Divine (rapper)

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DIVINE
Birth nameVivian Fernandes
Born (1991-10-02) 2 October 1991 (age 29)
Andheri, Maharashtra, India
OriginMumbai, India
GenresHip hop, Rap,
Occupation(s)Rapper, lyricist, actor
Years active2010-present
LabelsUniversal Music India, Mass Appeal Records India, Gully Gang Entertainment, Sony Music India
Associated actsNaezy, Sikander Kahlon,Nucleya, Deep Jandu, Raja Kumari, Krsna, Jass Manak, Nas, Onefour, Dutchavelli, Pusha T, Raftaar

Vivian Fernandes, better known by his stage name Divine, is an Indian rapper from Mumbai, Maharashtra. He started to gain popularity after the release of his song Yeh Mera Bombay (2013). He broke through with the release of his song Mere Gully Mein featuring fellow Mumbai rapper Naezy. On 12 December 2020, Divine became the first Indian rapper' to be featured on Spotify Times Square billboard in New York City for his album Punya Paap, which had claimed the top spot on Apple Music India.[1]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Divine started his career as an underground rapper in 2011 after discovering Hip Hop on a T-shirt. A friend of his wore a shirt of 50 Cent's first album Get Rich Or Die Tryin' at school. The same friend would give him his first MP3 CD with hip hop music on it which inspired him to start rapping in English.[2] He was part of the hip hop crew called Mumbai's Finest. He often raps about his own life experiences, such as the life of the poor people in Mumbai and his upbringing with a single mother. He cites American rappers such as Nas, Eminem, Big L, Tupac and Rakim as his main inspirations.[citation needed]

Rise to success[edit]

Following the release of his song 'Yeh Mera Bombay', Divine obtained the attention of Sony Music India[3] while performing at the Blue Frog Festival 2014 in Mumbai and shortly after signed a contract with them. The song later went on to win the Best Video of the Year award by Rolling Stone India in the same year. He released his breakout single Mere Gully Main featuring Naezy on 16 April 2015. The song went viral and many Bollywood celebrities shared it on social media.[4] He collaborated with Indian DJ Nucleya on Nucleya's album Bass Rani, which helped him gain even more popularity. The song won Best EDM track of the Year in the GIMA Awards in 2015.

On 24 March 2016, his debut solo single Jungli Sher released and it ruled the charts because of its raw depiction of the life of the poor in Mumbai. He took the song to the Breakfast Show ahead of BBC Asian Network Live on 29 April 2016. He appeared on the BBC Asian Network in the Charlie Sloth Show and was the first Hindi-speaking rapper to freestyle on the show and also the first to rap in Hindi with the name-giving host in attendance. He was also featured on Brapp TV.[5]

He again collaborated with Nucleya in another hit track, entitled Scene Kya Hai off Nucleya's album Raja Baja. He was featured on Daru Daru with Deep Jandu and Gangis Khan, his first commercially oriented song, which came out on 10 January 2017. His next solo single Farak released on 16 February 2017 and topped the Indipop charts on iTunes India.[6]

He appeared as a feature on a record called City Slums by Indian-American rapper/singer/songwriter Raja Kumari in May 2017. The song crossed 2 million views on YouTube within 24 hours of its release.[7]

In 2018, Divine terminated his contract with Sony Music India. He released a remix to Lil Pump's Gucci Gang called Gully Gang independently on 18 January 2018. The song was perceived well by both critics and fans and helped him garner more attention. On 5 April 2018, he followed up with One Side produced by Byg Byrd. The video was produced by Red Bull Media House and came out on the rapper's own YouTube channel.

His next single Teesri Manzil earned him a copyright strike from Zee Music Company a few hours after its release and got deleted from his channel. It was eventually re-released on 14 December 2018 with some changes in the lyrics.

He released Junoon, the intro to his upcoming first full-length album on 10 November 2018. The album's name, Kohinoor, was announced on 13 February 2019 on Apple Music's Beats 1 radio show hosted by Ebro Darden. The album release was announced to be somewhen in April 2019 but was finally released later.

In July 2019, Divine released a documentary film about his career so far entitled Gully Life - The story of Divine. It first aired on TV on channels such as the Discovery Channel and was released on Divine's YouTube Channel a week later.[8]

On 20 August 2019, Nas' Mass Appeal Records and Universal Music India launched Mass Appeal India and signed Divine. Universal Music Group and Mass Appeal jointly took the step to take global hip-hop artist to India and globalize the Indian hip-hop scene.[9] On 20 August 2019, In an interview with Nas published on Mass Appeal India's YouTube Channel[10] and Universal Music India's Facebook Page,[11] Nas revealed that Divine's debut album Kohinoor is set to release soon. It was released on 9 October 2019 and features all-new tracks recorded specifically for the album.

Film contributions[edit]

Divine made his Bollywood debut for the film Mukkabaaz with the song Paintra. The track was another collaboration with Nucleya and came out on 1 December 2017. He collaborated with famous Indian music director and singer Amit Trivedi for the Irrfan Khan Starter film Blackmail on a song Badla which came out on 16 March 2018 via T-Series. He also contributed to the soundtrack for Sacred Games,[12][13] an Indian Netflix Original Series. It features his song Jungli Sher as well Kaam 25 produced by Indo-Canadian producer Phenom which was made specifically for the series. Its music video was released on 14 June 2018 on both Divine's and Netflix's YouTube channels with the version on Netflix featuring English subtitles.

Divine most notably contributed to the soundtrack of the 2019 film Gully Boy by Zoya Akhtar, a film which is inspired by the lives of Naezy and himself, with Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles. Divine and Naezy both helped as consultants to get an authentic representation of the Hip Hop culture for the film. Their song Mere Gully Mein was remade with Ranveer Singh rapping Naezy's lyrics as part of the film. Furthermore, Divine provided additional rap lyrics for Ranveer Singh's character and composed some of the songs for the original soundtrack. A promotional single featuring American artist Nas as well as Naezy, Divine and Ranveer Singh was released on JioSaavn shortly prior to the film's release.

'Punya Paap'[edit]

On 20 September 2020 Divine appeared on the international remix of Bando Diaries by UK rapper Dutchavelli alongside OneFour from Australia, Noizy from Albania and Kekra from France. On 23 September 2020 he released his new song and video Punya Paap on Mass Appeal India's YouTube channel. It was announced to be the first single off his second album which is also entitled Punya Paap. On 16 October 2020 he released the Mirchi, the second single from his second album, Punya Paap. The song with its prominent baile funk sound was well received with over 8 million views on YouTube in five days. Another track from the album, Mera Bhai, got its music video launched on 6 November 2020. The animated video portrays a story where one of Divine's childhood friends betrays him out of jealousy, and end with Divine's message to the listeners to trust no one but themselves in today's world.

His second album, 'Punya Paap', was released on 3 December 2020, under the label Mass Appeal India. It consists of 11 tracks, with features from Nas, Cocoa Sarai, Dutchavelli, Stylo G, D' Evil, MC Altaf, Lisa Mishra and Phenom. The album has a blend of old school 808 patterns and new heavy, trap-hop beats with a lot of sampled loops, produced by some of finest producers from the Indian rap scene, like Stunnah Beats, Ill Wayno, Karan Kanchan, and more. The album has an overall ominous theme, and chronicles Divine's struggles and rise to the top in the Indian Hip Hop scnene.

Divine took to Instagram Live to host a listening party of the album's tracks over Spotify, which was attended in large numbers. Divine also released more music videos that dropped in the subsequent days.

Divine: Working on ‘Mera Bhai’ has been a rewarding experience.[14]

Gully Gang Entertainment[edit]

In February 2019 he announced the founding of a new company, Gully Gang Entertainment, a record label to recruit and produce Hip Hop talent in the Mumbai area.[15] The Song Gully Gang Cypher[16] released on 22 May 2019 as the first collaboration of the label's artists such as the emerging rap quartet Aavrutti, solo hip-hop artists D’Evil and Shah RuLe as well as music producer Karan Kanchan[17][18]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Kohinoor (2019)
Song Performed By Written By Produced By
Kohinoor Divine Divine, Benny Solomon iLL Wayno
Wallah Divine, Shah Rule Divine, Phenom, Xplicit Xplicit, Phenom
Gandhi Money Divine Divine, Phenom Phenom
Nas Interlude (Skit) Divine, Nas Divine, Nas, Phenom Phenom
Vibe Hai Divine, Aavrutti, D'Evil, Shah Rule Divine, D'Evil, Frenzzy, NDS, Saifan, Sammohit, Shah Rule, Sledge NDS
Chal Bombay Divine Divine, iLL Wayno, Phenom Phenom, iLL Wayno
Remand Divine, Dave East Divine, Dave East, Phenom Phenom
Too Hype Divine, Sanjoy, Sid Sriram Divine, Julian De Grosso, Russell Ali, Sanjoy, Sid Sriram, Zach Cirino Sanjoy
  • Punya Paap (2020)
Song Performed By Written By Produced By
3:59 AM Divine Divine, Bruno Coulais, Christophe Barratier, Divine, Stunnah Beatz Stunnah Beatz
Mera Bhai Divine Divine, Karan Kanchan Karan Kanchan
Walking Mracle Divine, Nas, Cocao Sarai Divine, Nas, Cocoa Sarai, ill Wayno Ill Wayno
Satya Divine Divine, Gulzar, Karan Kanchan, Vishal Karan Kanchan
Mirchi Divine, MC Altaf, Phenom, Stylo G Divine, MC Altaf, Phenom, Stylo G Phenom
Disco Rap Divine, MC Altaf, D’Evil Divine, MC Altaf, D’Evil, Karan Kanchan, NDS Karan Kanchan, NDS
Shehnai Divine Divine, Stunnah Beatz, Byrd Stunnah Beatz, Byrd
Rider Divine, Lisa Mishra Divine, Lisa Mishra, Shah Rule, Kanch , Stunnah Beatz, Kyle Sremberger Kanch , Stunnah Beatz
Top 5 D.O.A. Divine Divine, Stunnah Beatz Stunnah Beatz
Drill Karte Divine, Dutchavelli Divine, Dutchvelli, Stunnah Beatz Stunnah Beatz
Punya Paap Divine Divine, ill Wayno Ill Wayno

Singles[edit]

Year Track Artist(s) Producer Additional Note(s)
2013 Voice Of The Streets Divine
2013 Yeh Mera Bombay Divine Rjv Ernesto, Sez On The Beat
2014 ABE Divine, Sikandar Kahlon, B Meeks
2015 Mere Gully Mein Divine, Naezy Sez On The Beat
2015 Jungle Raja Divine, Nucleya Nucleya
2015 Ryder Music Divine, Sikandar Kahlon
2016 Jungli Sher Divine Sez On The Beat
2016 Mitra Da Swag Divine, Sikandar Kahlon, Gangis Khan, Deep Jandu Deep Jandu
2016 Farak Divine Brap TV
2016 Scene Kya Hai Divine, Nucleya Nucleya
2017 Daru Daru Divine, Deep Jandu, Gangis Khan Deep Jandu
2017 Farak Divine Phenom
2017 City Slums Raja Kumari, Divine Beat Busta, Jules Wolfson
2018 Gully Gang (Gucci Gang Remix) Divine Cyrill Gabriel (Madbus Audio)
2018 One Side Divine Byg Byrd
2018 Roots Divine, Raja Kumari K-Major
2018 Teesri Manzil Divine Phenom
2018 Junoon (Intro) Divine Phenom
2019 Age 19 Jass Manak, Divine Deep Jandu From the album "Age 19" by Jass Manak
2019 Bombay To Punjab Deep Jandu, Divine Deep Jandu From the album "Bombay To Punjab" by Deep Jandu
2020 Nahi Pata Frenzzy, Sammohit, Shah Rule, Divine Xplicit Gully Gang Feature
2020 Chaabi Wala Bandar (Quality Control) Divine Stunnah Beatz diss track against Emiway Bantai[19]
2020 Sach Bol Patta Divine Stunnah Beatz diss track again Emiway Bantai
2020 Bas Kya Ba 7Bantaiz, D’Evil, Divine DRJ Sohail Gully Gang Feature
2020 Bag Divine, KR$NA NDS, Stunnah Beatz & Progression Music
2020 Bandana Gang[20] Divine, Sikander Kahlon Xplicit. Stunnah Beatz
2020 Mirchi[21] Divine, Stylo G, MC Altaf Phenom

Promotional Tracks[edit]

Year Song Artist(s) Producer(s) For
2017 Shuffle Divine, Siri Narayan Sid Vashi Bacardi Breezer Vivid
2017 Suede Gully Mukti Mohan, Divine, Khasi Bloodz, Prabh Deep, Madurai Souljours Sneha Khanwalkar PUMA
2018 Kaam 25 Divine Adarsh shrivastav Sacred Games (TV series)
2019 NY Se Mumbai Nas, Divine, Naezy, Ranveer Singh XD Pro, iLL Wayno Gully Boy
2019 Be a King Divine, Siri Narayan Budweiser Experiences
2019 Chakravyuh mein #SockThem Divine Karan Kanchan, Divine PUMA
2019 Legends Divine, Aditi Ramesh Karan Kanchan Red Bull BC One
2020 Salaam Divine, D’Evil Karan Kanchan A Gully Gang and Budweiser Oneteam Initiative to support the frontline warriors fighting COVID-19
2020 Jungle Mantra Divine, Vince Staples, Pusha T Karan Kanchan The White Tiger (Netflix film)

Playback Singer[edit]

Year Film Song Singer(s) Producer(s)
2017 Rum Pori Pathi Vizhum Anirudh Ravichander, Diwakar, Divine Vijaya Raghavendra
2018 Mukkabaaz Paintra Divine Nucleya
Blackmail Badla Amit Trivedi, Divine Kiran Das
2019 Gully Boy Apna Time Aayega (as lyricist) Ranveer Singh Dub Sharma, Divine
Azadi Divine Dub Sharma, Divine
Sher Aya Sher Chandrashekar Kunder
Mere Gully Mein Ranveer Singh, Divine, Naezy Sez On The Beat
Doori (as lyricist) Ranveer Singh Rishi Rich

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Song Result Ref
2013 Rolling Stone India 2013 Best Video Award Yeh Mera Bombay Won
2018 Outlook Social Media Award Musician of the Year N/A Won
2015 GIMA Awards Best EDM Track of the Year Jungle Raja (Bass Rani) by Nucleya Won
2020 65th Filmfare Awards Best Lyrics Apna Time Aayega (Gully Boy) with Ankur Tiwari Won [22]

Documentaries[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Divine Becomes the First Indian Rapper to Feature on New York's Times Square Billboard". India West. IANS. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 13 March 2021.
  2. ^ "HT Brunch cover story: What makes 'gully boy' Divine the coolest voice of contemporary Indian hip-hop". Hindustan Times. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  3. ^ Karkare, Aakash. "2017: The year when Indian hip-hop cemented its place on the music charts". Quartz India. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Will Mumbai rapper Divine become JB Nagar's Slumdog Millionaire?". Mid Day. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  5. ^ "This hip-hop artist, who grew up in the slums of Mumbai, is going to London to perform on a BBC Radio show". DNA India. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Mumbai Rapper Divine's Biographical Song Jungli Sher's Video Shot Completely On iPhones Is Taking Over The Internet". IndiaTimes. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  7. ^ City Slums - Raja Kumari ft. Divine | Official Video, retrieved 8 June 2020|date=November 2017}}
  8. ^ Gully Life – The Story of Divine (Full Movie), retrieved 16 November 2019
  9. ^ "Divine is taking Indian Hip-Hop Scene Global with Mass Appeal India". LyricsMINT. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  10. ^ "The Divine & Nas Interview".
  11. ^ "Universal Music India - Nas and Divine's interview".
  12. ^ "Saif Ali Khan to star in Netflix series Sacred Games". Hindustan Times. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Sacred Games First Look: An Intense Edge-Of-The-Seat Drama Awaits Viewers". BookMyShow. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Divine: Working on 'Mera bhai' has been a rewarding experience". The Siasat Daily. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Rapper Divine Announces Gully Gang Entertainment to Record, Recruit and Produce Hip Hop Talent". News18. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Gully Gang Cypher –Aavrutti, D'Evil, Shah Rule, Karan Kanchan". YouTube. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  17. ^ Tagat, Anurag (23 March 2019). "It's a wrap for BUDX". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Divine's Gully Gang Records Kicks Off With 'Gully Gang Cypher'". www.thewildcity.com. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  19. ^ Chandran, Somesh (18 March 2020). "Divine vs. Emiway: It's Hunting Season". Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  20. ^ Bandana Gang, retrieved 22 October 2020
  21. ^ "Mirchi - Divine". music.youtube.com. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  22. ^ "Kesari lyricist Manoj Muntashir vows to boycott award shows as Filmfare Best Lyrics award goes to Gully Boy". PINKVILLA. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Gully Life review: Discovery's documentary takes a shallow dive into Divine's life". Hindustan Times. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.

External links[edit]