Najma Akhtar, vocalist, composer and actor, has been at the forefront of the World Music scene for the last two decades. Even though born and raised in England and a graduate in Chemical Engineering, Najma has remained rooted in the music of India, her ancestral home.
Najma has proved to be a successful and versatile artist and is renowned for using modern jazz influences with Indian vocals creating a beautiful fusion of eastern and western styles. Najma always brings her own musical heritage into the spotlight while eliminating all musical boundaries. This has led to the release of 7 solo albums and also the opportunity to have artistic collaborations with some of the worlds most influential and credible musicians. Throughout her career, Najma has made numerous radio and TV appearances all over the world.
Najma’s 7th album released in 2009, “Fariyaad” translated as “A plea to the creator” was recorded and produced at G – Point Studios in Paris by Serge Glanzberg. Musicians from very diverse cultures and backgrounds were used, adding even more multiculturalism to the flavour of Najma’s past works. With Fariyaad, Najma continues to cross over into the jazz world; this time she incorporated Mediterranean influences and instruments.
Summer 2009 sees the release of ‘RISHTE’ (Relationships). ‘Rishte’, is on the Harmonia Mundi /World Village label. In this album, Najma has collaborated with the renowned Grammy nominated New York based guitarist Gary Lucas. Gary is known for his work with the band Captain Beef heart and the late Jeff Buckley. Using the Blues, soft rock and Indian influences ‘RISHTE’ stands out as another milestone in terms of crossover music. The eclectic experiences, richness and musical sensibility of both artists have brought to life a very unique and soulful album.
Najma appeared with Plant and Page on their MTV unplugged special which was recorded and released as a DVD and an album titled “No Quarter”, and later toured with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Najma has also collaborated with many of the world’s most influential musical artists including, Basement Jaxx, Jah Wobble, “Take me to God”; Andy Summers, “The Golden Wire”; Philip Glass, “Liquid Days”; Steve Coleman, “Black Science”; Jethro Tull, “Dot Com” and Stan Harrison “The Optimist”.