Brian “Astro” Bradley: the nimble MC became the first rapper to crack the top 10 of a mainstream music competition, Simon Cowell’s “X Factor.” Powered by his enthusiastic followers, dubbed “The Astronauts,” Astro captivated viewers at home with his mix of bravado, charisma and skill.
The 15-year-old lyricist made his mark on the show when he unleashed his original breakout viral hit, “Stop Looking At My Mom,” (over 500,000 views on YouTube) which, unbeknownst to Cowell, included an introduction that could make Ashton Kutchter proud. Astro, eventually finished seventh and became a fan-favorite for his unconventional approach to the competition
Despite his youth, Astro has notched with a number of accolades already in his career, notably being tapped by The Source as an esteemed “Unsigned Hype” pick in the lauded hip-hop magazine’s December 2010 issue. He’s made television appearances on BET’s “106 & Park,” MTV and the “Wendy Williams Show.” His underground roots include a number of popular mixtapes, including the “Yes, I Write My Own Rhymes” series, which began when he was just 10-years-old. And he’s also earned his first BET Award nomination for the “Young Stars” category in 2012.
Now breaking out into acting, Astro talked to Aries from UrbanBridgez.com about his first movie role in the new film “Earth to Echo,” his upcoming EP, Black Music Month, X-Factor regrets and much more!
UrbanBridgez.com: How did you get involved in this film Earth to Echo?
Astro: My agent sent over the script, I read it and thought it was a cool script. I filmed myself in the living room and we sent it out there. They liked me and flew me out to California for me to audition for the director and producers. So I auditioned for them and was offered the part.
UrbanBridgez.com: What was it about the script that made you want to be apart of the film?
Astro: It just seemed real fun and not too complicated. Not as far as the lines, but as far as the concept. So many movies today that are so smart, they’re stupid you know what I’m saying. It be too much going on, but this movie seemed real fun and different. What’s crazy is I didn’t even read the whole script ever, I just read certain scenes I had to do. It just seemed real relaxed and laid back and playful.
UrbanBridgez.com: I really enjoyed the film. From your point of view tell everybody what it’s about?
Astro: I think it’s about friendship, of course there is Echo the Alien and he’s a big part of the film but he plays a huge part in bringing these group of kids together. It’s about coming together with your best-friends or loved ones and achieving something great! Once you stick together, you can do anything. These kids wasn’t the coolest kids in town, they go out to the desert at night and have their ups and downs but Echo keeps them all together.
UrbanBridgez.com: You come off as a natural in the movie, not knowing it was your first role I would of thought you had did this before. How did you prepare for playing Tuck?
Astro: I didn’t prepare and that’s the problem, but it worked in this film. Like you said with this film when you see me it seems very natural. That’s because it was natural, like there are certain lines in the film that I said, that were not in the script. They just kept recording and kept it in the film. But yeah I didn’t really prepare man, at all. I should of prepared, it may have been better but I think it worked. I just had fun.
UrbanBridgez.com: Tell everybody why they should go out and see the film when it opens?
Astro: Go and see Earth to Echo when it opens because it’s different, there is nothing else like it right now. For that older generation it will bring back that feeling of like E.T. and The Goonies, like the classics! For the younger generation, it’s easier to relate to because of all of the technology. It’s really a dope film, it’s directed by Dave Green. He does an amazing job. It’s produced by Robbie Brenner. I think people should go and support it.
UrbanBridgez.com: We all know you from X-Factor, is there anything about that experience you would change?
Astro: No, it was alright. I probably wouldn’t of done it. But that’s the thing about X-Factor, I wish I didn’t do it, but I’m glad I did it. It brought a lot of different opportunities and I probably wouldn’t be here without it. But I don’t know man, it’s so old and in the past now to me that I don’t even like talking about it.
UrbanBridgez.com: I liked how you would flip songs on X, which makes me look forward to the new music. When can fans expect that?
Astro: I’m doing an EP. Not an album right now, I gotta wait because as long as people still mention X-Factor because that’s where they know me from…I can’t do an album. The music now is totally different and I gotta make sure people are in-tuned to what’s going on right now. But the EP I’m working on right now it called Computer Error, the title might change. That should be coming out real soon.
UrbanBridgez.com: With it being Black Music Month, who are some artists who have inspired you as an artist?
Astro: NAS, B.I.G., Jay-Z, Pac, Wu-Tang, Snoop and myself.
UrbanBridgez.com: What’s next for you, with the movie and EP on the way?
Astro: Yeah the EP should be coming soon. I’ve done a lot of features, I’ve been recording a lot this year. On the acting tip A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson comes out in September. Then Red Band Society is a movie I’m about to start shooting soon.