Robert Planthad this to say about Najma, "Najma Akhtar, who sang with us on the film, practices with this box which gives her like three notes in a different rag. And she just wails between these notes. I've spent time with her when she is just wandering around and this box is giving out these amazing tones. It's trippy like you've got the incense on, a picture of Leonard Cohen on the wall, her singing.
Ian Anderson said, "Najma Akhtar is the premier lady Indian (Asian) singer on the planet."
Andy Summerssaid, ‘but finding a singer would be almost impossible. Then I was in New York and I heard a tape of Najma and I knew instantly that if I could find her, she would be the one to sing the song’.
Karl Lippegaussaid, I interviewed Najma once quite extensively because I was a great fan of her breakthrough album "Qareeb". The record you (RISHTE) did together is an absolute masterpiece and should catapult the so-called world-music (music of the world - les musiques du monde would be a better term) to a new level.
Gary Lucashas to say. My solo gig at Luminaire a few nights later was really fun, I got to bring my friend the wonderful British-Asian singer Najma Akhtar on stage to sing with me during "Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro"--you may know her from her many solo albums (one of them, "Atish" on Shanachie, really helped raise my spirits during a very dark period in my life) and her work with Page and Plant (providing the female voice on their recasting of their Led Zeppelin IV anthem "The Battle of Evermore", originally sung by the late Sandy Denny, another heroine of mine), Andy Summers, and Jah Wobble--anyway, she is simply a fantastic vocalist and presence on stage, and I hope to make more music with her in the future.
The effortless artistry and emotional daring of Najma Akhtar's counter vocal on "Evermore" easily provide No Quarter's high point; every time she opens her mouth Rolling Stone Magazine
The voice as smooth as cream of cream and a beauty that is as stunning as her performance
The Caribbean Times
The Mississippi flowing gracefully into the Ganges at dusk. Quite beautifully based upon a hypnotic Delta Blues riff has Najma’s voice floating high over a built-up mesh of spacey textures hitting alarming crescendos, with what sounds for all the world – OK, Universe !
Fair hearing Music
Beautifully pitched vocals and a startling version of Skip James’s ‘Special Rider Blues’
R2 Rock and Reel Magazine
Najma Akhtar’s ecstatic vocal
As for Najma, her voice is a heaven-sent gift. If she had made this album with that other blue noted aficionado, Robert Plant, it would surely sell a million and win a Grammy.
Nigel Williamson - Song Lines Magazine
She can remember the ancient, honour the everyday and sing to several continents at the same time
The New York Times
Najma Akhtar is the premier lady Asian singer on the planet
‘her voice has the soprano sweetness of early Joan Baez’.
Jon Pareles - New York Times
Najma wraps her gorgeous, flexible voice round these serious dangerous, teen-romantic expressions.
Mark Sinker - NME
Her arrangements of the ancient songs are more intricate and creative, she sings with greater control and occasional bluesy intonation’
Mike Zwerin - International Herald Tribune
“The combination of Asian vocals and blues/folk guitar is a winner with Najma Akhtar and Gary Lucas”
DJ, Nigel Woods - Ear to the globe
She is simply a fantastic vocalist and presence on stage
The pure, soaring arc of Najma's voice remains beyond emulation
Neil Spencer - The Observer Review
Najma Akhtar’s crystalline, classic Indian voice spirals over a superbly negotiated blend of modern instruments
Billboard has described, Najma’s music as ‘a musical and cultural fusion of the first order’.
Her music has the passion of a raging fire
Najma wraps her gorgeous, flexible voice around romantic expressions
Vocally, Najma incorporates haunting vocals that quiver with crystalline complexity. Other back-up vocals accompany Najma in true Indian fashion. Overall, the musical complexities and vocal acrobatics of Najma, should convince even the most discriminating listener to pick up a copy of Vivid. ~
Mathew J Forss - Inside World Music
She fills the room with lyrics of love and romance and seduces us all with her angelic voice which soared to amazing heights
The Asian Times
‘I think, the secret in Najma’s success lies in her knack for creating Indian-inflected melodies tuneful and even catchy, to Western ears. Her voice too has a warmer, more intimate feel to it’ ‘This mixing up of idioms only works when it sounds completely natural’.
Dave Gelly - Sunday Observer UK 1st Dec 1991
Songstress is even more aware of what she wants. The result is and beguiling, pioneering seductive, topped by Najma’s chilling and sensuous vocals.