The UK music scene has had a lot to say for itself recently with new and established acts bringing out material that allows us to wave the Union Jack proudly at our friends across the pond.
Musically, we are producing some of the best talent from anywhere in the world and out of this musical arena has stepped another medium through which we can shine. Musicians becoming actors and less commonly, actors becoming musicians are stories that we have already been told and now we tell it again with Ashley Thomas or Bashy to you and I. From his modest beginnings in West London through to his elevating success through music, Bashy has also made his mark on the big screen. Working alongside Noel Clarke in 4321 and the futuristic film Shank where he starred along side Adam Deacon. Bashy makes another appearance on the big screen in this year’s must see The Veteran.
A war veteran played by Toby Kebbell returns home from Afghanistan and gets caught up in the violence and corruption of London’s urban streets. He finds work in undercover surveillance and consequently becomes obsessed with taking down a group of gangsters who have ties to a suspected terrorist cell.
Bashy plays Tyrone Jones, the leader of this group of gangsters who is trying to recruit him into it. He tells us straight away that this film and character is a lot different to others that he has tackled before. “There is a darker tone to the film, more somber and serious. The places we were filming in were a lot darker than 4321 or Shank. It was a lot more serious then anything.”
Having worked on a film that had such serious undertones and addressed a variety of sensitive issues, was there any kind of extra pressure on the performance that he gave? “You always feel pressure when you’re on camera, when you’re filming but I just take it like I’m blessed and try to work as hard as possible. For me I just see it as an opportunity to really put across a stronger challenge. So basically, no, I don’t see it like that. I just see it as work, the pressures good.”
As we are all aware, Bashy played a part in developing the soundtrack for Noel Clarke’s hit, Adulthood that added a certain authenticity to the film; an authenticity that perhaps The Veteran did not need to possess. “No, I haven’t played any part in the soundtrack the way I did for Shank and 4321 and obviously Adulthood. Those films at that time required that music so it sort of made sense to be a part of it in that way. The soundtrack had other rappers involved so it made sense to put myself in and do some music as well. I didn’t want to just put my music in films just because. They are two different things and I don’t want to cross pollenate them too much. I wanted the music to remain separate from the movie this time.” While it is clear that Bashy wants to make a clear division between his music and his acting, has there ever been a time when acting would take centre stage over his music? “Acting was my first love, I started out acting so that will always be something that I love and respect but I don’t think I could ever dedicate myself to just one of the two. Its just whatever I do at that time.”
Bashy’s love for both crafts is evident in his desire not to choose between the two and while saying so; he also has an album that is due for release late this year. “Because I’ve been away and because I’ve been busy I haven’t been able to dedicate to the music as much but now we’re back on it.” The album name will be revealed on Twitter and Facebook in the coming weeks. “There are some good features on there, one or two top ten artists on there, real hip hop heroes and some soul legends; that’s just how it is.” Needless to say there is a lot to look forward to from Bashy on the music side of things but also his new movie project, Cockneys vs Zombies. With a title like that, how can you not be excited for all the things to come?
For more information on Bashy visit www.bashy.com. The Veteran On Blu-ray and DVD 29th August
Words by Charlotte Murphy