Hailed as one of India’s leading singer-songwriter, Prateek Kuhad, also featured on former US President Barack Obama’s list of favourite music of 2019. We caught up with the singer-songwriter ahead of his show in Dubai at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium organised by XPRNC on January 14. In a candid chat with Aakanksha Naval-Shetye, the artiste reveals that the creative freedom that comes from being in the Indie space is a bigger draw for him than playback singing. Check out the full interview in the January issue of Filmfare Middle East
How excited are you to perform for the Dubai audience?
I’m pretty excited. I’ve played in Dubai once and I’m really excited about the venue too.
Do you prefer your space as an Indie artiste over playback singing?
I’m fine with doing anything as long as I like doing it. I’ve done playback singing once before and I didn’t really like it so much because I’m not really a very good singer actually. In the sense that you know like, good singers can execute anything given to them really well. I can only sing my songs well because I get a lot of time to practice. And also I have creative freedom with my songs. I don’t like to be told how to sing a certain song. It makes me feel like it’s a less creative process. Maybe not all playback singing is like that, so I think it depends. I think once you get to a certain stature as a playback singer, you can decide how you want to sing a song. Like I said, I did try it once and it just seemed very mechanical to me, to sing exactly the same notes and exactly the same way. Also, I tend to be less invested in a song if I haven’t really written it myself, so then it’s really hard for me to like emote authentically and really adjust in it. So I don’t enjoy the process so much. And also, I’m not really a singer. I know everybody laughs when I say that but I’m really a musician and song-writer first. I started doing this because I like writing songs and making music. And I still do this because of that. If I couldn’t do that, I would stop doing it. So, I just try to stay in that space and just write songs. And then I kind of sing them because honestly I kind of have to.
Do you think this is a very good time for indie singers, considering you have so many platforms?
Anytime is a good time if you want to do something. It depends on what you want in life. It’s good in a lot of ways because you can make music more easily because of a bigger community of people. So if you trying to just make music and have fun while doing it, I think it’s a much better time than ever before.
Is there any other artiste you would want to collaborate with as a musician, as a singer?
Yes, of course. I like working with other people. So, like I don’t have any names, because honestly it has become crazy now in terms of the number of artists and musicians and good people who are out there. I’m mostly just looking for authentic collaborators because I feel like now it’s just… specially the whole collaboration machine has become really activated. It never really used to be that much back in the day. Now it’s just like every artiste is doing collab in every single record. It’s very rare to find and album where you don’t see collaborations or co-rights. There’s very few. And I think that’s just because it’s become this kind of thing where it’s like you want to combine your audience. Because business-wise it does make a lot of sense but I think creatively, an artiste needs to stem from a more mutual respect for each other as an artiste without an agenda. That’s the key thing. You just work to really make a song. In my case that’s something I care about and I would love to do stuff like that with anybody I like and who likes me.
Tell us about your latest album ‘The Way That Lovers Do’!
Well, we’ve been touring with it and it’s just a collect of songs I’ve been writing that I liked. I don’t like talking too much about the songs and what they are about. I just feel like people should listen to the music and interpret it the way they want.