A rockstar in making

He took to the guitar at the age of 16. Like any other youngster, in college he opted for mathematics and economics, but at home his love for music grew stronger by the day. “I played different songs on the guitar but was never serious about song-writing,” admits Prateek Kuhad.

This 25-year-old Delhi-based multi-lingual singer-songwriter must be known to a handful of those who keep themselves abreast with independent music in the city. But soon after the coming weekend, Kuhad’s popularity is sure to shoot because he has been selected to share the stage with the sensational band Alt J at Emerge festival by LIVE Viacom 18.

“I had performed at all the Weekenders in 2013, but don’t know how I got this chance,” says an elated Kuhad, momentarily rendered speechless by this fantastic opportunity.

Until “two-and-a-half years ago,” he hadn’t even planned to take up music as a full time career. He informs that he “worked as a consultant for two years and even interned at a bank,” after completing his higher education at New York University.

“I have grown up in Jaipur. There wasn’t much of an independent music scene in the city then. I still remember having attended a concert of Rabbi Shergill at 13 and became his fan for the rest of my life.”

It was during his college years in the west that Kuhad became interested in independent music. “Those five years brought in a big change. Even when I came to Delhi to visit my parents during summer and winter breaks, I started performing at odd gigs in the Capital as well as in Mumbai. I was following the music scene in India online and knew that there was an opportunity for growth,” he recollects.

His parents had faith in his talent and his confidence, and soon Kuhad released his debut album ‘Raat Raazi’ in 2013. His music got noticed for its warmth and vulnerability. Later his folk-pop sensibilities were unleashed in his second album, ‘In Tokens & Charms’, and he explored ‘love’ as a theme.

“For me, the content that I create is very personal. I can never bring myself to deliberately write about a specific issue. People I meet, places I go, inspire me to express myself and I vent my feelings through my lyrics,” says the musician who was inspired by his real-life relationships for his last album.

“The song ‘Flames...’ from my last album is my favourite,” says Kuhad as the discussion veers towards the circumstances in which he takes to writing. “It might be any time of the day or night, but I must be alone. As long as I’m alone and it is quiet, I can write.”

Ask him what he will play at Emerge music festival and he says, “I decide a day prior to the performance but there will definitely be a lot of songs from my albums.” Way to go!    

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