Jonzi D Productions return with another hip hop theatre production that preaches
the all-important message of not selling out in hip hop.
Markus Wright is a talented 19 year old emcee with ambition and character who gets
signed to a record label. He's promised wealth and fame... provided he accepts the
conditions on his contract and complies to a generic stereotype: to shout out his
sponsors, have a gang affiliation, and sound American.
Directed by Jonzi D, the leading figure in British hip hop theatre, it's sure to
provoke a reaction considering the perceived glamour of the music industry. Musical
direction is courtesy of MOBO Award winner Soweto Kinch, who will debut brand new
music for the production. The role of Markus is played by Most Inspiring Act at the
2008 Urban Music Awards, Bashy.
Markus the Sadist is a play about realness, the watering down of rappers going mainstream,
and a sideways look the the music industry in general. From attending other Jonzi
D produced shows (Jonzi D’s Hip Hop Surgery) we can assume it will be humorous and
intelligent - and something fans of hip hop theatre won’t want to miss.
To find out more about the play and his role as Markus, we interviewed Bashy - asked
him about his career in comparison to his character, then grilled him on how he went
from a Brit Performing Arts graduate to a bus driver...
Flave: Tell us a little bit about the play
Bashy: Markus the Sadist the play, it's a breathtaking piece. My character is a 19
year old rapper who's going through what any 19 year old goes through with trying
to make that transition from a teenager to an adult, and the sort of decisions that
you have to make. It's sort of like having a devil and an angel on your shoulder
and it's what he decides to do really starts to shape of his future, and then it's
how he deals with those decisions afterwards. It's an amazing piece... It actually
applies to what I suppose has happened to hip hop music, and what tends to happen
with when big corporate companies get interested in something and kind of exploit
Markus’ choice: Angel on one shoulder, devil on the other?
Flave: What about the character? Who is Markus, what have you brought to him, who
is he if he were in the room right now?
Bashy: Markus is, you know, I think he's more like your average 19 year old, very
high up on his technology, knows about his emails, comes from a Christian background,
his mum's a heavy churchgoer and he loves music, and he actually just wants to do
him, be himself, and I think any 19 year old wants that growing up. The reason why
I enjoy playing the role so much is that it's like there's bits of the elements of
his career that are similar to mine, so that's what I find interesting.
Flave: Comparing your career to what Markus has to do in the play, what would you
do if you had to make those sacrifices?
Bashy: I think that I've got a better understanding of the world and business, so
certain decisions that he made I wouldn't actually be doing. So, you have to see
the play because I don't want to let off too many secrets about it. You need to see
the transition, you have to see Markus in his transformation and how he changes from
a normal emcee to something really different.
Flave: Who wrote the script?
Bashy: Jonzi came up with the concept. We, the cast helped develop it with him. And
it was developed by Delroy Limbo as well.
Flave: How did you get approached for the role? Did Jonzi come to you?
Bashy: The producer that I work with said this role was up for grabs and he told
Jonzi about me. I came down and auditioned along with loads of other rappers and
and from there is how I got the role, I went to
the audition it was just nuts.
Flave: You went to Brit Performing Arts. How did you end up as a bus driver?
Bashy: Ah man I got asked earlier today! I dunno, I think I was disillusioned really
and I thought that I went to this school and I'm super talented and I could just
come out and... get me? And something's gonna work for me, but I'm just tired. But
obviously sometimes you need more things than just the talent, ya get me?
Flave: What about like when you left Brit, if you could do it again what advice would
you give to yourself if you could go back?
Bashy: I would have just been more on it, you know, just like running around, when
you're young doing as much as you can possibly do, you know what I'm saying? I think
that alot. I think that certain people realised I was talented but I was just trying
to rely on that like someone was gonna discover me, but not really putting myself
out there and making myself fully accessible and making people fully aware of me.
Flave: After Markus, what do you reckon's next?
Bashy: Well I got a main role in a film called "Shank," that comes out in May, then
I got another album to come.
Flave: Can you spill anything on "Shank" yet?
Bashy: It comes out on Revolver Entertainment, that's all I can say.
Flave: That's all you can say? We'll be following that up, you know.