Songwriter Prateek Kuhad talks why inspiration is overrated

Oct 14, 2017, 09:06 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani

What helps you be a prolific songwriter?
I just really like writing songs. I feel energised after spending a day in the studio writing or producing music. I like to keep it simple and not really think about where it's all coming from. Inspiration is overrated. 

Pic courtesy/Sukrit Nagaraj
Pic courtesy/Sukrit Nagaraj

You initially started with intimate gigs and moved on to larger venues.
That's not completely true. I initially started with whatever shows I got. That being said, I realised along the way that a more intimate environment ended up working in my favour as well as that of the audience. So, we try and do more of these shows. My ideal way of performing is before 20 people in a small room that has good acoustics and is un-amplified.

Will your recent co-publishing deal with a US label change things?
They're going to handle the songwriting aspect of my career. This would include writing songs for other artistes and syncing my songs in films and television. It doesn't change anything. It just enables me to write more songs, which is great because I like doing that.

Will you be doing more Bollywood projects?
I don't really think about Bollywood either this way or that. As long as it's a quality project that excites me and I get to write songs in a creatively healthy environment with good people, I don't really care where it's coming from.

You write a lot of love songs. And end up getting a lot of female attention too.
I'm emotional and quite prone to falling in and out of love easily. I haven't had too many serious relationships, but they have all been long and intense. Maybe it's my way of venting suppressed feelings, I can't really say for sure because it all happens at a subliminal level, including the songwriting. It's always flattering when anyone appreciates or gets attached to the songs I write, but the attention is far from overwhelming, so I don't have much to say about it yet. That being said, I can't really complain about female attention, at least the little that I get from time to time!

Which other artistes are you listening to?
The music I listen to changes very frequently, and I listen to a lot of artistes within a given time frame. If I had to pick, I'd say, Beethoven, Randy Newman, and XXXTentacion have been my go-tos lately. It'll probably be a completely different bunch next week though.

How do you shift between songwriting in Hindi and English?
It happens very subconsciously. But I figured that if I can speak, write and think in both languages with equal comfort, I should be able to write songs in both too. It turns out that I can. I believe that anyone who can write songs can do the same with any language.

Tell us about your set at The Red Bull Tour Bus-Off The Roof gig.
I'll be playing a few new songs. Most of the set consists of unreleased material, along with a few older, more popular staples.

On: Tonight, 5 pm
At: PJ Hindu Gymkhana, Marine Lines
Log on to: insider.in
Entry: Rs 500

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