Vivian Fernandes is a rapper from Mumbai, India. He is better known by his stage name Divine. A talented rapper who rhymes smoothly switch between Hindi and English, his point is the streets or being more specific, the gullies where he was raised. He went to St John the Evangelist High School in Marol and RD National College. He began his career as an underground rapper in 2011 and gained popularity after his single ‘Yeh Mera Bombay’, in which he displayed pride for his community while illustrating the increasing wealth gap of its people. He obtained mainstream success following his collaboration with Naezy, another Mumbai-based rapper, on the song ‘Mere Gully Main’, along with his solo single ‘Jungli Sher’.
Fernandes made another success in 2015 with the song “Mere Gully Mein,” in which he feature a boy Naezy from Mumbai. His video was listed in Rolling Stone India as among the ten best videos of 2015, and BBC Asian Network identified the rapper as among the Indian artists to be watching. Another famous track, “Jungli Sher,” was launched in 2016 and become hit.
Later, a lot has been said and written about him, but the young artiste who founded Gully Gang and popular for his phrases like ‘boys from the Naka’, ‘yeh meraBombay’ and ‘scene kya hain’ has just started his journey in this field. Fernandez stepped into a rap scene that includes lyrics about alcohol, drugs, and girls and he also talked about his story in that. This was the point where people noticed and praised him for his work. After this successful achievements, he was signed to Sony Music India, became the first Indian artist to have a single released worldwide by Apple Music.
“I started rapping for fun in school; I was never too serious about doing it for making the career in it. Once, I saw a guy wearing a 50 Cent T-shirt, and I just wanted to know more. My friend told me about him and gave me a CD which consists of his and Eminem’s music on it. For a year long, I constantly listened to it on my grandmother’s CD player and memorizing the words.”
With the skills for writing hit songs, thrill stage presence, authentic lyrics, and a down-to-earth person, approachable attitude, the rapper start to build for stardom. The story behind the name ‘Divine’ is I also used to write a lot of devotional rhymes as well because I was living with my grandmother and she would take me to church every single day and that was something the name Divine comes from. The reason he told behind his success was that he lived alone as his mother and brother both worked abroad since his father left. Every day he devoted minimum 5 hours for writing and he spends days trying to perfect one verse, which he can do in minutes now. As my mother and brother were abroad, they weren’t here and didn’t know what he was doing. They saw hip-hop as drugs and bad company. Now that they’ve seen it through my point of view, they’re happy.
“The people who built me are still with me and I’m so grateful for them. These are the guys from where I lived and still live, who is in my videos and also behind the camera. They were the ones who pushed me because I didn’t have a family to go home to, and they always stood in the background while I was doing my thing.”