By Komal Singh For Youth Ki Awaaz:
If you’ve listened to his music even once, you’d remember him. The voice and the words are hard to forget. It’s the sort of feel good music that you have got to add to your playlist, and listen to when you are by yourself and in search of good company. Believe me when I say this, it’s really the kind that’s good for your soul. Prateek Kuhad, 25, doesn’t quite bare his soul in this interview, but gives us just a little bit more to hold on to.
Komal Singh (KS): What was your tipping point when you decided to leave your job in New York, move back to India and pursue music full-time? Also, did you enjoy studying Math and Economics at NYU?
Prateek Kuhad (PK): I really enjoyed studying Math, Economics, not so much. I was just having a bad time at work, and I had anyway decided to pursue music full time. I figured I might as well do it now.
KS: How did your family respond to this decision?
PK: At first they had some reservations, but everyone gives each other a fair amount of freedom and space in my family, and eventually they were all very supportive of my decision.
KS: How has your journey been since then?
PK: It hasn’t been that bad. Initially nobody really knew about me, so I’ve played gigs to like crowds of 5 or 10. Also, in clubs that were already crowded with people, no one would really listen, because they had never heard my music before. Initially it was hard to make money because I wasn’t getting enough gigs and the ones I got were barely paid. Now things are a lot better.
KS: Personally, what would you say were some of the toughest decisions you had to make to pursue music?
PK: I think the only tough decision was leaving New York. I was really happy there but I saw an opportunity here so I left all that to come here, solely to pursue music.
KS: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t listened to it before?
PK: Acoustic, Indie folk/pop.
KS: In the songs you write, how much of you is in them?
PK: A lot.
KS: In the last two years, do you feel your music has changed? If so, how?
PK: Definitely. You can hear a big difference in sound and quality of songwriting between ‘Raat Raazi’ and ‘In Tokens & Charms’.
KS: Who are some of the musicians you listen to and feel inspired by?
PK: So many. My recent favorites are Hozier, Tom Odell and George Ezra.
KS: How do you respond to the attention you get, as a person, as opposed to your music?
PK: I think it’s one and the same thing, isn’t it? The little bit of attention I get is because of my music.
KS: What are you currently working on?
PK: I’m not working on anything in particular right now, but I’m always writing new songs. Trying to focus on playing as many gigs as possible!
To find out more about Prateek Kuhad and his music, visit his website.