When the world chants the mantra ‘Believe in yourself’, this self-made, completely lateral music artist believes in not believing in oneself too much — Prateek Kuhad is immersed in the talent of writing, producing and singing melodies that have the world swaying in nirvana. For a blink, you may end up mistaking him for just another neighbour next door, but his voice has unearthed its own black hole of fan girls and boys. Born to a Rajasthani Jaat family of five, Kuhad took the typical educational route from finishing high school in his hometown to graduating with wealth-generating academic degrees from New York and working as an Economic Consultant. The world of music never left the desi boy alone, from his infrequent rendezvous with English music as a child to regaining musical consciousness overseas. He carried several national inspirations like Lucky Ali in his heart while discovering Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith and the like.
Life & Accolades
Kuhad began strumming at the age of 16 when he first learnt to play the guitar. His love for singing and writing took flight in his late teens when he began penning songs. The lack of internet didn’t stop the music enthusiast from taking a dip in the sea of Western music with his family’s musical ownings of Cliff Richard, Harry Belafonte and other ’90s Top 40 Radio Fare. Estimating the depth of Kuhad’s compositions and lyrics would be an understatement. His lyrics are mostly about people falling in and out of love and are open to any listener’s interpretation and mood. He’s often pictured in posts wearing extremely carefree casuals, an acoustic guitar and a couch.
Kuhad’s accolades comprise several international recognitions for his work, including Elektra Records’ contract as the first Indian artist. He also won Best India Act at the 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards. If laurels and trophies sound materialistic to you, Kuhad’s Breakup Ballad single Cold/mess featured on former US President Barack Obama’s list – “Favourite Music of 2019”. His tryst with Bollywood happened in 2016 with ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ soundtrack Kho Gaye Hum Kahan and in 2018 for Saansein and Kadam in ‘Karwaan’ — all ranking musical top charts. Several OTT projects also featured Kuhad’s famous compositions conjoining a universe of OTT and Kuhad fandom.
While the brilliant songwriter is all about experiential writing of love, Kuhad stepped out of his committed relationship with long-time doctor beau Niharika Thakur by opening to a newspaper daily, “Things ended sometime ago”.
Music & Beyond
For most of the real Kuhad, the non-glamourous man is known to expel interstellar musical notes through his writing and voice. He is famous for travelling two extremes — creating euphoria with his successive world concerts or posting slice-of-life music and shorts under miscellaneous moments on social media. A glance at his posts is unsettling, for his music makes one leap universes while bringing you back to the man behind it in Thanos snap — making you wonder if he’s another godsend for eccentric music. His melodies cannot simply be termed enjoyable, leading listeners to a therapeutic experience. The music, such as Mahogany, goes on a loop on a playlist and makes you gaze at the mundane world around you in a different light altogether. His tunes have the magic of enchanting the unmelodious chorus to follow in harmony at any given concert.
Often termed the “Heartbreak Kid”, Kuhad pursued writing about complex human relations and love during the shutdown period, even when he wanted to refrain from the genre. In his own words about the realisation, Kuhad says, “I realised I should just do what I want to do. There are no rules here.” The singer had his international chartbuster Just A Word on the back burner when his songwriter friend found the soft R&B melody sitting locked in the phone. Just then, the song reprised from the dark dust of this stagnant despondent world, much like Prateek Kuhad, the one-in-a-zillion singer-songwriter himself.
- Bucket List Concert Venue: Bowery Ballroom
- I like: Photography, Reading, Writing
- Love Reading (Author): Haruki Murukami
- Favourite Singers: Lucky Ali, Elliott Smith
- Favourite Poem: “Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas