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Prateek Kuhad shooting for Harper's Bazaar

Singer songwriter Prateek Kuhad has taken the world by storm. Since the release of his debut LP, ‘In Tokens and Charms,’ he has cemented his status as a breakout star not just in India, but also around the world. Prateek’s songs are poignant and introspective, transcending genres and borders in order to speak to the deeper truths of our shared human experience in all its messy splendor.

His latest EP “Cold/Mess” opened to rave and glowing reviews across the globe. He has earned MTV Europe Music Award, took home Indie Album of the Year honors from iTunes and won the prestigious International Singer Songwriter – Folk Competition in the US whose earlier winners includes the likes of Gotye and Passenger. Sold out global music festivals, slots with artists like Alt-J and collaboration with Nike and Converse meant that NPR selected Prateek as an artist to watch among the thousands slated to showcase at SXSW in Austin.

Sometimes whisper soft, sometimes tenaciously resolute, Prateek’s voice is utterly mesmerizing and filtered through his uniquely global perspective and vivid, richly cinematic lyrics. We spent a day with the musical mind, about how he found his love for music and what we can expect from him in the future.

 
You are one of the most loved musician, singer and songwriter not only in India but also around the world. Can you tell us how did you first get into music?
 
Thank you. It was kind of by accident, I wasn’t very happy at my first job out of college and decided to take off and give music about a year to see what happens. It was a good year and decided to keep going, and here we are.
 
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How do you get inspiration for your songwriting?

All kinds of things, and you know it’s impossible to really pin point exactly what those things are but I think it’s more like the culmination of everything you end up experiencing as a person.

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"I got into music by kind of accident, I wasn’t very happy at my first job out of college and decided to take off and give music about a year to see what happens. It was a good year and decided to keep going, and here we are."

Is there any particular artist or musician that has influenced your style of music?

There are so many, but I’d say Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, John Mayer, Bob Dylan are among some of my major influences.
 

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What songs have you been listening to lately?

A lot of songs by this band called Big Thief and a bunch of The 1975.

 

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"It’s impossible to really pin point exactly how I get inspiration for my songwriting but I think it’s more like the culmination of everything you end up experiencing as a person." 

 

You are writing more songs on the piano now than on guitar. How is the songwriting process different with piano?

It’s a different instrument and I learned it after the guitar, so I’d say musically it’s a bit different than writing on the guitar.

 

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What’s the most fun and difficult part of playing directly in front of an audience especially your fans?

The most fun part for me is when people sing along to my songs during a show – other times when I’m playing new songs or my less popular songs and you can tell the audience is visibly less interested – that’s a hard one to push through. 

 

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"Piano is a different instrument and I learned it after the guitar, so I’d say musically it’s a bit different than writing on the guitar."

 

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Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming albums or music projects you’ve been working on?

Mostly working on making demos at home these days and trying to get clarity on my own music. There’s nothing in the pipeline for sure right now but let’s see what happens!

 

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Where can we find about what you’re upto?

I am on Instagram @prateekkuhad.