Raghav Mathur: Divine has been at the forefront of pushing India's rap scene - Hindustan Times

Raghav Mathur: Divine has been at the forefront of pushing India's rap scene

BySoumya Vajpayee
Dec 22, 2023 12:09 PM IST

The musician talks about his recent collab with the rapper and how Indian artistes are looked at differently now.

Raghav Mathur is glad that hip-hop is thriving in India. The Indo-Canadian singer, who collaborated with rapper Divine recently for the pop and rap number Chingari last month, says, “Hip-hop is the most influential artform of our lifetime and as a singer-songwriter, it’s been important to me. When my debut album, Storyteller was released 19 years ago, I wished, but never imagined, that hip-hop would take over the hearts and charts in such a big way in the Indian subcontinent. I feel a lion’s share of that credit goes to Divine. He’s authentic and one of a kind. He’s been at the forefront of pushing the rap scene in India.”

Raghav Mathur
Raghav Mathur


Calling his collab with the rapper “pretty special”, as Covid-19 had hampered their earlier association. “We almost collaborated on a song called Mirchi during Covid, but it didn’t work out. So, this was long overdue,” says Mathur.

Ask if the growth of the hip-hop scene in India in the last five years has propelled the collab between Indian talent with international artistes, and the musician agrees: “The world is looking at Indian artistes differently now. Streaming has made art more of a meritocracy and based on the love of art. It’s a new dawn and it’s superb.”

Ask if he plans to revisit any of his old hits and the Angel Eyes hitmaker says, “Yes, there are so many songs that weren’t official releases that I think we could amplify through videos or other ways. I am still thinking about it. Also, it’s the 20th anniversary of Storyteller next year. It changed my life and I hope to celebrate it in some cool way.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the changing times in an earlier interview with us, Mathur said that unlike today, the focus would only be on the craft back in the day. “People crave authenticity, as it’s severely lacking today. The way people reference the 2000s shows a mindset that they crave something that is lacking now. Musicians of that generation were led by heart and not just by numbers,” said the musician, whose 2004 chartbuster Teri Baaton went viral on social media.

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