Bashy Arrives at Award Nominations Launch, London. 2012
4 February 1985 |
Hammersmith, London, England
|Origin||Kensal Rise, London, England|
|Genres||Hip hop, grime|
|Occupations||Musician, Actor, Songwriter, Music supervisor|
|Labels||Ragz 2 Richez Entertainment|
|Associated acts||Tinie Tempah, Chipmunk, N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32, Gorillaz, Kano, Justice|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Music career
- 3 Acting career
- 4 Discography
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 Filmography
- 7 Television
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Thomas was born in Hammersmith, West London. He attended St Mary’s of the Angels RC Primary School. At age eleven, his family moved to Kensal Rise, northwest London and he attended the Cardinal Hinsley High School. He is of Ghanaian descent.
During the release of the Chupa Chups Mixtape he was still a struggling independent musician, so worked for Royal Mail as a postman. He worked there for a year to save money then left to pursue his music career full-time. The money he saved was soon spent, as his music career did not take off as he envisaged, it was during this period that he decided to become a bus driver. He drove the 114, 183 and 292 buses for 2 years. He has been very open about time as a bus driver, in order to promote the idea that working is better for young people than a life of crime and violence.
In 2007 he released the song "Black Boys". It was this track that propelled Thomas into the nation's consciousness, catching the imagination of a country suffering from many incidents of violence amongst its inner-city youth. With frequent reports of shootings and stabbings on news bulletins, and with the media continually focusing on the lack of role models in certain communities, he felt that the nation’s inner city youth needed a reminder that they had a number of positive role models they could look to for inspiration. His début single provoked controversy, as some people called the track racist. This prompted the governing body Ofcom to investigate. Rumours soon began to circulate that the track had been banned from TV. Certain sections of the black community were outraged; groups were set up on the social networking site Facebook in order to fight the ban. Racist videos were put up as responses to the track on YouTube, in which men dressed as Ku Klux Klan members would hurl abuse at black people, with the track playing in the background. This prompted people of many races to get behind and support Bashy, in a united stand against racism. It was as a result of this publicity and grass roots action that Bashy was invited to perform at the Love Music Hate Racism Rally in 2008 at Victoria Park, to a crowd of 100,000. He was asked to take the main stage alongside Damon Albarn. Bashy persuaded various British artists to share their views on the subject. Skinnyman, Ty, Big Narstie, Tinie Tempah, Wretch 32, Chipmunk, Swiss, Durrty Goodz, J2K, Skepta, Sincere, Akala and Scorcher featured on the track.
Thomas soon found himself at the heart of another successful project – Adulthood. Noel Clarke, director and star of the Adulthood first encountered Bashy when he was passed a copy of his earlier mixtapes which contained samples from his previous Kidulthood film. Clarke was so impressed by what he heard, that his thoughts soon drifted from copyright protection to thinking how to get Thomas involved in the follow-up. He soon asked Thomas to submit a track to be included on the soundtrack, and he delivered "Kidulthood to Adulthood". Bashy’s belief in helping others in order to build a scene was demonstrated by not just submitting his own tracks, but delved into the scene and gathering music from other artists for Clarke to listen to. Clarke asked Thomas to act as assistant music supervisor for the entire project. 
Catch Me If You Can
Thomas released his debut album, Catch Me If You Can, on 1 June 2009. Hiphop.com rated the album 'good' and wrote, "Catch Me If You Can is a debut album that perfectly encapsulates how hip hop has become the world's local music. With vocal accents, lyrical references, swagger and varied production styles that will take a minute for the non-Brit to get their head around, much of this likeable and well-intentioned set still deserves wider attention."
He was named as one of the Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2012. He is represented by Independent Talent Group.
Although starting out as an actor he landed his first role in 2009 as Rager in British flick, Shank, An action film for the youth generation, set in a decaying future London. He then went on to star in Noel Clarke's 220.127.116.11 that same year.
In April 2011 BBC Learning launched Off By Heart Shakespeare, a recital contest for secondary school pupils. For the project he took on the role of Shylock from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and delivered one of the character’s most memorable speeches; “To bait Fish withal”.
Early 2012 he signed on to play the lead role in, The Man Inside, opposite Peter Mullen, David Harewood and Michelle Ryan. TotalFilm wrote "Ashley Thomas – is one to watch...Thomas’ heavy-lidded anguish is striking"
His first television role came in the winter of 2011, in Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker for Channel 4 as Judge Wraith. The Guardian citing "All the performances are good – especially Ashley Thomas as Judge Wraith ...".
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2009||Catch Me If You Can
- 2004: Ur Mum Vol One
- 2006: The Chupa Chups Mixtape
- 2008: Bashy.com
- 2010: The Fantasy Mixtape
- 2011: The Crunchie Mixtape
- 2012: The Great Escape EP
- 2013: Mixtape Legend (Compilation)
|2008||"Black Boys" (featuring Loick Essien (uncredited)||-||Catch Me If You Can|
|"Kidulthood to Adulthood"||86|
|2009||"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (featuring Toddla T)||-|
|"Your Wish Is My Command" (featuring H-Boogie)||-|
|"When the Sky Falls" (featuring Loick Essien)||-|
|2010||"Fantasy" (featuring Preeya Kalidas)||88|
|"Make My Day" (vs. NAPT)||-|
|2013||"These Are The Songs"||87|
- Clones - 2006 (By Akira the Don)
- Time Is Right Remix - 2009 (By Frisco Also Ft. JME & Black the Ripper)
- She Likes To (England Top 10) - 2009 (By Wiley)
- White Flag - Plastic Beach - 2010 (By Gorillaz Also Ft. Kano)
- 4,3,2,1 -18.104.22.168 (Bashy Ft Paloma Faith and Adam Deacon) O.S.T
- Its All Love "Remix" - 2012 (By Scorcher Also Ft. Talay Riley, Kano & Wretch 32)
- Bad Boys Don't Cry - 2013 (By Loick Essien)
Awards and nominations
|2008||MOBO Award for Best Video - Kidulthood to Adulthood ||Nominated|
|Urban Music Award for Best Video - Black Boys ||Nominated|
|Urban Music Award for Most Inspirational Artist ||Won|
|Screen Nation Award for Best Music Performance in Film/TV||Won|
|2009||MOBO Award for Best Album - Catch Me If You Can ||Nominated|
|MOBO Award for Best UK Act - ||Nominated|
|Urban Music Award for Best Hip Hop||Nominated|
|Official Mixtape Awards for Best Hip Hop Mixtape - Bashy.com||Nominated|
|Official Mixtape Awards for Best Mixtape of the Decade - The Chupa Chups Mixtape||Nominated|
|Official Mixtape Awards for Best Mixtape 2009 - Bashy.com||Nominated|
|UK Music Video Awards for Best Budget Video – Pop, Dance, Urban - Ransom||Nominated|
|2012||Screen International UK Stars of Tomorrow 2012||Won|
|Year||Film||Role||Notes and Awards|
|2011||The Veteran||Tyrone Jones|
|Cockneys vs Zombies||Mental Mickey|
|2012||The Man Inside||Clayton||Lead Role|
|2012||My Brother the Devil||Lenny|
|2013||At First Sight||Ezra||Panasonic x Rankin Short Film|
|2011||Black Mirror||Judge Wraith||Channel 4|
|2013||Top Boy||Jermaine Newton||Channel 4|
- "Making music matter". Redpepper.org.uk. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- Box office business for Adulthood
- "Catch Me If You Can: BASHY". Hiphop.com. 2009-06-15. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Schools - Teachers - Off By Heart Shakespeare". BBC. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z and Estelle lead MOBO nominations | News". Nme.Com. 2008-09-11. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Interviews With Bashy, Sway, Tinchy Stryder, Skeelo & Richard Blackwood". Pr-inside.com. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "~* 7th Screen Nation Awards 2010 *~". Screennation.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08.