30 shows in 30 cities: All you need to know about Prateek Kuhad’s biggest tour yet
It’s not often that we hear about an international tour of this magnitude by an indie artiste from India. But considering that it’s by folk/ pop musician Prateek Kuhad, whose steady rise in popularity in the collective conscience of music fans has made him a force to reckon with during the last few years, it’s fair to say that this was inevitable. Spanning three continents in three months, the biggest leap in his career yet sees him travelling to 30 cities in eight countries, and promises music as early as from 2013, setting the tone for a stirring end to the year, with the last performance in Delhi, three days before Christmas.
The show’s titled Winter Tour 2019 and has been put together by Big Bad Wolf and Los Angeles-based Entertainment Rebellion. The India leg will be held in collaboration with Zee Live’s Supermoon, which is also bringing wit master Russell Peters next month (in Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad). Calling it one of the biggest moments of his life, Prateek, who can sing in English and Hindi with equal ease, spoke to us at length about how much this tour means to him, and why having a basic approach to songwriting works the best. Excerpts:
When we last spoke to you in 2018, you told us that you prefer playing for a small set of people rather than in front of a crowd of thousands. However, this February, we saw you live at VH1 Supersonic in Pune, and you admitted to your fans saying how surprised and happy you were that such a massive crowd turned up.
Not only that experience, but in general playing to larger audiences has made me more used to playing in that setup for sure. That being said, I still prefer intimate gigs. But I also like larger audiences, which has its own energy. Fundamentally my approach to live shows is still the same, but of course, playing a larger show comes with its own challenges. So, one must make small tweaks.
How much does this upcoming mega tour mean to you? Is it safe to say that this is the biggest moment of your career?
It means a ton! Yes, this is definitely one of the largest moments in my career so far. Through October, November and December, I’ll end up playing about 30 shows across the world to around 40,000 people collectively (if everything sells out — fingers crossed). So, that’s pretty damn nuts.
What are the aspects of your music that you believe your fans love?
I honestly don’t know. All I do is to really just make an effort to write ‘good’ songs — whatever that means for my internal barometer — and so far, the universe has been kind and I have been able to do what I love doing, and I actually have fans who like to listen to my songs. That’s all I can say about this.
You have released a couple of new videos in recent months. Is there a new album that we can look forward to?
There is not a lot of clarity on that. I have been writing a lot in general, but making an album is a process that is mostly about finding songs that work with each other and figuring out how to produce them so that they come together perfectly. It’s a hard thing to do, though. However, that’s also the fun part of what I do, and it has been going on for sometime now. Hopefully, I will figure it out soon, and can release new music as soon as possible.
In fact, we are seeing you present in your new videos more than before. What’s changed?
It’s only this one video I did recently for with you/for you — a song from my last record. My director, Donald, was keen for me to be in it, so I trusted him and gave it a shot. I’ve always been very camera shy but I’ve started to open up to it lately.
How long do you take to finish writing a song? Take us through your method of songwriting and how important are life experiences when it comes to inspiration?
Anywhere between 20 minutes to six months! It just depends on the song. As for inspiration, I can’t say for sure about how important life experiences are — there are definitely times when they help and inform my songwriting, but I like to believe that at the end of the day making a song is a craft that you can hone and improve, regardless of what’s going on in your life.
‘Experimental collaborations’ is the buzzword in the international music scene right now. As an indie artiste who mostly writes on his own, what’s your take on that?
I have actually written with a lot of people over this past summer that I spent in Los Angeles. I really enjoy collaborating, when it’s with the right people, but it can also be really unsatisfying if it’s not with the right person. So, it just really depends on who you are writing with. It’s interesting to write with other people because to a certain degree it definitely improves your own process and you learn new things, which are always a good thing.
Do you have short term or long term goals, or do you just go with the flow? What motivates you to make new music?
It’s a combination of it all. I definitely have some broad long and short term goals, but they don’t always work out. So sometimes you have to improvise and go with the flow as well. I just love being in the studio and I love making records — that’s enough motivation for me. Most of your fans connect with the subject of love and hope in your songs.
What are the other themes that you want to explore in your future tracks?
I like to keep things organic. When I instinctively write about something new, it’ll show up on a song on a record!
Hyderabad – October 10
Chennai – October 11
Kolkata – October 13
Surat – October 16
Ahmedabad – October 17
Chandigarh – October 18
Jaipur – October 20
Pune – October 25
Mumbai – December 18
Bangalore – December 20
Delhi – December 22
Washington – November 2
Boston – November 4
New York – November 6
Brooklyn – November 7
Toronto – November 8
Chicago – November 10
Minneapolis – November 11
San Francisco – November 14
West Hollywood – November 15
Birmingham – November 24
London – November 25
Manchester – November 27
Paris – November 29
Berlin – December 1
Amsterdam – December 2
Antwerp – December 3
Cologne – December 4
Barcelona – December 6
Madrid – December 7
You can contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @karan_pillai