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You've Gotta Know Prateek Kuhad

Suchita posted on 19 August

By Suchita S. 

I was introduced to Prateek Kuhad by a friend, Shiv Ahuja, who chanced upon his music at a singer-songwriter event held at BlueFROG sometime last year. It would be terribly unimaginative for me to say Prateek's music is reminiscent of Ben Howard, a bit of Fleet Foxes and The Paper Kites; but succinctly put, it's "indie", soulful, simple, and there's clarity in his message, literally and figuratively. From his songs in English like 'Be at Ease', to Hindi ones such as 'Ab Hoga Kya' from his recently released EP, his voice, lyrics, and acoustic arrangement had me, and now the LBBD office, hooked from the very start. There's a lightness in his voice, a beautiful narrative in the lyrics of each of his songs, and he's an artist we're definitely watching out for.

He's coming to town later this week as a part of the launch of his new EP - we're going to be there, and make sure 3 lucky readers are too - but first, here's what you gotta know about the man behind the music, the story behind his song 'Raat Raazi', and just a little more. In conversation with Prateek Kuhad |


Where he's from | I was born and brought up in Jaipur - did my schooling there. I went to New York University for college and studied Math and Economics there.

Meet the Kuhads | I have two sisters. I don't really have a favorite aunt or uncle… anyway, it's a dangerous question to answer!
Where he started learning and playing music | I started playing the guitar when I was around 16, in 10th grade. Didn't start writing songs seriously till a few years later, in my first year of college.
When he's not listening to Indie/Folk | I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to genres. There are very few genres I almost always avoid {psy-trance, metal}, but other than these, I listen to pretty much everything from electro-pop to Americana. Oh yeah, and I really don't like country music either, which is weird, but country songs always have silly lyrics and that really turns me off. I even listen to hip-hop sometimes, and I really like Kanye West.  This indie band called 'Tennis' I heard some time ago is amazing. They have an album called Young & Oldit's like indie pop/rock. It's amazing.
Why music | Why not? I studied Math at school and never really considered getting into music full-time till about a year or two ago. Music had just been a really important part of my life for way too long for me to ignore it anymore and keep it on the sidelines. Something just told me last year in December that this was my calling, and I just went for it. It was a very instinctive decision.
A performance that's affected his approach to making music | There's no one incident really. But every bad gig and every good one changes you in small ways. Small conversations with people change you. The relationships you have with people change you. Minor and major setbacks change you. It's mostly all these little things that have brought me to where I am now.
What he does when he isn't playing/making music | I like to read about innovations in science and technology, art and once in a while politics. Sometimes I read fiction as well, but mostly non-fiction. I like running and swimming as well. I like watching good movies too. I like spending time with the people who are important to me, like close friends and family. I like to travel when I can. That's pretty much everything that I do.
His necessary indulgence | Good food.
Lyrics of Raat Raazi - what's the story? I'm not really sure, to be honest. A lot of my songs just come out very organically and I don't really know what they mean till I'm halfway through writing them. But I came up with the chorus {'abhi to sham baaki hai, aur raat raazi hai'} first, and then for a few months there was nothing else. I knew it had something to do with passion, and the idea of how 'the night is young', and being excited about life, and being young at heart and all that. I had pretty much the whole guitar arrangement written out and I had the chorus, but no verses. Then one evening, I was trying to write it again in my room - I was in New York then and I wrote the first few lines of the verse. But there was so much noise in my apartment, I couldn't concentrate. I had to leave and I walked around the streets of New York for about an hour or two, with a notebook and pen in my hand. When I came back, the song was written. I had a really fun time writing this song actually. Not all of them are written like that, and have more insipid backgrounds.
Favourite Ben Howard song | I love all of them! But if I had to pick one, 'Gracious'.


You can catch Prateek live at FIO-The Garden of Five Senses on the 23rd of August, 9.30 pm onwards. Click here for more information.

We're giving away passes to Prateek's EP LaunchClick here to WIN couple passes. 3 up for grabs!

For more about Prateek |

Website |