Divine on Organizing Gully Fest: ‘Isn’t Every Artist a Business Person at Some Level?’
The upcoming hip-hop festival will feature performances by Major C, Dee MC, Dâ€™Evil, Enkore and more
Mumbai rapper Divineâ€™s career trajectory pretty much coincides with the overall growth of desi hip-hop in India: both started out in small street nooks and now attract a burgeoning fan following and the resulting commercial opportunities. Critics even argue that both are in extreme danger of being co-opted by the â€˜mainstream.â€™ But in a step that is probably a big win for the power of hip-hop, Divine is organizing his very own music festival â€“ Gully Fest, to be held on September 22ndÂ at Mumbaiâ€™s Famous Studio, which will feature a host of hip-hop names. The lineup includes DJ Major C (from Bombay Bassment), rappers Dee MC, Dâ€™Evil and Enkore, as well as collectives like Bombay Lokal and 7 BantaiZ. On what led him to curate this event, Divine says, â€œWhat I found lacking was a dedicated community pushing the sound thatâ€™s growing in all corners of India — a community by the artists and for the fans.â€
While media enterprise Only Much Louder is producing the gig, energy drink giants Red Bull have associated with Divine for the event. Having performed at events spearheaded by both brands in the past, be it the Red Bull Tour Bus or Bacardi NH7 Weekender, it was only natural for the rapper to combine forces with them for his own festival. â€œWhen I took the idea for Gully Fest to them, they were very keen,â€ he says. Ask Divine if he is turning business person with this initiative and he says, â€œIsn’t every artist a business person unto themselves at some level?â€
Given that the Gully Fest tickets sold out within minutes of the announcement, the rapperâ€™s business acumen canâ€™t be taken lightly. â€œItâ€™s amazing that it happened so quickly and [it] shows how we need to cater to this new generation that associates with the voices of the street,â€ says Divine, adding, â€œFans can expect the experience to be such where they feel part of the entire movement rather thanÂ being mere spectators.â€ The rapper is already chalking out future editions for Gully Fest. â€œMumbai is only just the start; I want to bring this to every city in the country where there is a brimming hip-hop community.â€
Click here for more details on Gully Fest.