Produced by Red Bull Media House, the film traces the rise of Vivian Fernandes, aka DIVINE, from his humble beginnings in Mumbai to global superstardom. The film will premiere on Discovery network on July 1, followed by a digital release on Red Bull TV on July 15
June 2019: DIVINE’s is a name that is synonymous with rap music in India. Alongside a handful of fellow musicians, he’s also credited as one that’s putting hip-hop from the country on the map. He has toured the world, featured on a BBC Radio show, been the inspiration for a Bollywood feature film, contributed music to a few, and now even runs his own company/record label, Gully Gang Entertainment.
Less than a decade ago, however, things were vastly different. Living with his grandmother in an eastern Mumbai suburb, Vivian Fernandes was a young boy with no knowledge of hip-hop. His familiarity with music extended largely to the various forms of Indian music he had heard growing up, and those that were played at celebrations in his neighbourhood.
The first-ever documentary on his life, Gully Life: The Story of DIVINE takes an in-depth look at how a young rapper from Mumbai became one of the most sought-after musicians in India and a global superstar – in a matter of a few years. Produced by Red Bull Media House in association with Supari Studios, the film chronicles the ups and downs of one of India’s favourite musicians, in a journey that’s as fascinating as it is endearing.
The film will be telecast on July 1 at 9pm on Discovery Channel, Discovery HD World, TLC, TLC HD World, Discovery Science, Discovery Turbo, and Discovery Tamil. This will be followed by a digital release on Red Bull TV on July 15 and DIVINE’s YouTube channel on July 17.
Over the course of the fifty-minute-long film, viewers are introduced to some of the most important people in DIVINE’s life – from his mother, with whom he is especially close, to the friends he grew up with and who remain his closest aides – and taken on his remarkable journey, evolving from a teenager discovering hip-hop to the icon he is today.
Says DIVINE, “I’ve had an incredible and amazing journey so far, it almost feels like a dream. To be able to do what I love and for it to be appreciated by others, I feel blessed! Hip-hop really did save my life. Shooting this documentary was quite a journey – to go back tracing all the steps in my life was definitely a surreal experience. I’m grateful to Red Bull Media House and my team at Gully Gang Entertainment to help this bring to life”.
In production for over a year, while the film follows DIVINE through some of his biggest professional achievements – including the debut edition of his hip-hop festival, Gully Fest, and an international tour in Canada – it also revisits the places and people that he credits for shaping his life. From school teachers to friends like family, his mother to artist managers, the director of the film, Akshat Gupt, interviews the characters most instrumental to the life of DIVINE.
“The approach I took with the film was to capture him in and around his environment in the most natural way possible, which means we shot with phones, smaller cameras, and even left our main cameras on and left him in his environment to be as candid as we could,” says Gupt.“We wanted to be unobtrusive, as that’s the only way to capture the rawness of someone’s story. DIVINE’s story is multifaceted and just never ceases to entertain, and that’s translated through to the film, keeping you glued throughout the 50 minutes.”