Vivid (Mondo Melodia 1868500752, 2003)
It’s been a while since I heard anything by Najma and I have to say that it was worth the wait. Her new album, Vivid, is one of the finest I’ve heard recently in the South Asian hybrid genre. Najma continues in the direction of fusing music from the Indian subcontinent with Western music. In this case, her dreamlike voice is accompanied by Indian percussion and stringed instruments as well as electronica.
Najma’s vocal stylings are surrounded by ambient electronic sounds and trip-hop electronic beats. It’s a truly captivating hypnotic album where acoustic music and electronics are brilliantly combined. Najma has crossed boundaries and worked with artists that others only dream of. She has performed with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and has recorded for their MTV Unplugged and No Quarter albums. She also contributed to Jah Wobble’s “Take Me To God” album (from which the song ‘Raga’ was featured in Robert Altman’s film “Pret a Porter”), and has collaborated with Andy Summers (The Police), Carol Grimes and Martin Allcock (Fairport Convention).
Najma is also in heavy demand as an actress and composer. In 2002, she wrote, composed and recorded 13 songs for a new full-length feature film entitled Bollywood Queen.