The easiest (and perhaps, most fail-safe) way to be irreplaceable is by being original. And, this quite looks like one mantra that award-winning Mumbai-based rapper DIVINE aka Vivian Fernandes vouches by. A journey spanning seven years, since the year 2011 – comprising mainstream success – Divine’s story syncs a chord with anyone who harbours big dreams and is willing to go the extra mile. In the midst of preparations for the forthcoming edition of the Backdoors festival 2018, he tells us more...
“I haven’t done a gig in Bengaluru for a while and Backdoors will be the first festival that we’ll do here with the band. Looking forward to this one as we’ve worked hard to not let our fans down,” begins Vivian, who rose to stardom with his track Mere Gully Main, which was a collaboration with Naezy, along with his solo single Jungli Sher. Having amassed massive fan following in Bengaluru as well, Vivian believes there’s a great scope for growth and experimentation in namma ooru. “Bengaluru has a very diverse music scene specially when it comes to live music. I’ve only played in the city a couple of time but I love how the fans there are appreciative of music across genres,” he adds. The Backdoors festival’s upcoming edition is a fund-raiser, all profits from ticket sales will go towards the cause – supporting organisations working towards gender based violence.
Tracks going viral, accolades from biggies like Rolling Stone India (2014) for his track Yeh Mera Mumbai; this Mumbai lad with an interesting ‘ rap to riches’ tale has had an interesting journey from the time he made a debut in the year 2011 as an underground rapper. While he started out in English, it didn’t take long for DIVINE to take a desi detour and switch to Hindi. The artist currently raps in Hindi. Speaking of his evolution, Vivian opines, “It has been an interesting journey from the days when Indian hip-hop was underground and not known much to now, where it is starting to become nationally known. However, we still have far to go!”
Quite a hit on social media, Vivian knows how to get it right with the GEN-Y. He clearly loves social media and knows how to gauge its pros intelligently. But, at the end of the day, he is an artiste who believes in working hard and letting the music do the talking. As someone who started from the scratch, Vivian swears by hustling. “For upcoming artists, my message is to keep hustling and putting out new music, the internet is a level playing field so use it well!” His latest claim to fame has been a collaboration with Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter Raja Kumari, who released her first track featuring DIVINE titled City Slums. The album met with widespread acclaim and crossed a whopping two million views on YouTube within 24 hours of its release. Vivian’s track Paintra from Bollywood film Mukkabaaz was released on December 1 2017 – which was quite a hit, too.
Signing off by giving us a peek into what’s next on the cards, Vivian says, “I have a lot of music coming out this year including my first EP. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to share it with my fans and everyone else.”
DIVINE will be performing live on February 17 at the Backdoors festival presented by The Humming Tree at the Indiranagar Club.