A little heartbreak never hurt anyone. It’s what inspired Indian singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad’s critically-acclaimed EP cold/mess, which is starting to make waves here in the U.S. as he just wrapped up his sold-out North American tour.
The 29-year-old musician sat down with Us Weekly at his recent show in New York City — one of three — to detail the almost cosmic way his six-song EP was crafted and how it seamlessly tells the story of what he calls a rather ”rocky relationship” in his life.
“It actually came together almost as an accident,” Kuhad says. “I was just trying to pick four to five songs that really worked together, just lyrically, sonically. In terms of a vibe, I was just feeling it out. And I think just leading up to that record, I had two really challenging years in general, emotionally. And I think that’s when I was writing those songs.”
He continues, “After I put them all together and I heard them together, I knew which song was talking about what part of the narrative I was instinctively trying to tell. That’s how I felt. When it all came together, I was kind of surprised myself that it all came together so well.”
While the Delhi-based singer has been playing guitar since 16, he admits he doesn’t think he “was a very good songwriter” up until maybe the last few years. “I think that it has actually gotten drastically better since when I started until now,” he says, earnestly. “Because I think I was pretty mediocre back then, and I think my parents’ concern was kind of warranted.”
Kuhad went to New York University, a double major in math and economics, with music just a passion at that point. He even found himself in the workforce for a few months (“I already had a good job”) before he had a “bit of breakdown” and realized he wanted to pursue music full-time. “I was just writing songs and playing shows on the side for fun because I liked doing it. It was always supposed to be a side thing,” he says. “I figured I would just do it for myself mostly at home.”
As his parents started warming up to the idea, his songs were getting mainstream play in India. “It just gave me a little bit of confidence that something can happen off of it, so I decided to give it one year and see what happens,” Kuhad, who won an MTV Europe Music Award for Indie Album of the Year in 2017, says. “And it kind of took off a little bit, especially in India, so I just kept doing it.”
And as he played more, Kuhad became more comfortable on stage. “I feel way stronger about songwriting versus performing,” he admits. “I mean I love being in the studio and making records. Performing is something that I am not really that used to. I can do it now because I have done a lot of it in India and here, but what I really love doing is writing songs and making records in general.”
While his latest album took a few years to put together (“It’s not like I was waiting, but it just didn’t happen for some reason or the other.”) and his schedule these days is nothing less than “hectic,” Kuhad plans on getting back to what he loves most — songwriting — soon.
cold/mess is available on Itunes now.
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