It’s quite incredible, the sort of hold that singer-songwriter Prateek Kuhad has over his core audience. His latest single, Kasoor, dropped just three days ago, and is already at the no 1 spot on Apple Music’s top 100 songs played in India. Kuhad left behind global giants like The Weeknd and Harry Styles in his wake in the process. The track has 6.8 lakh views and counting on YouTube, where it is the no 27 trending video. Those are jaw-dropping figures for an Indian independent musician. But this man seems to have that Midas touch. It’s almost as if even before they are released, his tunes are guaranteed to hit gold.
The song itself has all the Kuhad characteristics of tugging at the heartstrings. The musician directs the lyrics at the object of his affection, asking her whether it’s his fault that he’s fallen hook, line and sinker for her addictive eyes and silken hair. The lilting melody is designed to bring a spring in your step, and Kuhad played a masterstroke in engaging his fans for the video, while roping in known faces like comedian Kunal Kamra and actor Jim Sarbh, too.
The images involve them responding to instructions like, “Think about your first love,” and “Think about your hardest break-up.” There is thus a gamut of emotions on display, though some of them do look somewhat contrived. That’s not the point, though. The point is that Kuhad has a mammoth fan base, and it was a smart move to tap into it for the video during the lockdown. The reticent singer tells us, “I feel very fortunate to have such expressive and genuine fans.” And he should be, given the numbers he racks up with every song.
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Some of the other Indian independent musicians on Apple Music’s top 100 list include Ritviz, an electronic producer who incorporates Hindustani classical inflections, and Sid Sriram, a mellifluous singer comfortable with both Tamil and English tunes.
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