Preti Taneja
We that are young


WHEN I FIRST STARTED WRITING SERIOUSLY I was living in London in chaotic circumstances. There was a group of people who came and went from the flat, doing what they needed to feel good. I craved silence to write. When I was alone, there were a few songs I’d listen to over and over. I would write, and in my break, put the track on, listen until the end of it, then go back to work. When I moved out I kept up the habit, even though I was living alone anyway. Finally, living with someone again, I got a pair of noise cancelling headphones – it felt indulgent at the time because they are expensive, but they’ve enabled me to write wherever I am. I put them on, and the characters are there. Music is essential for my writing – and there are a few tracks that will always be associated with beginning it, and then, with different points of the seven years it took me to finish (while also doing what felt like three hundred other jobs) We that are young.


  • Deb Talan – Thinking Amelia
  • Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Akhiyan Udeek Diyan
  • Malika Pukraj – Abhi toh main jawaan hoon
  • Hurray for the Riff Raff – Hungry Ghosts
  • Jay Z – Lucifer
  • Beyonce – Sandcastles
  • Alt J – Breezeblocks – Alt J 
  • Alt J – Matilda
  • Cypress Hill – Hits from the bong
  • A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It? 
  • De la Soul – Eye Know
  • The Specials – A Message to Rudy
  • Jill Scott – Hate on me
  • Pankaj Udas – Chitti Ayi Hai 
  • De la Soul – Ooh (feat. Redman)
  • Bassekou Kouyate, Nogoni Ba – Jamana be diya