The singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad feels that love in any era remains the same and when one is in love, one is more passionate, calm, kind, and open as a person
It was in early 2020, just before the pandemic caused havoc in our lives that we first attended a live concert by the singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad. It was a standing concert, and unlike no other, for in the crowd were younger boys and girls, dressed as unpretentiously as the Prateek himself. It was a simple evening that could be summed up as — he came, he sang, and he left. His interaction with the fans was limited to mere thank-you, for he let the music do the rest. So, this time around when we heard that Prateek was returning to Dubai, his second time, we decided to speak to him prior to the show on well, love and hope, and more — and as always, his humility shone through. Prateek will be performing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on January 14, and the show is an initiative of XPRNC, a Middle East’s Festival & Concert company. Following a 20-city tour in the USA that saw him delivering sold-out performances along with a handful of headline shows in Europe and the UK, the multi-city album tour has been expanded spanning across 15 cities in India embarking on the largest ever homegrown tour within the subcontinent. “The energy in Dubai is just different and unlike anything that one experiences elsewhere. Performing in this beautiful metropolis is always one of the highlights of my calendar. For my upcoming show, I’m super excited to see different nationalities that embrace music as a means to bridge, unite, and connect,” he said.
Love changes you for good
It won’t be far from the truth to say that many do look up to his work as that of a symbol of love, so what does he feel about love in the times of millennials, in the pandemic, and also in the year 2023 or say 2030? “Love in any era remains the same and I always try to showcase it in my work, be it a piece of music or words. I am thankful to all my fans for loving me and I try to give back as much as I can through my music,” he said. Interestingly, tracing love, friendships and connectivity, his upcoming show will include numbers from his latest 11-track studio album, The Way That Lovers Do, which was released in May 2022. For Prateek, love is not just about romance, “It’s the finest lesson on philosophy and the mindset that a lover comes from. When you are in love, you’re more passionate, calm, kind, and open as a person. It changes you and I think that’s a good thing.”
Music has helped him evolve as a person
His music is beautiful, rapturing, and ‘addictive’ too. What is his earliest memory of creating music? It is from a time when he was about 16 or 17 years old making an instrumental piece on the guitar and singing as a child coming from a place of true passion. “Hailing from Rajasthan, with no background in music, it was something that was just rooted in the family, right from my sister to my father whose fondness lay in collecting art which ignited the inclination for art and music overall,” he said. So then, did he always know he wanted to be an artist? “Honestly no, I didn’t know that I wanted to be an artist, it has been a long journey and music has helped me evolve through the process.”
Finding rhythm in the world of ‘Gram
What does it take to be an artist, especially in the era of 'viral' trends? “I always try to make a good song for all my fans. Rooted in connectivity and emotion, each song is a captivating story that helps me connect with my audience’s emotions and it is a very surreal feeling,” he said.
In December 2019, former US president Barack Obama. shared his list of 'Favourite Music of 2019' and it included 'cold/mess' by Prateek Kuhad! At that point, Prateek took to Instagram to share his feelings: "This just happened and I don't think I'll sleep tonight. Totally flipping out. I have no idea how cold/mess even reached him but thank you @barackobama, thank you, universe. I didn't think 2019 could've gotten better, but damn I was wrong. What an honour."
Seeking inspiration in the quiet
How does he create music? Does he sit and pen down a piece in one go, in a gust of passion and emotion, or is it more structured than that? “I try to keep it more structured, so it’s disciplined in a way and more regular. At times, I find the most inspiration in quiet spaces and studios. Other instances it is spontaneous and If I am in the right headspace, I’ll make myself sit down, let my mind do the writing which eventually becomes the lyrics for the next song,” he added.
Prateek was hailed by Rolling Stone as ‘one of India’s leading singers-songwriters’, and recently became the first Indian artist to sign with Elektra Records (part of the Warner Music Group). Deepak Choudhary, co-founder-director, XPRNC said, “As an artist, Prateek has carved out a niche for himself and has raving fans across the world that appreciate his unique music.”
cold / mess · 2018
Tum Jab Paas · 2017
Raat Raazi · 2013
In Tokens & Charms · 2015
Tune Kaha · 2016
Karwaan · 2018
Raat Raazi · 2013
Shehron Ke Raaz · 2021
Pause · 2020
This piece was first published in Khaleej Times