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Bashy Arrives at Award Nominations Launch, London. 2012
Background information
Born (1985-02-04) 4 February 1985 (age 31)
Hammersmith, London, England
Origin Kensal Rise, London, England
Genres Hip hop, grime
Occupation(s) Musician, actor, songwriter, music supervisor
Years active 2004–present
Labels Ragz 2 Richez Entertainment
Associated acts Tinie Tempah, Chip, N-Dubz, Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32, Gorillaz, Kano, Justice

Ashley Thomas (born 4 February 1985), also known by his stage name Bashy, is an English musician and actor, from Kensal Green, London, England.


Early life[edit]

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 Jamaican and Dominican descent.

He also attended the BRIT School for performing Arts where he was a theatre student. The school boasts former students such as Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Adele & Jessie J.

Working life[edit]

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.

Music career[edit]

Black Boys[edit]

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.[1] 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. [2]

Catch Me If You Can[edit]

Thomas released his debut album, Catch Me If You Can, on 1 June 2009. 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."[3]

Acting career[edit]

He was named as one of the Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2012.[4] He is represented by Independent Talent Group.

Film work[edit]

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 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".[5]

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"[6]

Later that year he was part of an ensemble cast in Cockneys vs Zombies taking up the role of Mental Mickey. Metro described his wild card performance as "Brilliant".[7]

Television work[edit]

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 ...".[8]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
2009 Catch Me If You Can
  • Independent studio album
  • Released: 1 June 2009
  • Label: Ragz2Richez (independent label)


  • 2004: Ur Mum Vol One
  • 2006: The Chupa Chups Mixtape
  • 2008:
  • 2010: The Fantasy Mixtape
  • 2011: The Crunchie Mixtape
  • 2012: The Great Escape EP
  • 2013: Mixtape Legend (compilation)

Singles and music videos[edit]

Year Title Chart Positions Album
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)
2010 "Fantasy" (featuring Preeya Kalidas) 88
"Make My Day" (vs. NAPT)
2013 "These Are the Songs" 87
2014 "Bring the Lights Down" (featuring Jareth)

Guest appearances[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result
2008 MOBO Award for Best VideoKidulthood to Adulthood[9] Nominated
Urban Music Award for Best VideoBlack Boys[10] Nominated
Urban Music Award for Most Inspirational Artist [1] Won
Screen Nation Award for Best Music Performance in Film/TV[11] Won
2009 MOBO Award for Best AlbumCatch Me If You Can[9] Nominated
MOBO Award for Best UK Act[10] Nominated
Urban Music Award for Best Hip Hop Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards for Best Hip Hop Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards for Best Mixtape of the DecadeThe Chupa Chups Mixtape Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards for Best Mixtape Nominated
UK Music Video Awards for Best Budget Video – Pop, Dance, UrbanRansom Nominated
2012 Screen International UK Stars of Tomorrow 2012 Won


Year Film Role Notes and Awards
2010 Shank Rager Smooth
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


Year Programme Role Notes
2011 Black Mirror Judge Wraith Episode "Fifteen Million Merits"
2013 Top Boy Jermaine Newton


External links[edit]