Divine (rapper)

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DIVINE
Birth nameVivian Fernandes
Born4 October 1990
Goa, India
OriginGoa, India
GenresHip Hop, Rap
Occupation(s)Rapper, Lyricist
Years active2010-present
LabelsUniversal Music India, Mass Appeal Records India, Gully Gang Entertainment, Sony Music India (formerly)
Associated actsNaezy, Nucleya, Sikander Kahlon, Gangis Khan, Deep Jandu, Phenom, Sez, Karan Kanchan

Vivian Fernandes, better known by his stage name DIVINE, is an Indian rapper from Goa, India. He went to St. John the Evangelist High School Marol. He started to gain popularity after the release of his single Yeh Mera Bombay. He broke through with the release of his song Mere Gully Mein featuring fellow Mumbai rapper Naezy.

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.[1] 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, Gangis Khan and Rakim as his main inspirations.

Rise to success[edit]

Following the release of his song Yeh Mera Bombay, Divine obtained the attention of Sony Music India [2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[citation needed]

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 as of 15 April 2019 there weren't any news on the album's release.

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.[6]

On 20 August 2019, Nas' Mass Appeal Records and Universal Music India launched Mass Appeal India and signed Divine. In an interview with Nas published on Mass Appeal India's YouTube Channel [7] and Universal Music India's Facebook Page[8] on 20 August 2019, 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,[9][10] 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(Listen to Jungli Sherand Kaam 25 on YouTube).

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.

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.[11] 'Gully Gang Cypher' released on 22 May 2019, is the first song under the label and it features the emerging rap quartet Aavrutti, hip-hop artists D’Evil, Shah RuLe and music producer Karan Kanchan for the project[12][13]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Kohinoor LP (2019)
Song Performed By Written By Produced By
Kohinoor DIVINE DIVINE, iLL Wayno 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

Singles[edit]

Year Track Artist(s) Producer
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 Hai Divine Brapp 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

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

Playback Singer[edit]

Year Film Song Singer(s) Producer(s)
2017 Rum Pori Pathi Vizhum 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]

  • Rolling Stone India 2013: Best Video Award - ("Yeh Mera Bombay")
  • Outlook Social Media Award 2018: Musician of the Year
  • GIMA Awards 2015: Best EDM Track of the Year - ("Jungle Raja" from the album "Bass Rani " by Nucleya)

Documentaries[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ Karkare, Aakash. "2017: The year when Indian hip-hop cemented its place on the music charts". Quartz India. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Will Mumbai rapper Divine become JB Nagar's Slumdog Millionaire?". Mid Day. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Mumbai Rapper Divine's Biographical Song Jungli Sher's Video Shot Completely On iPhones Is Taking Over The Internet". IndiaTimes. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ GULLY LIFE - The Story of DIVINE (Full Movie), retrieved 16 November 2019
  7. ^ "The DIVINE & Nas Interview".
  8. ^ "Universal Music India - Nas and Divine's interview".
  9. ^ "Saif Ali Khan to star in Netflix series Sacred Games". Hindustan Times. 14 July 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Sacred Games First Look: An Intense Edge-Of-The-Seat Drama Awaits Viewers". BookMyShow. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Rapper Divine Announces Gully Gang Entertainment to Record, Recruit and Produce Hip Hop Talent". News18. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
  12. ^ Tagat, Anurag (23 March 2019). "It's a wrap for BUDX". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  13. ^ "DIVINE's Gully Gang Records Kicks Off With 'Gully Gang Cypher'". www.thewildcity.com. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  14. ^ "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]