Ashley Chin

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Ashley Chin
Born Ashley Anthony Chin
(1982-08-21) 21 August 1982 (age 34)
Gipsy Hill, Lambeth, London, England
Residence Thornton Heath, Croydon, Surrey, England
Nationality British
Other names Muslim Belal
Occupation
Years active 1999–present
Height 5 ft 9.5 in (1.77 m)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb; 12.0 st)
Children Sumaya (daughter)
Parent(s) Andrea Ellis (mother)
Relatives Kareena Chin (sister)
Richard Chin (brother)
Brandon Chin (brother)
Musical career
Also known as Musim Belal
Origin London, England
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2009–present
Labels Halal Dawa Records
Website www.muslimbelal.co.uk

Ashley Anthony Chin (born 21 August 1982), also known as Muslim Belal, is an English actor, screenwriter, spoken word performance poet and former rapper of Jamaican descent.

Early life[edit]

Chin was born in Gypsy Hill, London, England.[1][2] His parents are from Jamaica, he was named after his paternal grandfather who was Chinese.[3] He grew up with his mother, Andrea Ellis, and elder sister, Kareena Chin, in a South London council estate.[4] He was brought up as a Christian,[3] however spent his youth being involved in gang culture.[5]

Chin achieved an A grade in GCSE drama and left school at the age of 15.[4][6] In 1999, Chin and his family moved to Thornton Heath, Surrey.

Chin had a talent for poetry, which he started developing from the age of 12.[7] In 2001, he and a friend set up a music studio,[8] for a band, where Chin used to play keyboards and different sound boards.[9] The former street gang[10] and musical collective was called SMS 'South Man Syndicate' (later known as South Muslim Soldiers),[11] and he was known at the time as Smalls.

Acting career[edit]

In 1999, Chin began his acting career in the BBC film Storm Damage directed by Lennie James.[12] He then made his theatre debut as the role of Young Mal in Roy Williams' Lift Off at the Royal Court Theatre.[13] In 2007, he played Razer in Bola Agbaje's Laurence Olivier award-winning play Gone Too Far![14][15] – a role which he subsequently reprised in 2008.[16][17][18] He also played the role of Carl Wilkins in Roy Williams' There's Only One Wayne Matthews at the Polka Theatre.[19][20] In August 2007, he played the role of Seales in BBC Radio 4's radio adaptation of E. R. Braithwaite's novel To Sir, With Love.[21][22]

Chin's television credits include The Bill,[23][24] HolbyBlue,[20] The Fixer,[25] Law & Order: UK[26] and Waking the Dead, Silent Witness[27][28][29][30] and Casualty.[31][32][33] On film he has played supporting roles in Cherry Tree Lane[34][35] and Anuvahood,[36] and also a cameo in Sket.[37] He was also selected as the 2010 Trailblazer at the Edinburgh International Film Festival for the role of Asad in Cherry Tree Lane.[20][38]

In 2011, Chin co-wrote[39][40] and starred in Victim with Michael Maris.[41][42] On 22 June 2012, the film was released in UK cinemas.[4][43] In April 2012, Chin co-starred in The Boxer, a seven-minute short film, alongside Paul Barber.[44]

From October to December 2012,[45] he played the role of Escalante in Frank McGuinness's Damned By Despair (English translated version of Tirso de Molina's 1625 play El Condenado por Desconfiado) at the Royal National Theatre.[46][47][48] In October and November 2012, he was involved in filming of Destiny Ekaragha's adaptation of Bola Agbaje's play Gone Too Far.[49][50]

In 2013, Chin he played a supporting roles in Fedz[51][52] and Starred Up.[53]

From May to August 2013, he played the role of Mercutio in a National Theatre production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in Ben Power's version for young audiences.[54][55][56]

Poetry and music career[edit]

Since his conversion to Islam, Chin has adopted the name Muslim Belal. In December 2005, under this stage name, he performed at the inaugural Global Peace and Unity Event in the ExCeL Exhibition Centre organised by Islam Channel.[57] In July 2008, he performed at the Islam Expo in Olympia, London.[58] In February and March 2009, he toured with other Nasheed artists, including Mecca2Medina and Poetic Pilgrimage on the "I am Malcolm X Tour".[59][60]

In 2009, he released From the Streets to Islam, a CD in which he is being interviewed and responds to the questions by rapping. This was a preview to launching his first album Pray Hard, released in August 2009 by Halal Dawa Records.[8][61] In the same month, a collaborative charity single "Feed the World, Feed the Fasting" was released by Muslim Aid. The song featured Chin along with artists Rizwan Hussain, Abdullah Rolle, Khaleel Muhammad, Labbayk and Mecca2Medina.[62] In October and November 2009, he supported Shaam on their UK tour.[63]

In October 2010, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event,[64] where he also launched his second album The Transition.[65]

In November 2013, he performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event, where he launched his very best of compilation album Black Slave.[11][66]

In May 2015, his third album My Sumaya was released. It is a charity album with all the proceeds going towards feeding the most vulnerable children in Eastern Sudan.[67]

Chin's poetry combines spiritualism with social issues and his own personal history.[68]

Chin also works as a life coach and delivers workshops and talks at youth clubs, universities and events.[5]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, at the age of 19, Chin converted to Islam.[9] In 2004,[69] he travelled to Egypt and lived there for a year to study Islam.[8]

His mother and elder sister have also converted to Islam.[70] He is a Manchester United Football Club fan.

In June 2010, Chin performed Umrah (the second largest Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia).[71] Between July 2011 to May 2012, Chin resided in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

In July 2013, he appeared on Channel 4's Ramadan Reflections.[72] In February 2014, Chin set up a charity ABC Life.[73] In June 2014, he visited Pakistan to deliver a lecture and record television interviews at Dreamworld Family Resort in Karachi.[74]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Cherry Tree Lane Asad Supporting role
2011 Sket Titch
Anuvahood Mo
Victim Tyson Lead role, writer and associate producer
2012 The Boxer Michael Lead role
2013 Fedz Tyson Supporting role
Starred Up Ryan
Gone Too Far Mark
Plastic Dion
Snow in Paradise Amjad
2014 Money and Grime Valentine
The Intent G Money

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Storm Damage Leon TV film
2007 The Bill Theo Sankara 1 episode: "#23.42: Code of Silence"
2008 HolbyBlue Kwame Kwelo 1 episode: "#2.9"
2009 Law & Order: UK Theo Carson 1 episode: "#2.1: Samaritan"
The Fixer B 2 episodes: "#2.1", "#2.2"
2010 The Bill Jamal Carr 1 episode: "#26.29: Tombstone"
2011 Waking the Dead Jakob Barclay 2 episodes: "#9:7: Conviction: Part 1", "#9:8: Conviction: Part 2"
2013 Silent Witness Mark Benson 2 episodes: "#16:5: Trust: Part 1", "#16:6: Trust: Part 2"
The Youth Show Himself 2 episodes
Ramadan Reflections
2014 Casualty Jason Lister 2 episodes: "#28:34: Games for Boys", "#28:37: When Nothing Else Matters"
2015 Venus vs. Mars Sean 3 episodes: "The Break-Up", "The Set Up", "Social Network"

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Venue
1999 Lift Off Young Mal Royal Court Theatre
2007 Gone Too Far! Razer
There's Only One Wayne Matthews Carl Wilkins Polka Theatre
2008 Gone Too Far! Razer Royal Court Theatre / Hackney Empire Theatre
2009 Playsize[75] Various Young Vic Theatre
2012 Damned By Despair Escalante Royal National Theatre
2013 Romeo and Juliet Mercutio

Radio[edit]

Year Title Role Station
2007 To Sir, With Love Seales BBC Radio 4

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Album Title Album details Chart positions Certifications
From the Streets to Islam
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Halal Dawa Records
  • Formats: CD
Pray Hard
The Transition
  • Released: 23 October 2010
  • Label: Halal Dawa Records
  • Formats: CD, Digital Download
My Sumaya
  • Released: 19 May 2015
  • Label: Halal Dawa Records
  • Formats: Digital Download
The Best of the Muslim Poets
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: Roadside2Islam Media
  • Formats: Digital Download

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Casting for film The chrysalis directed by Award Winning Sheila Nortley-LDN". Star Now. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Jamaican Musician accepts Islam". The Deen Show. Islam Channel. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Lais, Hasnet (22 June 2012). "Interview: Ashley Chin a.k.a. Muslim Bilal. "Victim movie is released in cinemas nationwide today 22nd June"". The Muslim Post. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Louise, Maria (2009). "Ashley Chin – Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Pharoah, Samson (22 June 2012). "INTERVIEW: Ashley Chin Talks Working On New Movie 'Victim'". TaleTela. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
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  8. ^ a b c Tahir, Nadim (5 July 2009). "Exclusive interview with 'Muslim Belal'. A Multi-Skilled entertainer and Islamic Rap Artist and former member of the notorious South London Group known as 'SMS'". London: Tawheed Is Unity TV. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
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  51. ^ Allen, Annika (24 March 2011). "Q the man behind Deadmeat: "There are many causalities of war in filmmaking, it is a fierce battle"". Flavour Magazine. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  52. ^ Obenson, Tambay A. (20 June 2012). "Poster/Promo Trailer For Brit Crime Thriller 'FEDZ' (Ashley Walters, Joseph Marcell Co-Star)". IndieWire. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
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  56. ^ "Romeo and Juliet". The Stage. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
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  59. ^ (reporter), Nino (18 February 2009). "I Am Malcolm X Tour". British Hip Hop. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  60. ^ "Radical Middle Way". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  I AM Malcolm X
  61. ^ "Muslim Belal- Be careful and fearful (Pray Hard album)". NME. August 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  62. ^ "Muslim Aid’s Exclusive Charity Nasheed Single". Muslim Aid. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  63. ^ "Artists". An Audience with SHAAM. 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  Muslim Belal
  64. ^ "Artists & Performers". Global Peace and Unity Event 2010. 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  65. ^ "Muslim Belal – The Transition". Islamic Impressions. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  66. ^ "Muslim Belal". Global Peace and Unity. November 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  67. ^ "My Sumaya". CD Baby. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  68. ^ "Human Writes – Events". Restless Beings. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  Muslim Belal
  69. ^ "Speaker Biographies". Muslim Students' Association of Saint Louis University. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012.  Brother Belal Ashley
  70. ^ "Muslim Belal talks Islam and family". Tawheed Is Unity TV. 18 October 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  71. ^ "Muslim Belal & Abubakr Islam – Live in the Holy City of Mecca – R2I Monthly Reminders". RoadSide2Islam. 28 June 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  72. ^ "Day 18: Ashley Chin". Ramadan Reflections. Channel 4. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  73. ^ "ABC Life – Ashley Belal Chin". ABC Life. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  74. ^ "Muslim Belal Comes to Pakistan". Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  75. ^ "Play Size". Actors Touring Company Theatre. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 

External links[edit]