‘There have been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s been a fun ride so far’

‘There have been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s been a fun ride so far’

By ANIRUDH VOHRA | | 8 October, 2016
Prateek Kuhad, n Tokens and Charms, Indian indie album, Nikhil Vasudevan, Dhruv Bhola
Prateek Kuhad.
Singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, whose debut album, In Tokens and Charms was adjudged the best Indian indie album in 2015 by iTunes, returns with a special sit-down concert in September.

Singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad, whose debut album, In Tokens and Charms was adjudged the best Indian indie album in 2015 by iTunes, returns with a special sit-down concert in September.

In 18 months since his debut album, In Tokens and Charms released, the singer-songwriter has grown into one of Indian indie’s most distinctive voices. Appearances at SXSW 2016 — where he was listed by popular music blog NPR as one of the acts to watch out — and Canadian Music week earlier in the year only underlined his talent.

The singer-songwriter’s style — a unique blend of minimally arranged melodies,a voice filled with hopeful passion and lyrics that capture life’s complexities– has found fans all over the country, and over the past year, Prateek has garnered praise with each release. His latest video “100 words”, has received nearly 53,000 views within a month on Facebook.

Having released his debut album with shows in amphitheaters and auditoriums, Prateek returns with a larger-yet-intimate show. The 90-minute set will feature old favourites, alongside a bunch of new songs.

“I’m a songwriter more than anything, and I always want the focus to be on the songs. That’s what lies at the heart of doing these shows. We want to ensure an incredible listening experience, which is not always the case with club shows. We received a great response when we did this last year, and we want to take things up a notch this year,” says Prateek.

These concerts are an initiative led and presented by Pagal Haina, Prateek’s management company, and his talent agency, Big Bad Wolf, with the intention to encourage a culture of ticketed, sit-down concerts within the independent music scene in India.

The shows will feature Prateek on guitar and piano, Nikhil Vasudevan on drums and Dhruv Bhola on guitar, bass and keys, and will also be a visual treat in terms of set and light design. “These shows are about performing in an environment best suited for my songs,” he added.

“It’s been slow and steady I would say. I don’t think being a singer-songwriter, particularly in today’s world, is of consequence. Being a professional musician though does definitely come with its own set of challenges. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but it’s been a fun ride so far,” says Kuhad. 

Kuhad added, “My family has always been super supportive about all my personal and professional decisions.”

 Kuhad co-wrote a song for the recently released film Baar Baar Dekho. Stating the difference in writing for a film and writing for the self, Kuhad adds, “When I write for myself, it’s more instinctive. This (Baar Baar Dekho) was a little different as we were writing to a certain situation of sorts instead of writing about whatever I feel like, but other than that, this was a smooth process. Jasleen is really good to work with, so it didn’t take us a lot of time to finish the song either.”

“If you want to stick to being a musician/performer and release music and acquire a fan base, then that’s not really necessary, but of course, it definitely helps because you get access to a huge audience very quickly.”

 “The Grand Prix was interesting. I was playing on a smaller stage across from the headliner stage, but yet being on the same line-up and the same event creatives was pretty cool,” added Kuhad.

“I guess it matters depending on what your goals are. I want to be a skilled songwriter and musician and I want to release quality songs. If one’s aspirations are to be a music director/composer in the film circuit, then you have to prioritize and push to get feature film projects as much as possible. If you want to stick to being a musician/performer and release music and acquire a fan base, then that’s not really necessary, but of course, it definitely helps because you get access to a huge audience very quickly,” says Kuhad.

“Trying to put together a release for next year, although things haven’t become concrete yet. I really hope to release something if I can make it happen,” Kuhad added.

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