In the current independent music scene of India, there’s perhaps no artiste who has as strong a presence and stronghold as Prateek Kuhad. Celebrated as “one of the country’s leading singer-songwriters” by Rolling Stone India, Kuhad is today a name more heard, and mostly swooned upon.
Be it his surprisingly real music or the heart tugging string of passionate lyrics or even the modulation of emotions through his one-of-a-kind voice, Kuhad sure has taken the singing world by storm ever since he dropped his maiden album in 2015.
Exclusive- the music of Prateek Kuhad
But while Kuhad might have made his debut with In tokens and Charms, he had had a breakthrough with Raat Raazi two years back. As he returned after quite a hiatus with his newest offering cold/mess, Prateek Kuhaad once again delivers a version of true love the way only he can. In doing a representation of emotions the best kind he does, Kuhaad once again attempts to foster a connection with those souls who have been as love struck as him.
However, it isn’t just the way Kuhad connects to his audience with his strongly evocative real lyrics. It’s also about the fluidity of his songs, that lends an easily transcending note to his music. The connect is maintained throughout, and even as you seamlessly travel through one song to the next, you find the emotions still striking all the right chords in your heart. Bringing back memories or enhancing the ones you are already dealing with seems so much a smooth transition once you are woven into Kuhad’s stirring world of word melodies.
Kuhad’s appeal through the universal language of the soul
Particularly for the young crowd, Kuhad represents an enigma- a magician who is so much efficient in putting the emotions of an entire nation into soulful renditions of chimes. The songs play along with you as you drift in a parallel world of pleasantly dizzy churn of moments you would perhaps want to live forever.
Music is universal, the language of the souls and one that does not need words for its interpretations. Yet when Prateek Kuhad spins his tales through words, its as much the lyrics that speak to the listeners as does the swaying music. In fact, his lyrics are a form of moving poetry- succulent and plump with all the variety of feels it encompasses. And even when it sounds like a paradox, a messy symphony might just be the perfect elucidation of his dreamy mannerisms, a style so rooted in realisation that you cannot help but wonder if these shared experiences aren’t indeed your own!
In fact, Kuhad himself prioritises the lyrics over the reigning melody. And unlike a vast multitude of other singers who experiment with all genres and styles of music just so that a single, continuing style doesn’t rob them of an audience base, Kuhad is more non chalant. Not that he doesn’t want to keep his fans interested but as a true music enthusiast, Kuhad knows how to do it best by twisting not his style but rather delving into the universal appeal that music harbours.
An USP that isn’t too unique
Obviously then, variation has no way of coming to this songwriter with a difference. Yet in his songs, we don’t find a particularly monotonous jargon of feelings. The simplicity of the words are pertinent and so are the numerous instances in which they resound with just the perfect feel at the moment. Experimentations aren’t so much of his style, and therein lies Prateek’s USP. His uniqueness manifests itself in ways that aren’t unique as such, rather they strike an originality that stems more from his content rather than an attempt to stand out.
But while Kuhad might not be so conscious about variations in singing styles, still his voice exhibits tremendous variations to drive home his excellence as a singer. Modulations are pertinent throughout in his singings- whether it be a soothingly soft tone or an absolutely unwavering rendition through the vocals, Kuhad aces the game every time he comes on record.
Emotions strung through words
Obviously, with so much tonal variations, it’s only evident that his songs aren’t just mere hollows of words strung together with some music that you will listen to and get over in some time. Rather, they stay with you or return to haunt you in ways that are surprisingly relaxing. As you get immersed in the depths of the world his music encompasses, you realise that the songs are replete with inferences of all kinds- drawing from heartbreak and loss, while at the same time celebrating the beauty of the heartfelt emotions.
Kuhad’s songs indeed identify with the passion that music encompasses as a language spoken by some, but understood by all. And though most of his songs happen to be really dedicated romantic numbers, Kuhad’s image as a dreamy musician is only half the reality of him. Sure, music for him is deeply personal, an intimate undertaking of sorts. It’s surprising how this man explores the complexities of life’s musings as an art in a form that is so simple and gentle.
A hearty sprinkling of sentiments
With minimal acoustic folk arrangements and pop rock melodies that serve to bring forth his own inner sensibilities, Prateek Kuhad spins tales through his songs that are heart warmingly real, yet vulnerable. The emotional emancipation that his songs deliver are reason enough for us to be set up for some soulful indulgence.
The calming voice, the profoundity of the narrative and the cajoling manner in which he brings the simplest of lyrics to life makes Prateek more than appealing among new age singers. What’s more, his music is more intimate that anything you have ever felt. That’s perhaps because Kuhad doesn’t view music as a form of profession. It’s something that he’s passionate about, yet being a late bloomer he knows very well about the things that he might have missed out. He pens down his thoughts as they naturally occur to him and only arranges and presents them later when he’s all set for doing some ‘public’ project.
Even when a wave of melancholy hovers over the pensiveness of the themes his songs necessarily focusses on, the compositions are pretty cheerful just on the face of it. Only when you have reached unto the deeper echelons of the lyrics will you find a world of dejected happiness smirking back as an oxymoron at you.