Music without an agenda

Prateek says his lyrics don’t have an agenda. They are subconscious, personal, organic

From a guy who would often be strumming his guitar in the confines of his room to a musician who is seen today performing at the top music events in the country, Prateek Kuhad has come a long way. Jaipur-born and now Delhi-based, Prateek has become synonymous with the acoustic indie music scene in the country. Ask him how it all started and he says, “I’ve been listening to different kinds of music from a very early age. My mother is a big Harry Belafonte fan so I remember hearing a lot of his songs growing up. I started playing the guitar at around 16 and got into songwriting seriously when I was around 19.”

A graduate from New York University in Maths and Economics, Prateek says that one fine day he “just decided” pursue music. “I studied Math because I enjoyed it the most in school. Music was still a bigger passion and at some point I just decided that getting into it full time would be best for me,” he says.

How did his family react? “My family’s reaction was pretty much all over the place. My mother was always very supportive, the others I think were a bit wary about the idea to start with. But eventually, everyone was on board,” says Prateek. Since then there has been no looking back. He has been travelling the country for shows and even released his own album, In Token & Charms, earlier this year.

Talking about the highlights of his career, Prateek says, “Playing at big festivals like Ziro and the NH7 Weekenders, opening for alt-J, these have been the high points.” But the biggest compliment for him has come from a fan. “This one time, a fan messaged me on my Facebook page that she was in hospital the past few days and my music got her through it. That felt like a really special compliment,” he says.

His songs have a connect with everyone regardless of age and his soulful music is not just any mumble jumble of words that you often find in the “trendy and cool” songs of today. And when you point it out to Prateek, he answers, “I don’t really write with an agenda. It’s subconscious, personal and organic. Words just flow through and I sort of go with it.”

The writing process for most of his songs, Prateek says “is pretty boring”, a quiet corner with just him and the guitar, a paper and a pen, and he’s good to go.
But one of his most famous songs, Raat Raazi, does have a pretty interesting story to it. At first, he just had the chorus “abhi to sham baaki hai, aur raat raazi hai”, and after a few months, he walked around the streets of New York, with a notebook and pen, writing the lyrics.

While he doesn’t know about his next album, ask Prateek if he has any dreams, he says, “I'd rather not say, I'm a bit superstitious.”

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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