New Artist category but lost to singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo.