At only 24 Ashley Walters aka Asher D has done a lot. He’s been acting since he was six and has notched up a number of juicy roles including: Get Rich and Die Trying, Bullet Boy and more recently Storm Breakers and as part of So Solid he had a number one album and single. This time around however, he’s doing it solo. Asher D talks exclusively to British HipHop.co.uk about life, lyrics and the future.
Tell us about your new album ‘In memory of a Street Fighter’.
Well, the album has taken me three years to make and it got its title from my dad really. My dad passed away in the middle of last year, his nickname was street fighter; I dedicated the album to him. It also means a lot about the struggle; there’s a street fighter in a lot of people but sometimes they don’t know it. It’s really just about battles in life, experiences and just life stories. I would near enough say every track on the album is about something that happened to me or something I know about or someone close to me. Its not a ploy or marketing plan, I think people would rather hear real life than fairy tales. On my album I want people to learn something about me.
You have a lot of features on this album; Omar, JD, Swiss etc, how did that all come together?
Yeah I’ve got Swiss, Omar, Nathan, JD loads of names. I know JD and Swiss and I know Nathan as well. Omar just came about really through one of my producers. One of my producers gave me a track and it just sounded right for it, I could hear his (Omar’s) voice for it. It was hard to get him in the studio as he’s a busy guy and he’s trying to get into acting at the moment, so we kind of made an agreement that we could help each other out.
So what’s AD82?
Its my independent record label / production company / management company.
At this stage in your music career is it more important for you to have sales or critical acclaim?
Obviously I wonna sell units but the acclaim is much more important to me. People understanding and respecting your work is important, people can appreciate it like I did when I made it, that’s when my job is done. It’s all about people talking about you and saying that your stuff is quality.
So what are you feelings on the UK music scene at the moment?
It’s good. Yeah its flames, it’s hot, it’s sexy! No, it is really (laughs). I don’t know its something everybody wants to get into, it’s an attractive thing- it has prospects. I think we are doing well now. We’re getting recognised here and around the world. We’re doing us, we’re doing our own thing, do you know what im saying, which is what people wonna hear rather than us imitating someone else. It took time for us to find our own place but now we’ve found it. Right now im feeling Klashnekoff, Swiss obviously and thats not just because he’s a friend of mine! Ghetto, Kano- loads of people.
Do you think you have been misunderstood in the past?
Probably but I’ve had my part to play in it. I haven’t been a saint; I haven’t been an angel so I can understand why people would misunderstand me. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past but ive learnt from them, I’m still making mistakes.
So how do you feel about the female attention you get?
I don’t know man I’ve never considered myself to be that good looking at all, I mean within that range.
Well, everybody’s got their something…
Yeah I suppose so (laughs) but I suppose its been good for me and my confidence.
So where do you hope to be in five years?
To be honest to just keep it going the way it is now I can’t ask for much more, I’m pretty happy. I just wonna get my business off the ground, start supporting some of my other artists on AD82 and get them out there and expose them to the world. I don’t know, sometimes I feel like my times done really even though its just started, if you ask my agent that he’ll say your not gonna get your best roles until like 35! But I feel like I’ve done so much already.
How was Get Rich or Die Trying, what was that experience like?
It was good, it was fun man. 50 is good fun. He’s a very career motivated person, very focused, he don’t drink, don’t smoke do you know what I mean. He don’t rave very much, he’s all about his paper, it’s literally all he thinks about but he was cool with me- we had a good time. We are the same star sign and we have the same kind of personality to a certain extent and he’s just very smart. He knows a lot about marketing, he knows a lot about business- so he’s good to talk to.
So whats next for you?
I’ve just finished a film called Life and Lyrics, its all done. I went to see it about 3 weeks ago. It’s a good movie. It’s a universal story. It’s kinda taking black people out of that stereotype. It’s not about guns, drugs and stuff even though we all know that happens. For example there is a scene in this film where me and the girl who plays my girlfriend Lynette (Louise Rose), where I take her on a tour of London on you know them open top buses, but its about showing black people do a lot of other things, do you know what I mean other than smoking weed and doing this and that, some of us do take their girlfriends out on dates and are romantic.
Memories of a Street Fighter is out in October.
Life and Lyrics is released on 29th September.
By: Michelle Adabra