Divine talks about the Zoya Akhtar movie on his life and the future of Indian hip-hop
In coversation with the Mumbai-based rapper
It’s been more than a year since rapper Vivian Fernandes, better known as Divine, performed in Bengaluru. A lot has happened since. “2018 has been very busy. I released quite a few new tracks this year and played in a lot of new places in and outside India. I’ve been working with Red Bull on a documentary, and worked with Netflix for Kaam 25 (the track for Sacred Games),” he tells us. The Mumbai-based rapper performs with his crew, Gully Gang, in Bengaluru this weekend, and it’s a gig you don’t want to miss.
From the gully
Divine grew up in Mumbai and first came into the limelight with his songs, Yeh Mera Bombay and Mere Gully Mein. He has collaborated with artistes such as Grammy-nominated rapper Raja Kumari, singer Amit Trivedi and producer Nucleya. His songs exemplify the rags-to-riches mantra that the genre is famous for. He raps about his life growing up on the streets and the culture of the city.
When asked about how he basically started an underground hip-hop revolution in India, the rapper is very humble. “I only sparked it, and there’s a long way to go,” he says. According to the 28-year-old the future of hip-hop in India is voices from smaller towns. “Yes, the next step is definitely the smaller cities and towns in this country. And this upcoming film will take it places that don’t know what hip-hop is yet,” he tells us, referring to Gully Boy, a movie directed by Zoya Akhtar.
To the silver screen
Starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, the movie follows the life of Divine and Naved Shaikh aka Naezy (another Mumbai-based rapper). Although Divine cannot reveal much about the movie right now, he does say that both Zoya and Ranveer are great to work with. “They are both the best at what they do,” he says. Ranveer has worked closely with Divine for the film, and the two are frequently spotted together on Instagram.
Up next, the musician is releasing his first full-length album early next year and he confides that there will be a few surprise collaborations on it as well. Apart from that,touring is always on the cards. “This Bengaluru gig will be a little different as I’m bringing my entire live setup. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Fandom so I’m really looking forward to it,” he concludes.
Rs. 500 upwards.
December 29, 9 pm. At Fandom, Koramangala