Artist Spotlight- Prateek Kuhad

Prateek Kuhad is a prominent name in the Indian Indie music scene and anyone who knows me, even a little, knows that I’m a big fan of his music. It was around two years ago when I heard him for the first time, I was sitting at Nariman Point and it came to my mind that a friend of mine had recommended me a song from him which would perfectly go with the setting. So I thought I’d give it a listen and that changed me entirely. I was never a fan of romantic songs but Prateek Kuhad’s voice has something that instantly connected with me. Prateek Kuhad has released a lot of songs in both English and Hindi and has even sung for a few Bollywood movies. You can definitely sense the influence of artists like John Mayor in his song writing and singing. His music is soothing and has a feel good factor associated with them.

Here’s a list of my favorite songs by him-

Dil Bepervah– this is a song that is written and sung by Prateek Kuhad and Ankur Tiwari and is one of the most well written and beautiful song by them. It talks about following your heart with a very nice acoustic guitar and slow drums being played in the background.
Tune Kaha– this song is just a beautiful description of a perfect relationship. The slow drums and a guitar perfectly pairs up with Prateek Kuhad’s beautiful lyrics and voice.
Tum Jab Pass– this is the first song that I heard from him and I instantly feel in love with his music. This song perfectly displays his talent and his deep lyricism. Check out the live version of this song because they are equally beautiful, if not more.
Yeh Pal– this is my favorite song from Prateek Kuhad’s debut EP ‘Raat Raazi’. The way he uses a very smile production style to compliment his voice is what makes me like these songs even more.
Oh love– this song kind of reminded me of Mumford and sons. A simple and beautiful song that is going to leave a smile on your face. This song is from his first full length album ‘In Tokens and Charms’
The Cold/Mess EP– I just couldn’t select one track from this EP because it’s one of the most beautiful projects of last year. Every song on this EP tells a different story and makes you wonder how can this man be so talented. It’s definitely a trip to all your heartbreaks and sorrows and you might even shed a few tears here and there but all of that is worth it!
Cold/Mess– I had to give a special mention to his song as this is the best Prateek Kuhad song according to me. Cold/mess is a song about a couple who are deeply in love but can’t live together because they are just not meant to be. The lyrics, the music, the high notes and even the music video of this song everything about this is nothing short of perfection. This song can be the most heartbreaking song you’ve ever heard of the most beautiful, either way you’re going to fall in love with him.

We’re living in the time when our life has become really fast and everything around us seems to be in a hurry. There are people who are working more than 100 hours a week, people suffering from heartbreaks and sorrows and what not. Sometimes we should slow down and Prateek Kuhad makes you do that. His music is going to make you cry and smile. It’s going to give you a something which we all need i.e. calmness.

Do check out these songs, the link to each song is attached to the name of the song.

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Revisiting Classics- 808’s And Heartbreaks

Kanye west might be one of the wackiest person in the music industry today with his weird tweets and his crazy persona but you can’t take away his exceptional music talent and his eye for experimentation and detail in his albums. In this blog I’m going to talk about an album that divided hip-hop into two categories and inspired this generation’s superstars like Drake, Travis Scott, Migos and many many more.
In 808’s and heartbreaks the 808’s represent the Roland TR-808 drum machine which was used extensively on this project and heartbreaks refer to Ye’s state of mind. It came out in the year 2008 as a successor to Kanye’s ‘Graduation’ which was termed as one of the greatest hip-hop albums with each track being a classic in itself. Naturally this made the expectations from his next album go on an all time high as people were expecting something amazing from Kanye. During this time Kanye was suffering from a lot of problems in his personal life which included the death of his mother and his split with his fiance. He took all this to his advantage and channeled all his sorrows into creating a masterpiece with the use of Autotune as a music instrument rather than just using it as a voice correction tool. 808’s and Heartbreaks was his one of his most aspirational and emotional album where he poured his heart and potrayed a side of ‘Ye’ that none of his fans and listeners had ever seen, each track on the album is telling a story of heartbreak and how Kanye West even after being one of the most successful rappers, is still sad and heartbroken from the inside.

Here are the standout moments from the album according to me-
• Say You Will- this is the first track on this record with a very simple heartbeat style beat and heavy use of Autotune in the singing. This song takes you away from the old school Ye and takes you into the 808’s and heartbreaks universe instantly.
• Welcome To Heartbreak- I remember when I heard this song for the first 10 times I wasn’t able to get to the lyrics because of how amazing the intro to the song sounded, a chello leading to the riff with one was Kanye’s hardest drums following it, which just blew my mind away and took my attention instantly. This was also the song that introduced Kid Cudi to the world with him getting a feature on this song.
• Heartless- This track is Kanye’s third best selling single and rightly so it’s one of the best songs on this album. This song has Kanye west crooning in his Autotuned voice about falling for someone who doesn’t care about you and losing the person you love the most.
• Love Lockdown- this song has one of the best drums proudced by Kanye in his entire career. The song contains the main production elements present in all 808s and Heartbreak songs: Auto-Tune singing, electro pop influences and the use of the Roland TR-808 drum machine and was released as the first single for this groundbreaking album.
• Street Lights- One of the most emotionally distressing tracks off an already depression-focused album is “Street Lights.” Kanye iterates the repetitiveness of life and its petty affairs, and even the monotony of time and destiny itself.

Why is the album a classic?
When this album was released it divided the people into two halves and people either loved the album or downright hated it. According to me this album was a path breaking album in the rap scene and a very bold move by Kanye West. The influence that this album had on the current music scene makes this album a classic. This album inspired the likes of biggies like Drake and Travis Scott and put Kid Cudi on the map. It also opened up the world of softer and more introspective rap and made a place for it in this industry. Another reason why this album is a classic is  Kanye West guts and vision. After making a classic album like ‘Graduation’ he decided to experiment rather than sticking to what people already loved. He chose to potray his broken heart in an artistic manner and used it to create a masterpiece which changed the music industry forever.

Here’s the link to the album!

Hollywood’s Bleeding- Post Malone

Just 90 seconds into the album you hear a line (It seem like dying young is an honor / But who’d be at my funeral, I wonder?) which makes you realise that this album is going to have a darker undertone to it and you’re not disapointed. Hollywood’s Bleeding is a dark, gritty and hard hitting album. The crux of the album still remains hip-hop and rap but Posty takes you through this multi genere ride which makes you feel like this album is just a mix tape you prepared which features hit song after hit song.

The main theme of the album is heartbreaks and fake friends and our Post Malone is no stranger to witnessing heart breaks and losing friends. His home is bleeding and there is nothing much that he can do about it. This album features a star- studded and odd feature line-up which just turns out to be a perfect cocktail. Here’s a break down of the album-

  • Hollywood’s Bleeding- the opner of the album is the title track and this is the darkest song of the album. Post Malone is crooning about how hollywood is full of dark things and it’s not what we see from the outside. Louis Bell produces yet another gem with Post Malone giving a perfect vocal performance.
  • Saint-Tropez- On “Saint-Tropez,” Post matches a refreshing flow with a funky trap beat. On the track, Post describes the lavish lifestyle he leads, dropping designer brand names, Brad Pitt refrences and flexing hard. Post Malone is back with the Adlibs here and this is a fun song to listen too.
  • Enemies- This song made me a little skeptical because I hadn’t heard anything from DaBaby before this but this turned out to be another banger. Post discusses the way that mainstream fame has impacted his relationships and how he responds to the disloyalty, while DaBaby raps about his newfound success and sends a warning shot to his enemies. The beat of the song is a total contrast to the subject matter which I think indicates that even though the friends turned into enemies, he’s just happy that he didn’t waste time on them (Sorry that you can’t get over me/ Now you’re out my life, I’m so relieved)
  • Allergic- This song is going to take you by surprise as it did to me. On this song Post Malone contrasts an energetic beat with hard-hitting drums in the verses with slow guitar melodies during the chorus. This will surely give you an Indi- rock vibe and we should just appluad Post Malone for making this record.
  • A Thousand Bad Times- this is another song where the beat of the song is uptempo whereas the subject matter is dark and sad. Post Malone says that even though he knows that he should not get into this, but he’s still going to do it ( You make my life so hard/
    But that’s what gets me off)
  • Circles- I heard this song for the first time when I was watching Post Malone’s dive bar performace and this song connected to me instantly. We’re all stuck in some kind of circle in our life be it a job, a relationship, a habit or just something that we keep falling back too (Run away, but we’re running in circles). Post Malone gives a stellar vocal performance once again and tbis is one of my favourite songs for this album.
  • Die For Me- Post Malone, Future and Halsey together in one song, going verse after verse singing and rapping, at the peak of their career, on a trap- pop beat is just a delight to listen too and the song grows on you as it starts builidng up. This song also features some of the best lines of the album (Remember when you got my ass arrested/ At least when I was in jail, I got some rest in) (I sold 15 million copies of a break-up note)
  • On The Road- This song is a defiant anthem where the artist come together and deliver verses and flex about there proper work ethics. You might take some time to actually appriciate Meek Mill’s verse, I definitly did, but it grows on you as you listen to the track a couple of times.
  • Take What You Want- Ozzy Osbourne. The name is enought to get you hyped up about this tarck and then you add Travis Scott and this becomes the All-Star team of this album, The vocals from Ozzy, Post and Travis plus the production plus the guitar solo at the end totals up to a track which goes beyond your expectations and kills it in every department. One of my favourite tracks by Post Malone.
  • I’m Gonna Be- this song is about partying and having a positive outlook about life and just enjoying and having a good time. With this song Post Malone is just telling us that he and we can do whatever we want and looking back on the past which is supported well by his cheerful vocals and an uplifting trap beat.
  • Staring At The Sun- this songs gave a similiar vibe like the 2018 song ‘All The Stars’ by SZA and Kendrick Lamar and to me this felt like a sequel to Post Malone’s hit song ‘Sunflower’(which interstingly is the song that this is followed by). This song has a very old school pop feeling to it and SZA and Post Malone just kill it with there vocals. This song also feature the line that i perosnally related to a lot and i feel people reading this would have the same feeling( Give me a chance, I will Fuck up again)
  • Sunflower- this song was the song of all seasons last year, I’ve played it so many times that my Apple music account would have lost count of it by now. This was a banger then and is still a banger now.
  • Internet- have you ever thought how you’d feel if you had millions of people juding you over the internet and looking over ever damn thing that you do with an eye to critque it, if not you’d be thinking about it after you listen to this. Kanye West has a writing credit on this song and to me the song gave a similiar vibe to a Ye(Kanye West) song called ‘Runaway’. The production on the song is pretty solid with Bloodpop getting a production credit on this one. This track is the perfect transition to the later half of the album.
  • Goodbyes- Young Thug steals the show in this track with his high-pitched and unusual sounding voice which goes perfectly with the production. The allbum is about to come to an end post malone is just telling us that he’s not good at goodbyes.
  • Myself- This one is a calm Post Malone track which reflects on his journey. A strong, catchy drumbeat dominates the track, as Post looks back on the realities of his success, which are touring the world, spending money and enjoying like no one else does.
  • I Know- On the track, Posty pairs a catchy flow with soft percussion and explores the outcome of a broken relationship, focusing on his disappointment in the success of the relationship. Giving a shout out to Jonas Brothers and a stone cold steve austin refrennce this is another breezy track by Post Malone.
  • Wow- the album ends with Post Malone telling us that whenever he shows up people are just in awe and say WOW (It’s a moment when I show up, got ’em sayin’, “Wow”). This song has Post Malone going off on a classic trap beat and flexing efortlesly about his possesions and him being a hit making machine. Just watch this video of post malone dancing to this song and thank him for making this masterpiece- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAPM8gMjj6Q. ‘

This album is the perfect blend of every genre that has influenced Post Malone throughout his life and his music career and is his best and most complete album till date. The only thing that i missed on this album was an acoustic song which i feel should have been there considering the subject matter of this album. I’d go with a rating of 9.5/10 for this album and I hope you guys check this out soon.

Here’s the link to the album 
Spotify
Apple Music

ASCEND-ILLENIUM

Nicholas D. Miller, known professionally as Illenium , is an American musician, DJ, record producer and one of my favourite artist in the music scene right now. When I heard that his third album is releasing, i was very excited to listen to it and here I am sharing my thoughts on the album with you.

The album theme follows his first two albums. Just as the phoenix has become symbolic of Illenium, his album titles —Ashes, Awake, Ascend — follow the path of reincarnation for the mythical bird. It would stand to reason that the theme of this album would be something uplifting and glorious, beautiful. It comes as a bit of a shock, then, to find that many of the songs deal with loss, grief, overcoming negative emotions and hits you right in the feels with it’s perfect production along with some amazing vocals by the featuring artists. The album, just like his previous albums, have a signature Illenium style drop and every single drop in the album transports you to the world the song is set in. This is probably the most personal album from Illenium as he talks about everything from broken relationships to him batteling a drug addiction and overcoming it. Here’s a breakdown of my favourites from ASCEND-

• Good Things Fall Apart- the day when I heard this song for the first was a particularly dull day for me as I was going through some stuff in my life which made me connect to Jon Belion’s beautiful voice instantly. The way the drop overlaps the chorus is hauntingly beautiful and will make you come back to the song again and again. It means that even things that are sad don’t have to make you sad… sometimes they can be good.
• Crashing- this song takes a turn from the usual theme of the album and describes a healthy relationship where the lover in the song is seemingly drunk in love, finding their significant other addicting and putting them in a state of euphoria. She questions if her partner is really as good as she thinks they are, but self-assures herself that they are. This is perfectly accompanined by a cheerful beat and breezy vocals by Bahari
• Takeaway- this was one of the most anticpated tracks of the year and it didn’t dissapoint me one bit. Having two of my favourite artist colaborate on a song does make me get a little biased towards it but the song in itself was a banger with The Chainsmokers and Illenium with vocal support from Lennon Stella produced yet another chartbuster.
• Sad Songs- this track was the surprise package for me and i was swept off my feet when i heard it for the first time. The song starts with an acoustic guitar while Annika Wells is reminising about an old relationship and how she uses sad songs to cope with it. Around the half way mark the tone of the song changes to a future bass track which showcases her moving on from her sadness, with Said the Sky and Illenium producing it to perfection.
• In Your Arms- Sam Harris of X Ambassadors, provides the primary vocals throughout the song. The song strikes a balance between the X Ambassadors style of lyrics and slower pace through the chorus, and Illeniums production.
• One of the stand-out aspects of the album is the stunning pairing of Angel (Lonely Prelude) taken from Good Will Hunting and Lonely which is taken from the breakfast club

ASCEND is illenium’s finest body of work with a perfect blend of Dubstep, Future-Bass and it manages to switch efortlessly betweeen genres. The album has a star studded feature line up and is the living proof of Illenium’s greatness as a producer. This album is must listen and I would go with a rating of 9/10 for it. It will take you to all these memories and places in your heart and after you’re done listening to it, I’m sure you’ll feel a lot lighter.

The link to this album-

Spotify- https://open.spotify.com/album/60xcVwuQJAOyu11xf9mObS?si=purFv6UiTt2GM3CXF_orbg

Apple Music- https://music.apple.com/in/album/ascend/1468053314

Welcome Home- Aries

The reason why I decided to put this up as my first post for the blog is that this artist is not getting the recognition he deserves. This album is a small project which is easy to listen to and can come under the “underrated albums of 2019 (so far)” list. Aries is a Youtuber turned singer/songwritter/producer who is definently going to give you the Post Malone or Russ vibes in his music. He uses trap beats to suplement his writing and I must say the combination is not disappointing.

Aries uses a style of music that is very familiar to the current hip-hop listeners. He uses melodic and hypnotic beats to make his songs which perfectly go with his voice and delivery. This 9 track album is surely going to leave you wanting for more because it’s just around the 25 mins mark and the songs just go by in a breeze. My favourite tracks from this album are ‘Racecars’, ‘Carousel’, ‘Bad News’ and ‘Santa Monica’. The song Racecar ( She said I hate my day job, I don’t feel it I need racecar, top down to match my ceiling) is a song about how we are running away from our responsibilities and taking drugs to make us feel better, while the song Carousel showcases the skills of Aries as a producer as it has the best production value in this album. All the tracks in this album have a similar theme to them i.e taking pills, having troubles and flexing. The only problem that i had with this album was the way the songs sound familiar and the generic writing, the beats seem to be similar in each song which is the case with most trap based hip-hop.

My final rating for this album is going to be a 7/10, it’s the perfect album for you to listen to when you are at a party, chilling with your friends or going for a long drive. It doesn’t take you into deep introspection about life and consequences but it will surely leave you happy and make you have a good time.