Prateek Kuhad is on a roll. The artiste has not just come up with his album ‘The Way That Lovers Do’ but has around 20 shows across North America in June this year. And post the pandemic, the 32-year-old Indie artiste is raring to go.
In an exclusive interview with ZeeZest, Prateek talks about his new sounds, music, writing non-film songs that are real, and that he would “love to work with AR Rahman and Amit Trivedi at some point”. Excerpts…
1. Tell us all about The Way That Lovers Do
The Way That Lovers Do is an album about human love and connectivity. Conceptually it explores different aspects of love. I recorded this album last year in Seattle with producer Ryan Hadlock. Sonically, I feel like it’s my best work so far.
2. From the 11 songs in your album, which ones are your favourites and why?
I’m quite proud of the whole album but if I had to pick a few favourites I would say: “Co2" and “All I Need”. Both come from a very real and emotional space. I wrote “Co2” during the pandemic and “All I Need” was written in 2019 on a quiet summer afternoon when I was in LA. That summer in LA was very productive and I wrote a lot of songs. As I said, the whole album is special, but these two stand out
3. You are known and loved for your folksy sounds—how is your new album different?
I think that the folksy thing was most true for In Tokens and Charms and as I have progressed since then and my sound has changed quite naturally and gradually. The Way That Lovers Do is definitely an evolution in that same direction and I have explored quite a few different genres. I’d rather not talk about it too much and let the listeners experience it for themselves.
4. Tell us about the 2022 North American Headline Tour in June this year—what are you expecting? What is in store for your fans?
I’m expecting a LOT of travel. We’re playing 20 shows across North America in June. I can’t complain though; since being stuck at home through the pandemic for so long, I really can’t wait to be out on the road, playing shows, and meeting my fans from all over the world. We’ve already sold out four shows and added a few more! The response to the NA tour has been awesome and I am super excited. We will be playing songs from the new album TWTLD along with some older hits!
5. Do you have any favourite Hindi film songs? Which album/song in recent years would you have worked with?
I haven’t heard anything recently, to be honest. I really admire AR Rahman and Amit Trivedi both, when it comes to Bollywood soundtracks. I think they’ve both made some iconic albums and I would love to work with them at some point.
6. What is the best thing about the non-film music industry right now?
The best thing about the non-film industry is that its non-film. Don’t get me wrong—I love so many Bollywood soundtracks and I myself have grown up on them. But I feel like the music industry in India is built around songs that are written around mostly about fictional stories. The thing about music that is not associated with films is that it usually comes from songwriters who tell their own story; it’s more real and tends to come from a place of real emotions. I think that is a special thing that listeners are really missing out on.
7. Cases of plagiarism are prevalent; composers are into remakes and recreations—what is your take on this era in the music industry?
Firstly let me just say that plagiarism is not the same thing as “remakes and recreations”. Plagiarism is uncredited, stolen work and is needless to say not cool at all. Recreating old classics is, of course, a totally okay thing to do and can be quite creative at times. I don’t have anything against remakes, but I guess too much of it can be stifling to creativity and innovation. Innovation is a super important thing in any context and in any industry. Systems should be such that they encourage innovation, not stifle them, and I see the only downside to remakes is that too much of it can end up stifling creativity—which kinda sucks.