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Thomas at the Adulthood premiere in 2008.
Ashley Thomas

(1985-02-04) 4 February 1985 (age 39)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
EducationBRIT School
  • Actor
  • rapper
Years active2002–present
Musical career
Also known asBashy
Years active2002–present

Ashley Thomas (born 4 February 1985), also known by his stage name Bashy,[1] is a British actor and rapper.[2]

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Hammersmith, West London, the first born of his mother of Jamaican heritage,[1] and his father of Dominican heritage.[1] He attended St. Mary's of the Angels RC Primary School. Aged 11, his family moved to Kensal Rise, northwest London, and he attended Cardinal Hinsley High School,[1] where he excelled in drama.[1] Thomas went on to join the BRIT School for Performing Arts as a theatre student.[1]

Before becoming an actor and musician, Thomas worked as a postman for the Royal Mail and later as a London bus driver.[3]


In 2007, Thomas released the song "Black Boys".[3] With frequent reports of shootings and stabbings on news bulletins, and with the media continuously focusing on the lack of role models in black 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, he became a spokesperson opposing knife crime.[3]

In 2008, Thomas started working on Adulthood.[3] Noel Clarke, the writer and director of Adulthood, first encountered Thomas when he was passed a copy of The Chupa Chups Mixtape, which contained samples from Clarke's previous Kidulthood film.[4] Clarke was so impressed with what he heard that his thoughts soon drifted from copyright protection to finding a way to record the Adulthood theme song.[4] He asked Thomas to submit a track to be included on the official soundtrack, and Thomas delivered "Kidulthood to Adulthood".[4]

Thomas released his debut album, Catch Me If You Can in June 2009.[3] "Hiphop.com" rated the album "good" and stated, "Catch Me If You Can is a debut album that perfectly demonstrates how hip hop has become the world's local music".[5] "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 likable and well-intentioned set still deserves wider attention".[5]

In 2010, Bashy featured on the song "White Flag" by Gorillaz from their critically acclaimed album Plastic Beach.[3] The song saw Bashy feature alongside UK rapper Kano and the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music.[3]


Thomas landed his first role in 2010 as Rager in British flick, Shank,[3] an independent action film set in a decaying future London. He then went on to feature as Smoothy in the movie that same year.[3] In April 2010, BBC Learning launched Off By Heart Shakespeare, a recital contest for secondary school pupils,[6] and Thomas was asked to play the role of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice.[6]

In 2011, Thomas played the part of Mental Mickey in Cockneys vs Zombies.[7] Later that year, he played Tyrone Jones in The Veteran.[7] His first television role came in the winter of 2011, in the Emmy award-winning series Black Mirror, by Charlie Brooker for Channel 4 as Judge Wraith in the episode "Fifteen Million Merits".[6]

In 2012, Thomas played the lead role in The Man Inside, opposite Peter Mullan, David Harewood and Michelle Ryan. His next film was My Brother the Devil,[7] which received critical acclaim, winning awards at both the Sundance Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival.

In 2013, he played the recurring character Jermaine Newton in Top Boy , a role he reprised in 2019 after it was announced that Netflix was to revive the British drama series.[6]

Early in 2015, Thomas guest-starred in the BBC series The Interceptor. Thomas' next TV appearance would be as Gil in the short-lived fantasy drama Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands for ITV in January 2016. Thomas signed up to the ensemble cast of A Hundred Streets released the same year.[6]

Early in 2016, it was confirmed Thomas was to appear as Calvin Hart in the HBO limited series The Night Of directed by James Marsh and Steve Zaillian.[8] In March 2016, Thomas was set as a lead role in the 20th Century Fox Television reboot of franchise series 24 as Isaac Carter.[9] In 2018, Thomas played the brother of lead character Luca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) in the legal drama The Good Fight, airing on CBS All Access.[6]

In 2019 it was announced Thomas would co-star in the NYPD Blue reboot.[10] That same year Thomas was set to headline the Amazon Prime series Them;[11] for his performance he received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.[12]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums
Year Album details
Catch Me If You Can
  • Released: 1 June 2009
  • Label: Ragz2Richez


  • Ur Mum Vol One (2005)
  • The Chupa Chups Mixtape (2007)
  • Bashy.com (2008)
  • The Fantasy Mixtape (2010)
  • The Crunchie Mixtape (2011)
  • The Great Escape EP (2012)
  • Mixtape Legend compilation (2013)

Singles and music videos[edit]

List of singles and music videos
Title Year Chart positions Album
"Black Boys" 2008 Catch Me If You Can
"Kidulthood to Adulthood" 86
"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (featuring Toddla T) 2009
"Your Wish Is My Command" (featuring H-Boogie)
"Fantasy" (featuring Preeya Kalidas) 88 Non-album singles
"Make My Day" (vs. NAPT) 2010
"These Are the Songs" 2013 87
"Bring the Lights Down" (featuring Jareth) 2014

Guest appearances[edit]



List of film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Shank Rager
2010 Smooth
2011 The Veteran Tyrone Jones [7]
2011 Cockneys vs Zombies Mental Mickey [7]
2012 The Man Inside Clayton
2012 My Brother the Devil Lenny [7]
2016 100 Streets Jules
2016 Brotherhood Calvin
2018 Skin Jaydee Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film


List of television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2011 Black Mirror Judge Wraith Episode "Fifteen Million Merits"
2015 The Interceptor Dexter Blair Episode 1.3
2016 Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands Gil 4 episodes
2016 The Night Of Calvin Hart Episodes: "The Art of War", "The Season of the Witch"
2017 24: Legacy Isaac Carter Main Role
2018 The Good Fight Dominic Quinn Episode: "Day 429"
2018 Ice Malcolm Rose 5 episodes
2018 Salvation Alonzo Carter Series regular (season 2)[14]
2013–2019 Top Boy Jermaine Newton 7 episodes
2019 NYPD Blue Detective Chris Gamble Main Role; unaired pilot
2021 Them: Covenant Henry Emory Series lead[15]
2022 The Ipcress File Paul Maddox Main Role
2023 Great Expectations Jaggers Main Role
2023 Black Cake Byron Bennett Main Role

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations for Ashley Thomas [Bashy]
Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2008 MOBO Award Best Video Kidulthood to Adulthood Nominated [16]
Urban Music Award Best Video Black Boys Nominated [17]
Urban Music Award Most Inspirational Artist Won [18]
Screen Nation Award Best Music Performance in Film/TV Won [19]
2009 MOBO Award Best Album Catch Me If You Can Nominated [16]
MOBO Award Best UK Act Nominated [17]
Urban Music Award Best Hip Hop Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards Best Hip Hop Mixtape Bashy.com Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards Best Mixtape of the Decade The Chupa Chups Mixtape Nominated
Official Mixtape Awards Best Mixtape Bashy.com Nominated
UK Music Video Awards Best Budget Video – Pop, Dance, Urban Ransom Nominated
2012 Screen International UK Stars of Tomorrow Won
2022 Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Performance in a Scripted Series Them Nominated [20]
2024 Royal Television Society Awards Breakthrough Talent Great Expectations Nominated [21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Fevre, Juliette (21 October 2021). "Top Boy actor Bashy returns to Harlesden school to surprise pupils". -www.kilburntimes.co.uk//.
  2. ^ Barzey, Whelan (18 April 2021). "The rapper who's gone from driving London buses to starring in an Amazon Prime TV show". -www.mylondon.news/.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Bashy - The bus driver who found a ticket to hip-hop fame". The Independent. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "BrOTHERHOOD clip: Noel Clarke nearly SUED Bashy before he signed him up for the soundtrack". uk.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Catch Me If You Can: Bashy". Hiphop.com. 15 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Ashley 'Bashy' Thomas — underrated, legendary and inspiring". medium.com. 24 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Ashley "Bashy" Thomas Credits". tvguide.com. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (11 March 2016). "James Gandolfini's Passion Project 'Criminal Justice' Gets Summer Premiere On HBO As 'The Night Of'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (10 March 2016). "'24: Legacy': Ashley Thomas Set As Lead In Fox Reboot". -Deadline.com.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (18 January 2019). "'NYPD Blue': Ashley Thomas To Co-Star In ABC Sequel Pilot". -Deadline.com.
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (27 July 2019). "'Them': Deborah Ayorinde & Ashley Thomas To Star In Amazon Anthology Series From Lena Waithe". -Deadline.com.
  12. ^ Lang, Brent (14 December 2021). "Indie Spirit Awards 2022: Full List of Nominations". -variety.com/.
  13. ^ "Bashy songs and albums | full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 October 2023.
  14. ^ Petski, Denise (12 February 2018). "'Salvation': Melia Kreiling & Ashley Thomas Cast As Regulars In Season 2". Deadline. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  15. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (27 July 2019). "'Them': Deborah Ayorinde & Ashley Thomas To Star In Amazon Anthology Series From Lena Waithe". Deadline.com.
  16. ^ a b "Dizzee Rascal, Jay-Z and Estelle lead MOBO nominations | News". Nme.com. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  17. ^ a b "Interviews With Bashy, Sway, Tinchy Stryder, Skeelo & Richard Blackwood". Pr-inside.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  18. ^ "Urban Music Awards 08 Nominations". 10 October 2008.
  19. ^ "~* 7th Screen Nation Awards 2010 *~". Screennation.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 July 2010. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  20. ^ "These are the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominees". www.filmindependent.org/. 14 December 2021. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Nominations announced for the RTS Programme Awards 2024". rts.org.uk. 7 March 2024. Retrieved 7 March 2024.

External links[edit]