Sacred Games: DIVINE talks about the inspiration behind 'Kaam 25', uncovering the dark side of Mumbai

Sidhantha Jain

July 05, 2018 15:06:25 IST

DIVINE's ‘Kaam 25’ — written exclusively for Netflix’s Sacred Games which stars Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui — explores the dark side of Mumbai unlike before. The track is a fitting introduction to the eight-episode thriller series directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. The show is based on the 2006 novel titled Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra.

Radhika Apte, Saif Ali Khan, Nawaazuddin Siddiqui in Sacred Games/Image from Twitter.

Radhika Apte, Saif Ali Khan, Nawaazuddin Siddiqui in Sacred Games/Image from Twitter.

Vivian Fernandes, who is better recognized by his stage name DIVINE, says “Kuch khatam karne ki koshish me lag jao, aur jab kaam khatam ho jata hai woh Kaam 25 hai.

His collaboration for Netflix’s first Indian original series is a hard-hitting, hypnotic Mumbai anthem inspired by the streets. DIVINE received a brief on Sacred Games and learnt the fact that it is based in Mumbai, exploiting its unexplored bits. He wasted no time in penning down lyrics talking about politics, crime and passion met at crossroads. He believes in spitting bars about reality rather than fabricating a story about a life he never experienced. “I cannot ignore what is happening right in front of my eyes,” says the Jungle Raja.

This isn’t the first time DIVINE has encapsulated the vibe of Mumbai in a song. He has previously released tracks like ‘Mere Gali Me’ featuring Naezy, and his Raja Kumari collaboration ‘City Slums' is widely known. However, according to the rapper 'Kaam 25' is more blunt and honest than 'Mere Gali Me’ as the latter was inclined towards the “fun side.”

'Kaam 25' brings forth a smutty image of the metropolis and DIVINE effortlessly expresses his thoughts on police, corruption as well as crime in his city with the following words:

“Rajneeti mein yahan
Sabse zyada paisa kyun hai
Public ko nahi dikhta
Waise wala paisa kyun hai
Public ki seva phir
Paise wala neta kyun hai
Mumbai shehar sabko
Kam zyaada deta kyun hai”

The accompanying video is as dark as you’d expect it to be. In the beginning, Nawazuddin Siddiqui can be heard saying “25 din hain, bachalena apne seher ko (You’ve got 25 days to save your city).” Gully Gang led by DIVINE can be seen walking down the streets interacting with people from all walks of life. The video ends with Siddiqui burning the structure where DIVINE just performed. Viv says, “The ending of the video is a metaphor something larger.”

On working with Netflix, DIVINE recalls, “I was approached for this concept and I said yes because it had Nawaz, Saif and Anurag. I have previously worked with Anurag.” Nucleya and Divine worked on a song titled ‘Paintra’ for the film Mukkabaaz and its video was directed by Anurag Kashyap. “It was the perfect opportunity to team up again,” he adds.

One of his early releases ‘Jungli Sher’ is also a part of the web-series but he didn’t know it was being considered for this project. “I was surprised that Netflix took that song!”

DIVINE who is considered one of the faces of the hip-hop movement in India became the first local artist to feature on the Beats 1 radio show and rap with Charlie Sloth on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Fire. He doesn’t feel under anyone's pressure representing India around the world — “I do it wholeheartedly, that’s it.”

We had to ask him if he has watched the series, and he responded by saying "I have an idea of how things go about but I haven't seen the whole series. I am also waiting for 6 July."

Updated Date: Jul 05, 2018 15:28 PM