Vighnesh Shivanand better known by his stage name Brodha V, is an Indian hip-hop artiste, lyricist, rapper and music producer. Born in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, the Bangalore-based artist started rapping at the age of 18 and took part in online rap battles on Orkut. As an independent artist, Brodha V released a mixtape called Deathpunch which had a limited release and which garnered him some attention from the hip hop fraternity and the independent music circuit in South India.
ScoopWhoop, Buzzfeed, Storypick and other pop culture websites have listed him as one of the top Indian rappers in the country, and Rolling Stone India considers him as part of "hip hop's elite". The popularity he garnered led him to be signed by Sony Music India in 2013 and he released his single "Aigiri Nandini" under their banner. He has also collaborated with other artists in the Indian film industry such as Raghu Dixit, Vishal Dadlani, Benny Dayal, Raftaar and Anirudh Ravichander.
Brodha V's initial recognition came from active participation in "text battles" on Orkut, a social media network operated by Google. In 2008 D'Brassic, a Delhi-based rapper, started a forum on Orkut called Insignia Rap Combat which helped found an online space for hip-hop artists to write rap battles. After using "Battle Communities" on Orkut to gain recognition and develop a personal style, Brodha V moved on to composing his own songs.
In 2008 he founded Machas With Attitude (MWA) with Smokey the Ghost and Big Nikk. They collaborated with Raghu Dixit and performed the rap portions in the song "Dheaon Dheaon" from the movie Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge. In 2013 the trio won the Radio City Freedom Award and met Vishal Dadlani, who offered to have them work on the film Chennai Express. This collaboration led them to compose the track "Ready Steady Po" for the film, which brought them further recognition in the music industry. The trio disbanded in 2013 to pursue independent careers.
Brodha V's style is a blend of hip-hop, Hindustani classical, Carnatic classical and Indian folk music. Most of his work is delivered in common language, drawn from his own personal experiences.
Brodha V cites the song "Pettai Rap", composed by A. R. Rahman for the Tamil film Kadhalan, as his introduction to rap music. He also cites early '90s East coast rappers Rakim, Nas, Big Pun, Wu-Tang Clan and Jay-Z as his inspiration.