We had words with Bashy ahead of his long awaited mix CD 'Chupa Chups; Assorted Flavours'. Read his thoughts on labels, the UK scene, his influences, Akira The Don's hair and alot more!
First up, tell those that don't know, who you are and where you're from?
Yeah, I'm Bashy from North West London in England!
How long have you been making music and what were some of the first artists and records that got you hooked on rapping?
Erm… Like since 13/14 so a little while now boy. I used to batter Michael Jackson but then I kind of grew out of that! (Laughs). Tracks Like 'Stressed Out' From A Tribe Called Quest & Baby Phat by De la Soul. I also listened to Jay Z & Nas when I was growing up!
What releases have you put out so far and what gives the best impression of you as an artist?
I'm the truth fam! Like, I rep my zones to the fullest as well! I'm a street commentator! People everywhere, especially NW London can relate to me 'cause I'm going through the same thing they are. It's just I just put it down over music!
Why's there been such a long wait since your last release and does this mean the new material's so much better?
Yeah Kind of! Like, I've had a full year break from music and two years since I've released anything so like, I've done a lot of growing up in that time! I've seen and experienced a lot more things from family problems to wifey dramas. Just shit you're faced with when turning into an adult! My music has grown with me!
Tell us about the new project and when it will truly be released!
The next project is the 'Chupa Chups' mixtape, 'Assorted Flavours!' It's a banger! It's hosted by Masterstepz. It features Tempo Specialists, Wretch 32 & Scorcher and Grime MC Narstie! It will be out March 1st nationwide!
So are you getting sponsored by the Chupa Chups brand or are you just a big fan?
Both actually! Sponsorship is in the pipeline so I'm just working on that as we speak! I love lollypops so I thought fuck it, lets get something done! I'm waiting for Chupa Chups to get on board fully!
What producers and guest features have you got on there and who else would you like to collaborate with?
On the mixtape producer wise, I've got the talented DaVinche! Also, some bangers from Naughty Boy, Self Taught, Low Deep, Virgo and J Flowz. On the features I've got Scorcher, Wretch 32 and Big Narstie! And singers, I've got Loick, who is a 16 year old wonder kid! I'd like to work with Basement Jaxx, The Gorillaz, Shy FX, The Artful Dodger and Jamelia!
How's it being released and have you considered trying to get a major label deal at all?
Yeah I've had label interest but nothing that interested me! Right now I'm just going at the street hard and I'm looking to abuse the mixtape scene to get my music out. I'm talking to a few independent labels at present. I think that's the best option right now. But majors holla at me! You know where I be!
How did you link up with Akira The Don? Did his weird hair scare you at all?
Erm… via an engineer we both know, then we got introduced & just went from there really! Yeah Akira's hair is nuts still! He flew me out to New York twice to record as well. He does things properly!
What rhymers and beat makers are impressing you the most at the minute and what was your favourite 2006 release?
Lyrically, I feel Swiss & Wretch 32! Sway is also doing it right now! I respect man like Skinnyman and Klashenkoff. 2006 was a shit year I think. 'Little Derek' was the best song I reckon!
What do you make of the quality in Grime music right now and how do you think the scene will move in 2007?
Personally I think a lot of the production in Grime is weak right now! If it's not a bait girl song or a rave banger it can't really express what the artists are feeling. That's why you find Grime artists touching hiphop so much! But there is a lot of shit in the Grime scene. Once the dead artists get ignored, the ones with real talent will get to the top and showcase the scene as it should be.
A lot of people are hating on Lady Sovereign but she's doing fucking well in the US. What you feel about her?
I'm like whatever! I just let her do her ting! Good luck to her really. If she sells, she sells. If she don't, she don't.
Does it piss you off that people like her or Plan B get picked up for being easy to market and package whilst others dont?
Obviously I feel that the industry is slightly racist toward Black artists but fuck it. The same thing happened in America & look where hiphop is now! You can't deny the struggle or the talent. Time will tell. Britain is a predominantly Caucasian place so obviously from a business point of view it makes sense in some weird way to record companies, to sign a white artist. I just get on with it and work hard. I know what I must do to get to the top!
Outside of grime and rap music, what bands and artists or even films and books do you take inspiration from?
I love Oasis and Jamiroquai. Films, erm… I always watch 'Braveheart' when it's on. I get down with HBO's 'The Wire' & books like 'Rich Dad Poor Dad'!
How often are you getting out there to perform live and what goes down at a Bashy performance?
Everything goes down blood! I'm a performer, not a studio artist! Put any artist along side me & I will up stage them! I interact with the crowd, give my all and come off the stage sweating & hoarse. I love performing 'cause that's when you can really vibe with your supporters!
Where can people keep in tune with the records your dropping?
Erm, check Out Myspace.com/bashystar Lock in to all the stations, pirate and commercial. Look out for 'The Chupa Chups' mixtape. £2 launch Party @ Neighbourhood, 12 Acklam, Ladbroke Grove, London. W10 5QZ
Have you got any shout out's or messages to the public?
Big Up Ragz2Richez, Scaredem, Dash and Diamond. Out to 2NV Records! Big Up Stepz! Hang tight everyone supporting me. Thank you. Trust me, it's appreciated! It's rags to riches bitch! Shullup! 'The Chupa Chups' mixtape 'Assorted Flavours' is out now on RagzRichez/2NV.