It’s fairly plain to see why Ashley Walters is one of the busiest men in the industry: he has likable characteristics both on screen and in conversation and more importantly, his acting abilities are rather impressive – it’s also not to his disadvantage that he’s easy on the eyes.
Achieving early success with So Solid Crew with the infectious noughties anthem, ‘21 Seconds’, things were on the up for the ‘Grange Hill’, ‘London’s Burning’ and now music star. But as well as success, notoriety was to meet the East London star, after he was convicted of carrying a loaded weapon in 2002.
Ashley (once known by the alias Asher D) spent eighteen elongated months behind bars, through events that he is first to admit were his own wrong doings. Ashley decided to immerse all of his talent and motivation into acting, overcoming post-prison depression and staying relentlessly motivated. His tenacity was rewarded with critical acclaim meeting him in the National Theatres 2004 production ‘Sing Yer Heart Out’.
He also went onto star in the hip hop blockbuster ‘Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ and ‘Bullet Boy’, for which he received the Best Newcomer award at the British Independent Film Awards, after his poignant portrayal of Ricky, an ex-criminal trying his utmost to not stray from the straight and narrow.
With all this on an exceptionally impressive CV for a man of his age, one can fall victim to being forgetful of Walter’s musical past. So despite acting now being Ashley’s key forte, he’s decided its time to take the exciting route back to music production, signing this year with the label SK Records (co-owned by Simon Webbe of Blue).
It’s glamorous to be a cop in America…
A move judged by some as a rather perplexing one; “I imagine to numerous people this move might strike them as a weird choice for me to make, but Simon (Blue), just generally understands where I want to take the music. I’m not getting any younger, we’ve got a plan, we’re trying to chart with the solo campaign.”
So with his musical agenda in full force, what can we expect on the acting front? Along with ‘Top Boy’, an area that has sent forums into overdrive is the talk of the new action packed, buddy-cop thriller, which is currently in the pipeline.
On their upcoming release Full Clip, self-confessed Will Smith and Bad Boys fans; Ashley and Noel Clarke, are trying to encapsulate a “buddy action film” with a British twinge. “I think the relationship that the UK’s black community has with the police is very different to what they have in the states; it’s glamorous to be a cop in America, they envy them – but it’s hardly looked at as a career path for kids in the UK – which is a shame. We just had the idea of glamourizing the idea of being a police officer and giving people the chance to suspend their beliefs, and we’re just going to do our thing.”
With a musical path reignited, a new season of Top Boy commissioned and a motion picture due for release in the future; Ashley Walters’ popularity is certainly on the ascendance.
Watch this space.
‘Your Love’ by Ashley Walters is released on November 11th on SK Records.