Bashy had a phenomenal 2008 which saw his anthem Black Boys become an overnight classic. With various remixes and several high profile performances under his belt – Bashy's star has been propelled into the mainstream.
His theme song to the box office smash Adulthood entered the national singles chart – a great achievement for any Grime artist.
However it has not always been clear sailing for the North-West Londoner. It was rumoured that Ofcom tried to ban Black Boys after complaints of racism, while last year he missed out on a nomination for the BET Best UK Hip Hop award.
With the video for his latest banger I See People tearing up the internet – I caught up with the talented MOBO nominated rapper to talk nominations, Ofcom and his plans for 2009.
How did you feel about your MOBO nomination for best video?
Bashy: I feel good about it but it's a little bitter sweet for me to tell the truth. I think Black Boys has been over looked but you just have to roll with it sometimes. I'm still happy to have a nomination.
So how did you feel about the BET Best UK Hip Hop nominations?
Bashy: Again, I think Black Boys was over looked but I think maybe that's because I'm coming so different. I can't think of why it's being overlooked, I've just got to work even harder next year I guess. I just have to concentrate on what I'm doing.
What can we expect from your new material?
Bashy: My new material is just me, it's all an extension of me. It's the world through my eyes. It's real music. I haven't changed, I haven't tried the stereotypical route or tried to make tracks for the radio.
Is there anything similar to Black Boys on the forthcoming LP?
Bashy: It's difficult to say because Black Boys was it's own entity, it was just one of my thoughts. There will be other tracks that have a similar energy.
Are you a socially aware person – do you watch the news?
Bashy: Yeah, I always watch the news, that's my thing more than TV. I watch the news, documentaries and YouTube. YouTube is my television.
Black Boys has become anthem – were you surprised at the reaction to the song?
Bashy: Yes and no. I intended to put it out to shake up everything a bit. I just wanted to raise awareness of what is going all out here but I didn't think it would get this much exposure and then there was the rumours of banning. There were other great songs like mine out at the time but the industry is like that, only one in at a time.
How did the song come about?
Bashy: I was watching the news one day and a bulletin came on about someone getting murdered in South London and that's when the song came to me. It was like every other day on the news a black boy was getting murdered. So I just put this down on paper.
Did Ofcom ban Black Boys?
Bashy: I'm going to clear this up once and for all because I think a few people have set out to say that I set it up as a promotional stunt or something. So let me just clear this up now. Someone complained to Ofcom and said that the song is racist, I would never do that. So someone wrote a letter and they had to investigate it but they actually said it was positive and that there is no problem. Obviously the rumours benefited me in the end because it got everyone talking but it's not something we made up or put out there on purpose.
Do you think white people really understood the point of the song?
Bashy: I still don't think people get the message. It's still over looked in certain areas of the industry yet it's such a powerful song. I personally think people don't want to attach themselves to something so controversial, so against the grain. My last two releases have been so different to what everyone else has put out in the year, so I think it takes getting used to.
What did you think of Sway's 'Black Stars' remix?
Bashy: Yeah Sway makes me laugh. He's a funny guy, I swear he could be a comedian, the stuff he says on that song had me in stitches. It was good, I think everyone who came on the remix was good.
How are you dealing with being in the spotlight?
Bashy: Ok I think. I still save my money! I still go to the same places I did before, I still check my family and that. It's all about the music for me really, I don't mind taking pictures and signing autographs but I stay as grounded as I can. I don't think walking around with a big head is gonna help.
Finally, fact or fiction: did you used to be a bus driver?
Bashy: I did, I used to drive the114 and the 292 and I was a postman for a year. I always knew music was where my head was but I didn't want to get into trouble so I became a bus driver. That way I could earn my money, keep my head down and keep out of trouble.
* Bashy's highly anticipated album Catch Me If You Can is due for release early 2009.
* Bashy.com mixtape is out now.
By: Michelle Adabra