It’s hardly been a fortnight since ‘Kasoor’ by singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad hit the Tube and it has clocked 1.6 million views on the video-sharing platform. Besides that, the IGTV stats suggest 4.2 million views, over a million streams on Spotify and the #No.1 song on Apple Music’s India Top 100 playlist. Quite a handful to celebrate for Kuhad who released a song in Hindi after two years, following the success of his well-received album, ‘cold/mess’, the tunes of which even reached the ears of former president of the United States, Barack Obama. Having performed at packed shows in India and North America over two years, Kuhad is thankful for the respite, the lockdown has brought him.
I catch up with the pensive singer-songwriter for Radio City Freedom.
Firstly, I’m sure that the lockdown has given you a lot of leisure time to unwind considering you’ve had a packed schedule for over two years. True, right?
Prateek: Yes! A much needed period of unwinding but also just reconnecting with that feeling of being at ‘home’ after the constant touring has been very gratifying.
You’ve said that you enjoy the creative process of making music more than performing. Given the packed reception at each of your gigs, do you feel solitude is going be a hard-earned gratification, sooner or later.
Prateek: I used to really hate touring and playing shows, then I warmed up to the idea of it and this past touring year I almost started liking it... almost. I’m still a homebody and I like to stay in and write songs and work in studios – that’s the reason I do what I do. I think I will structure my life carefully so it never gets to the point where “solitude becomes a hard-earned gratification”. Hopefully.
Your music resonates with many because it touches upon relatable pain. However in an interview, you suggested that romanticizing of pain is a trap that artistes should avoid, a cliché that has clearly been peddled by mainstream movies since a while. Your comment.
Prateek: Yes, romanticizing pain is a trap that artists should definitely avoid.
Speaking of ‘Kasoor’, for a single that has been a staple at all your live shows since three years, why did you feel that sourcing footage through your ardent fans from across the world would make the music video that the song deserved?
Prateek: I did not feel that.
You believe that experiences barely contribute anything to one’s songwriting. Where else do you source inspiration from while penning your verses?
Prateek: I don’t believe that. I think experiences contribute immensely to one’s songwriting. I just said that you cannot solely depend on experiences, what you need first and foremost for a good song is craft. And you need work and discipline to build craft. You can write a good song with all craft, but you can never write a good song with just ‘experiences’. When you get both, well that’s when you can write an exceptional song!
‘Kasoor’ is now streaming on Radio City Freedom.