Flavour talks to MOBO nominee Bashy about his new album, driving the bus, meeting the Prime Minister and Skittles.
How long were you driving buses for?
I was driving buses for a year but during the that time was training. Drove the 114, 292, 183. Liked it at first and then started to hate it, long hours, shift work, hard to plan a social life around it. Starting at 3.45am or pm, not always fun. Before that I was a postman delivering in Hampstead, used to deliver Cat Deeley’s post.
How did the hook up with Damon Albarn come about?
Someone in his office was a big supporter of my music and made Damon aware of me. Damon invited me down to Africa Express in Liverpool, it was a time when I was just breaking into the industry and just starting to meet people. He is so into his music and had started researching me before we met. When we met, he had an old piano backstage and straight away he just dropped something, I started to perform out of nowhere and then literally five minutes later we were on stage performing it together.
How was performing at the Electric Proms different to any other shows you’ve done?
The main difference is that it was live which at the time it was the first time I had done anything like that, usually tv is pre-recorded. Definitely made the experience more intense. Met some cool bands including Hard-Fi, Razorlight, Franz. Got to perform with Hard Fi.
What are pros of performing live? What are the pros of being in the studio?
LIVE – definitely that you get to connect with your audience, much more organic. Live with a dj or playing with a live band – I most enjoy live bands because you can improvise and take the songs somewhere different. Get to really showcase and show your audience a live rendition of the song, they might not get what the song is all about until they see you live.
STUDIO – always the chance to do it again, if I don’t like anything I get to do it again. You get to spend more time in your own environment, have your own vibe around you which makes it much better to make music in.
Were you nervous meeting the Prime Minister? What did you talk about? Did he know your music?
I wasn’t nervous meeting him actually, he seemed more nervous than me which was funny. We were talking about a lot of the issues to do with knife crime which is something that is close to my heart when I think about the state that some of the communities are in. Going to 10 Downing Street was really cool, something you only see on tv. The second time I went we got to go further into the building which made me feel really special when I saw all the old carpets, tables and embossed paper. Coming from where I come from it was really great. I suppose it’s the equivalent of Americans going to the White House – that would be cool.
Did you audition for the lead role in ‘Marcus the Sadist’? Had you met Jonzi D before this chance came about? Where is the play touring? Would you like to do more theatre?
Yes I did have to audition; it was quite an intense one that lasted a good few hours. I had never met Jonzi D before, I had heard of him and he is definitely one of the early pioneers for hip hop in this country. His love for the music definitely comes out in the play and is what made it interesting for me. The tour should be hitting most major cities in October. It is a really breathtaking piece that you don’t usually associate with traditional theatre, the story is good and all the actors are really talented. Even though it is a hip hop theatre piece, everyone in it is a real actor. I would definitely love to do more theatre, I love it more than tv and film, its more organic. There is no chance to cut so it is more fluid. Look out for it, definitely come and see it if you are about.
Why did you call your album ‘Catch me if you Can’?
I called it ‘Catch me if you Can’ because the album is about breaking away from the system and breaking away from certain things I didn’t want to do, about running away from everything you don’t want to be. If you can catch me….come with me! And the other reason….im just the best haha!
How did the concept of the video for the single ‘Your Wish You Command’?
It started out with an Arabian nights sort of theme which we thought was a bit much so we decided to go down a different path, we wanted to do something a bit different from everything else is out there right now. With Michael Jackson dying we had been looking at a lot of the old videos from the 70’s which are very performance based and there wasn’t much else like it out there.
If you could be a Skittle, what colour would you be and why?
I would be the brightest skittle that stands out from the packet – so green!!
Why is your Skuffle named ‘Bish Bash Bosh’?
If you look at my character, he’s nuts!! Bish Bash Bosh is the side of me that is a bit nuts.
What are the most important characteristics of your ‘Bish Bash Bosh’ avatar?
Strength is my strongest characteristic along with speed and magic.
How many battles have you won so far?
So far I have won over 50 battles, anyone can go online and challenge me at www.goskittleyourself.com
What would you like to find at the end of the rainbow?
I would like to find an energy that would turn my dreams into reality.
Join Bashy online and challenge him to the Skittle Skuffle. The winner will be decided on 31st August and the ultimate champion wins an all-expenses-paid, VIP weekend in London and a chance to see their moment of glory screened at Piccadilly Circus. Visit www.skittleskuffle.com to see which colour will rule.