Prateek Kuhad Talks To Us About The Success Of Cold/Mess, His New Tour And More
Prateek Kuhad’s music can have varying effects on a person. The versatility in his music can bring out a range of emotions including everything from making you cry a river thinking about your ex to making you fall deeper in love with an imaginary partner. His recent megahit cold/mess not only made him a festival favourite but also helped him build an even larger fanbase of loyal fans.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Kuhad and talk to him about a few things we’ve always been curious about.
Take me through your songwriting process. How does a Prateek Kuhad song come into existence?
There’s no set process as such. It just depends on how I feel and what I’m writing on. If I’m writing commercially for a film or show, then there are structures, because it’s more focussed and built towards the emotion of the project I’m writing for. If I’m writing for myself, it’s just free thought. Sometimes I get a chorus and build around that while sometimes it just starts with a few words.
Your music videos aren’t just you simply sitting on a stool playing a guitar. They’re artistic, beautifully shot and have mini-stories hidden within them. So do you feel a need to express your music visually in the best way possible? Is that something that’s important to you?
It depends on the song. With ‘cold/mess’ I had a very strong narrative in my head already because for me that whole project was a lot more special than all my other stuff. It was the most personal project I’ve ever done. So I had a lot of imagery which I wanted to express. With a lot of my other stuff, it’s not like that. ‘Tum Jab Paas’ also had a really meaningful video, but I never imagined it to be like that. But the director, Reema Sengupta, came up with that concept completely and I just thought it was really cool. So it just depends on the song for me.
I’m constantly on YouTube listening to your music videos and I almost always see someone in the comments write a huge paragraph about their memory with your particular song. Is that your goal when you write a song? Hoping people relate to it or do people just happen to connect to what you’re saying?
People just happen to relate to it. Because I started writing for myself. I mean, I still write for myself. But it all started off as a way for me to release and was cathartic and therapeutic. Now, it’s become more of a craft and less of that. And that’s simply because I’m just emotionally at a better place in life right now. But I still run everything through my internal barometer on what a song means. Because it’s impossible to know what people will like. So I believe in writing and releasing songs that I think is good, beyond anything else.
How do you think the Indie scene has grown in India?
It’s definitely better. The scale is better so there’s relatively more professionalism. Just the fact that this tour is happening and Zee is supporting me just goes to show that there is commercial promise in this. Also, musicians are blooming, studios are getting better along with a lot of other things. So yeah, the scene is growing in every aspect.
Tell me about your upcoming Zee Live Supermoon tour. What can we expect from it?
In terms of scale, this is probably going to be the biggest show I’ve ever done. I’m doing 30 cities across the world. The tour is going to be more immersive, it will have a different set, the production is going to be much better and I’m going to have more musicians performing along with me on stage. I still like to keep things minimal, but it’s going to be crazy. I have never worked so hard on a live show before. There’s even going to be some new songs.
What’s your favourite aspect of playing live?
I love hearing people sing along. There are certain songs now like ‘cold/mess’ that everybody knows and everyone sings along with me. I played a show in Bengaluru earlier this year and it was packed with 3000 of my fans and every single person was singing with me when the song started playing. It’s still wild to hear that.
A lot of people call your music the “perfect break-up music.” Does that tag bother you?
Not really, because that tag keeps changing since it’s based on your most popular song or record. I have songs that are cheerful and romantic as well but they’re just not as popular, ‘cold/mess’ is the most popular. And that is is a quintessential break-up song for sure. So that tag got stuck. But a song like ‘Tum Jab Paas’ is a happy, cute song. Everything from the video to the words of the song. But since ‘cold/mess’ has taken over, the whole image changed. But I don’t really care as long as I get to make good songs and people like them.
Prateek Kuhad’s Supermoon tour starts in Hyderabad on October 10 and ends with Delhi on December 22.