In Frame: Prateek Kuhad
In Frame: Prateek Kuhad

Striking chords and touching hearts: An exclusive interview with Prateek Kuhad on his musical journey and upcoming tour

We chat with India's beloved singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad on his musical journey, inspirations, upcoming tour and more…

In the midst of India's burgeoning indie music scene, Prateek Kuhad has emerged as a beacon of soulful melodies and poignant lyrics. With chart-topping hits like Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, Kasoor and the critically acclaimed album cold/mess, Kuhad has garnered a devoted fanbase both at home and abroad. As he prepares for his highly anticipated Silhouettes Tour presented by Johnnie Walker Non-Alcoholic Refreshing Mixer in India, we had a small chat with the singer-songwriter to delve into his artistic inspirations, the evolution of his music and what fans can expect from his upcoming performances. Join us as Prateek Kuhad shares insights into his journey from Jaipur to New York and beyond, revealing the heart and soul behind his captivating sound.

Q

Prateek, what inspired you to become a singer-songwriter?

A

I grew up in Jaipur around a lot of art and music. My parents collected art growing up. Nobody in my family was a musician but they all were fond of music, especially my mother. So I naturally gravitated to it. I loved to sing from an early age and it's just kind of always been an important aspect of my life. Once I learned the guitar and started writing songs, it just felt like I had to see if I wanted to make it my life and do it full time and I did. So yeah, just kind of kept going!

Q

You studied at New York University. How did your time there influence your music and career trajectory?

A

New York had a profound impact on me, particularly during my undergraduate years at New York University. The city's dynamic energy, its diverse people and music were incredibly inspiring. This environment fueled my creative stimulation. That’s when I actively pursued a career in music.

Q

Kho Gaye Hum Kahan and Kasoor have touched many hearts. Can you tell us the story behind it and what it means to you? What inspired the lyrics and the overall feel of these songs?

A

For Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, like many years ago, Jasleen called me, she had this song she wanted to work with me on, for a movie. We worked on the melody and lyrics a little bit together. It was supposed to be about innocent love between two young people, that’s magical and beautiful. And that’s kind of what I did with the words.

As for Kasoor, it’s this feeling when you can’t help but fall in love. A fun fact is that I always wanted the music video to feature fans and their real reactions. We released the song in 2020, and it has since become a beloved track. It remains my best-performing song on streaming platforms, and it is turning four this month!

Q

cold/mess became an instant favourite among fans. What was the creative process like for this album, and how did you come up with its unique sound?

A

I write songs regularly, and in fact I wrote this one on the piano. We started performing it live on stage even before recording or releasing it. I remember the first time I played it live; the audience immediately connected with the song and applauded hard. That’s when I knew I had to release it. Initially, the song was called just ‘cold’. The creative process is always instinctive, I’m not intentionally striving for a unique sound or  not. It’s about doing what feels best for the song.

Q

How do you feel your music has evolved since you first started? Are there any new directions or styles you're exploring?

A

I'd say my process has most certainly evolved. My focus is always on being a better musician and a better songwriter according to my internal barometer, and that leads to a natural evolution. There is always a creative stimulation that drives me. In the past few years, I’ve done more collaborations with other music producers and writers, including for my new album coming out this year.

Q

What are some of your expectations and dreams for the future of your music career?

A

I am someone who keeps my expectations tempered across the board in any aspect of my life. I just try to live moment to moment and be content and happy with the day-to-day. And there are so many things to be happy about. I have such loving friends and family and there's a lot of good in the world. So I just really try to stay in the present and I just want to keep doing this. And honestly, the only expectation is that I hope I can keep making more and better music as I go along.

Q

Your songs have garnered a huge following. How do you feel about the popularity of  your music, and how do you maintain a connection with your audience?

A

My fans have always been super supportive. I purely focus on creating good music that will reach the right ears and so far I think that has worked. My team and I are always working on various scenarios to connect with our fans. We started a series of fan events for Mulaqat (EP) last year and that continued into secret events in 2024, so far we’ve done 8, in cities like Delhi, and Toronto, we plan to do a lot more of these.

Q

Are there any artists, either Indian or international, that you would love to collaborate with in the future?

A

The focus right now is on finishing my own album and we have a long touring year, so all energy is channeled there. I'm open to collaboration sometime in the future, but I’ll start thinking about that next year.

Q

Looking back at your journey so far, what has been the most rewarding aspect of being a musician, and what advice would you give to aspiring artists?

A

Just follow your heart and don’t take advice from too many people. The most rewarding aspect is the fact that I get to do this and be successful at it and have fans who actually love my music and people who actually come out to my shows. The whole thing feels really rewarding.

Q

You have an upcoming Silhouettes Tour in India. What can fans expect from your live performances, and are there any surprises in store?

A

The Silhouettes tour in India will be from November 8 to December 22 across ten cities. I just completed the first leg of the tour across 21 shows in US and Canada, we now move to LA, Australia, UK and Europe along with a few more Asia announcements on the way. So far, I’ve been going solo on stage across the Silhouettes Tour, but in India it will be a different set with the entire band. It’s going to be fun, intense, and beautiful. The love that India pours out is always fantastic, there’s always a synergy between the crowd and me when I’m performing. We are working towards elevating the experience and taking it a notch higher with production.

Q

If not for music, what would Prateek Kuhad be known for?

A

I've always been fascinated by architecture. So hopefully as an architect.

Q

What would be the end line of your autobiography?

A

…and I never looked back.

Q

Favourite pass time?

A

Watching movies

Q

One food you cannot say no to?

A

There are many food items I can’t say no to but if I have to pick one then a really nice grilled cheese sandwich.

Q

What is the one cringe thing that you secretly love doing?

A

Watching brainless action movies

Q

One overrated trend that absolutely irks you?

A

Dance challenges

Q

One superpower you wish you had?

A

Teleportation

Q

One song you wish you would have written?

A

There are so many but I guess this song called ‘Anything’ by Adrian Lenker. It’s a gorgeous song.

Q

Something you discovered that you’d like to share with the world?

A

Everybody is going through something and we just have to find joy inside.

Q

What/who are you listening to right now?

A

I've been listening to like Maggie Rogers, Adrian Lenker, The 1975 and Fleetwood Mac.

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