Brodha V is an Indian rapper, lyricist, and music producer. Brodha V is popular for making music that is derived from his own personal experiences and is considered one of the fastest rappers in India. He can rap in English, Hindi, and Kannada languages.
Brodha V was born as Vighnesh Shivanand on Tuesday, 27 March 1990 (age 32 years; as of 2022) in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India. His zodiac sign is Aries. He did his schooling at Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bengaluru. He started rapping when he was in 12th standard, but his family did not support him much because of the uncertain future. They wanted him to choose a secure career. They forced him to do engineering, but he quit it, eventually. He has earned a degree in Recording Arts and Digital Film Making from SAE. He is a classically trained singer and sings Hindustani music and devotional songs, which are based on ragas.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 60 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest: 42 inches, Waist: 32 inches, Biceps: 15 inches
Brodha V belongs to a Tamil family.
Parents & Siblings
Brodha V was introduced to rap by the song composed by A. R. Rahman called ‘Pettai Rap’ from the 1994 Tamil film ‘Kadhalan.’ It was the first movie that he saw in a theatre.
In the initial years of his rapping, Vighnesh started participating frequently in ‘text battles’ on Orkut, which was a social networking service at that time. In 2008, he found out about a forum ‘Insignia Rap Combat’ on Orkut, which was started by two rappers from Delhi, Speed Ice and D’Brassic. It helped him in finding a space for writing rap battles. After gaining some popularity from rap battles on Orkut, he started composing his own songs.
Band: Machas With Attitude (MWA)
He founded the hip-hop group ‘Machas With Attitude’ (MWA) in 2008 with two other rappers Smokey the Ghost and Big Nikk. In the song “Dheaon Dheaon” from the 2011 film ‘Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge,’ they worked with Raghu Dixit and delivered the rap verses. The group met Vishal Dadlani after winning the Radio City Freedom Award in 2013, and he offered to have them work on the Bollywood film Chennai Express. They created the song “Ready Steady Po” for the movie as a result of their collaboration, which helped them get more fame in the music business. In 2013, the group disbanded to go ahead with their solo careers.
In 2011, he released his first mixtape titled ‘Death Punch’ as a solo artist. In 2012, he released his single track, ‘On My Own,’ featuring Avinash Bhat. In the same year, he released his second single track ‘Aathma Rama,’ which garnered 12 million views on YouTube. In 2013, he dropped another single, ‘After Party,’ after which, he was signed by Sony Music India and released his single, ‘Aigiri Nandini,’ in 2014 under the music label, but in 2015 he ended the contract due to some differences.
In 2010, featured in the song ‘Vanavillum’ from the Tamil film ‘Nil Gavani Sellathey.’ In 2015, he has worked on the song ‘Shake That’ from the film ‘Kaaki Sattai’ with Anirudh Ravichander. In 2018, he rapped in the song ‘Turn This Party Up’ from the Telugu film ‘Krishnarjuna Yudham.’ He featured in the song ‘Padhe Padhe’ from the 2019 Telugu film ‘Jersey.’ Some of his other famous songs are ‘Let Em Talk,’ ‘Way Too Easy,’ ‘Vaishnava Jana To,’ ‘Flex,’ ‘Aaraam,’ ‘Booyah For Your City,’ and ‘All Divine.’
In 2015, he released a song, ‘Round Round,’ in collaboration with the singer Benny Dayal, and it was listed among the top 10 tracks on Saavn. In 2017, Brodha V and singer Sanjeev T collaborated with each other to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Disease (CHD); they used actual heartbeats donated by the public to create the song. In 2018, he released a song titled ‘Young and Restless’ in collaboration with Spykar Jeans, India. In 2019, Brodha V collaborated with rapper Raftaar and released the song ‘Naachne Ka Shaunq;’ he rapped in both English and Hindi languages in the song. The song gained 47 million views on YouTube, which made this collaboration a success for him. In the same year, he collaborated with clothing brand Puma for encouraging hip-hop in India. In 2019, he released the song ‘Vainko’ featuring a music duo, Jordindian; the song did well and garnered over 20 million views on YouTube.
Together with novelist, filmmaker, and businessman Varun Agarwal, stand-up comedians Sanjay Manaktala and Sumukhi Suresh, and others, Brodha V produced the music for “Anu Aunty – The Engineering Anthem,” a parody of Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” that quickly gained popularity on social media. He has also produced music for anthems and jingles.
Awards and Nominations
- Won Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist for the song ‘Indian Flava’ at Radio City Freedom Awards (2013)
- Nominated for Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist for the song ‘After Party’ at Radio City Freedom Awards (2014)
- Nominated for Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist for the song ‘Aigiri Nandini’ at Radio City Freedom Awards (2015)
- Nominated for Best Music Debut Non-Film for the song ‘Aigiri Nandini’ at Global Indian Music Academy Awards (2015)
- Won Renault Free the Music Award for Contribution to Independent Music (2015)
- Nominated for Best Indie Collaboration of the Year for the song ‘Round Round’ at Radio City Music Awards (2016)
- Won Best Hip Hop Artist of the Year (Jury Award) for the song ‘Let Em Talk’ at Radio City Music Awards (2018)
- Won Best Hip Hop Artist of the Year (Jury Award) for the song ‘Way Too Easy’ at Radio City Music Awards (2018)
- Rappers (s): Eminem, 2Pac, Rakim, Nas, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan
- Music producer: TIMBALAND
- In an interview, he revealed that his stage name, Brodha V, is made up of two elements, the first element Brodha means brotherhood, and the second element V is the initial of his original name, Vighnesh.
- The music in his songs is based on mixing hip hop music with Indian folk, Carnatic and Hindustani elements.
- According to Rolling Stone India, he is a part of “hip-hop’s elite.”
- Storypick, which is social news and media company, called him “one of the best rappers in the country.”
- In 2016, he was listed among the top 10 underappreciated Indian hip-hop musicians by ScoopWhoop.
- The 2019 film ‘Gully Boy’ was based on the life story of two Mumbai-based rappers, Divine and Naezy. Divine says that Brodha V is an inspiration to him, and he is one of the reasons why he came out and became a rapper. Brodha V also appeared in the film as himself.
- In 2014, Brodha V arranged the first Indian rap cypher in Bengaluru to encourage hip-hop in India.
- Brodha V has also performed at the Music Matters Festival in Singapore in 2018.
- He wants to rap in a song from a Rajinikanth movie and also wants Rajinikanth to rap in one of his songs.
- His worst nightmare is to lose his voice or his hearing.
- In 2014, Micromax, which is an Indian consumer electronics company, released a song called ‘Roobaroo – Micromax Unite Anthem’ in which Broda V was featured along with other music artists including Raghu Dixit, Benny Dayal, Neeti Mohan, and more.
- The news headline that he would like to see about himself is, “Brodha V wins the Grammy for Best Rap Album.”
- He has faced lots of criticism because he raps prominently in the English language, and has been trolled many times on social media for not singing in Hindi. He has written some posts on social media to defend himself telling the haters that Hindi is not our national language, and he comes from Bangalore in South India where very few people speak Hindi. He speaks Kannada, Tamil, English and a little bit of Hindi, so his Hindi isn’t great. Music is universal and is one thing that unites people of all classes, races and nationalities.
- On being asked about one thing that can always be found in his bedroom, he replied,
My entire studio set up. I get a lot of my ideas while I’m asleep. So I keep my Mac, my MIDI Keyboard and my microphone in close proximity at all times.
- In an interview, on being asked if he had to choose one social issue to rap about, he said,
Classism, casteism, discrimination. As an indie rapper from South India who doesn’t rap in Hindi, I am subject to a lot of bias when it comes to the media, the press, radio and TV channels on a daily basis. I can only imagine what other people must be going through in this country when they’re denied education, employment, respect and their right to worship and eat what they want. I want everyone to be treated as equals.”
- In an interview, while remembering his struggling days, he shared,
It was very hard for most of my career for me to make money and get shows. We didn’t even have proper contracts earlier for the projects that we did. It was just word of mouth and people would pay us only if they liked us. It was very hard to even go to a college fest and convince the organisers to give us a 15-30 minute slot. Only in the last four or five years have people started accepting rap music. The struggle hasn’t ended, as there are newer struggles now, which are of a higher scale.”
- In 2018, he released a single track titled, ‘Shook Ones- Freestyle,’ in which he mentions the inequality that is faced by North-East and South Indian artists and artists who plagiarize other artists’ work. In an interview, he said,
Most rappers and musicians who are celebrated belong to North India, and are Hindi-speaking artists. We tend to showcase that this is all that India has to offer in terms of its rap culture. But that’s not true. There are artists from the North-East and South India who are better. Their gigs are usually sold-out, even though they perform in other languages. They need to be in the limelight too.”
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