Before telling you the Top 10 Facts About Divine, let’s learn a little about him. Vivian Fernandes, AKA Divine, AKA Gully Boy, Divine is now a household name when it comes to the hip-hop scene in India. He becomes popular back in 2013 with his song Yeh Mera Bombay. Divine is born and raised in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The early life of Divine can be seen as an unground rapper and now as that hip hop rapper who changed the indie music industry.
Divine started his career in 2011 when one of his friends introduced him to Hip Hop and give him an MP3 CD full of Hip Hop Music and Songs. Later every part of English Hip Hop inspired him so much he starts practicing and writing his own life experiences and start rapping. He admired American rappers — Eminem, 50 Cent, Nas, and More inspired him a lot.
After rapping in English and failing to get recognition, he starts working on writing in Hindi and start rapping in Hindi and produced ‘Yeh Mera Bombay’.
“I recorded ‘Yeh Mera Bombay’ in a recording studio after saving up some money because I wanted it to have better sound quality. We went around Mumbai to create a video for the track. My best friend- JD helped me with the video, and then we uploaded it on YouTube, not knowing what kind of response it would get. So naturally, we were overwhelmed to see one million views in a month,”
-Divine (Vivian Fernandes)
In 2014 when he was performing his song, Meri Gully Mein, at Blue Frog Mumbai. He gained the attention of Sony Music India, and in a fraction of time, Sony Music India offered Divine a music video because, at that time Meri Gully Mein, was not released. Later, Divine signed a contract with Sony Music India. Soon it becomes a breakout for Divine and Nazey and wins The Best Video of the Year Award by Rolling Stone India.
Here are the Top 10 Facts About Divine that you didn’t know:
1. The First Indian Rapper to Feature on New York’s Times Square Billboard
Divine has become the first rapper from India to be featured on a billboard in Times Square. Divine revealed his album, Punya Paap in times square billboard. The 11-track album Punya Paap become an absolute hit in India and overseas Indian audiences. After featuring on billboard Divine said, “This is a sign that the story of hip-hop in India is no longer confined to a nascent perspective, but it is burgeoning, and we are headed for exciting times.”
2. Interesting story behind while shooting for Meri Gully Mein video
While shooting for Meri Gully Mein video, Divine and his crew (basically his friends) didn’t have any permission to shoot in the streets of Andheri and JB Nagar so whenever they set up the camera and start acting for a video, they were caught by Mumbai police.
“We would shoot a scene and run from the place as soon as we saw a cop walking towards us,”
3. Divine don’t use drugs, alcohol, violence in his music videos
Divine is one of few of those rappers who avoid using drugs and violence in his video. For Divine, rap is an expressive form of music and he ought some responsibility toward his audience.
4. When Divine is about to quit rapping as a career
“There was this time when I was going to quit rapping because money had become an issue. My parents had started questioning me, but things are more settled with Sony backing my videos financially and otherwise.”
5. For Divine reunion with his mother is always bigger than any success
While growing up, divine used to live with his grandmother. his mother used to work outside of India, mostly in UAE. So he didn’t spend much time with her mother while growing up. When he becomes a successful rapper and earns a name in the industry, he brings back her mother from abroad and starts living with her.
6. Divine was the first Indian Rapper to get featured on Fire In The Booth
Next after the release of his popular song Mere Gully Mein, BBC Asia Network called divine in their section Fire In The Booth. Divine was the first Indian rapper to get featured there in Fire In The Booth. While being there he even got the chance to do collaborative rap in freestyle with famous DJ Charlie Sloth.
7. Mere Gully Mein was sort of a protest song
Divine lived in slums and while growing up he witnessed many ups and downs in his life, being poor and not able to express his feeling while struggling for basic livelihood help him accomplish his writing style and voice for his music. So after years of frustration, he decides to become a voice of the poor, and later divine writes and composed the song Mere Gully Mein, which eventually bought him all fame and popularity among everyone
8. How Vivian Fernandes becomes Divine?
As you already know Divine’s real name is Vivian Fernandes. while growing up and when he was a teenager he used to visit the church and perform and writes gospel songs. After writing few gospel songs and he find himself more around spirituality. And later change his stage name to Divine.
9. His house in JB Nagar is Gully Gang’s Headquarter
Divine’s house JB Nagar is more than his house, most of his songs are written in his home including Mere Gully Mein and Jungli Sher. Naezy and Divine wrote Mere Gully Mein in the living room of his house. After getting all success and all Divine launched Gully Gang and his house become headquarter of Gully Gang.
10. Divine helped Ranveer Singh to develop his role for Gully Boy
As most of us all know Gully Boy was inspired by Divine and Naezy’s lives. Divine also worked on the story and connected with the movie writing team along with Zoya Akhtar. Divine wrote songs for movies and recorded as well and he helped Ranveer Singh amplify his character and taught him rapping, techniques and etc.