Faces | Prateek Kuhad: “The role of the artist is to move people” – In Conversation

Prateek Kuhad is a Delhi based singer-songwriter. After releasing his single ‘Raat Raazi’ in early 2013 to wide appreciation, Prateek has released two albums as of yet, the first being ‘Raat Raazi’ (2013) and the second being ‘In Tokens and Charms’ (2015). His 2017 single and music video ‘Tum Jab Paas’ was a big hit. In 2016 he won the MTV EMA’s Best Indian act award. He tours extensively around India and the world and performs both English and Hindi songs.

Shivansh Jolly: What drove you to music? What or who have been your major influences?

Prateek Kuhad: I was always moved by it since I was a kid. Songwriting became the primary focus soon after I learned how to play the guitar. I started with a lot of classic rock – Led Zeppelin, was and still is one of my favourite bands ever – but I really started to think about songwriting seriously after listening to Elliott Smith.

Prateek Kuhad 6 (shot by Parizad D 2017)
Courtesy: Parizad D

S.J: How do you approach the songwriting process?

P.K: There is no one approach really. But in general, I usually start with a rough skeleton of the song – which happens quite quickly, usually within a few hours – and then spend a lot of time, sometimes even weeks to make tiny edits to the point where I feel like it’s as close to perfect as possible.

Prateek Kuhad 7 (photo by Gorkey Photowala 2017)
Courtesy: Gorkey Photowala

S.J: Singers as playback artists in movies have always thrived in the Indian music scene. Your work hence becomes really unique and your success an indication of the changing times for independent artists in India. The interaction between Indian musicians and its audiences seems to be changing. What are your thoughts on the hopes and prospects for the independent artists in India?

P.K: It’s not just for music, but the impact of technology and the widespread acceptance of the internet has caused a lot of changes to how media is consumed. I think eventually the lines between film music (“Bollywood”) and ‘independent” artists will become very blurry.

S.J: What do you think is the role of the artist in society?

P.K: To move people.

S.J: Are you working on a new album/project at present? 

P.K: Yes. There will be some new music out soon. That’s all I can say for now.


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