Fascinating music

“I don’t want to look at music from a particular genre or sound perspective anymore,” says Prateek Kuhad whose new track continues where Cold/Mess left off

This, by the way, presented an unexpected challenge during the pandemic. While many other artists have drawn inspiration from the COVID-19 zeitgeist — embracing technology, nostalgia, or their particular choice of dystopia as muses — Kuhad has found themselves at a loss for inspiration. It’s hard to write songs about connection when you’re stuck between four walls all the time.

“I couldn’t write; I didn’t feel creative at all,” he says. “For me, I write in spurts and just have to consume stuff to get there. And by stuff, I mean literally everything: living life, doing things, and most importantly, interacting. with other human beings. It’s something that I appreciate so much more now than before.

Despite this unforeseen writer’s block, he kept busy. Besides the upcoming feature film, he has released Shehron Ke Raaza four-track Hindi EP, in 2021. I’m curious why he split his production in Hindi and English, even though he’s been writing successfully in both languages ​​for years now.

“I just feel weird putting Hindi and English songs on the same disc,” he says. “I feel like one of the reasons is that you grew up listening to all this music and it’s in a parenthesis in your head – 90s Bollywood and Indipop and so on – and there’s this another category which is ‘English music.’ And for some reason it’s still separated.

“So I feel like I have two parts of my brain: one that writes this, one that writes that,” he continues. “And I always felt they sounded different. I just felt like they were two separate creative entities, and that’s why I always separated them as records.

Perhaps as an Indian artist trying to break into the global stage, he also fears being pigeonholed into the world or fusion music box. It’s not uncommon for artists from the Global South to be expected to interpret their identity, so to speak, when they go to the United States. Last year, Native American guitarist Shubh Saran told me about going to study at Berklee, where people expected him to break out a sitar or a tabla every jam.

“It’s something that’s happened to me all the time, and it still happens to me quite a bit,” Kuhad says. “I remember that radio interview I did in Nashville years ago, where the guy hadn’t even listened to my music. He asked me if I played the sitar, if I sang in ‘Indian It’s sad because there is so much scope in the genre of music that comes from India, but people default to Indian classical or Bollywood.