December 02, 2011 5:31pm PT by Jethro Nededog, Shirley Halperin
'X Factor's' Astro: 'I'm Just Ready to Work' (Q&A)
Fifteen-year-old Brian Bradley, now better known as Astro, has had quite the crash course in the ups and downs of show business during his time on Fox’s The X Factor.
There was a lot riding on his young shoulders. He was the only person who solely rapped in a singing competition. The judges heralded his arrival during the auditions when he performed an original song written about his mother.
But singing purists became increasingly irritated as his novelty fell away and it seemed he could possibly win the first season of the singing contest without singing. It didn’t help matters when he found himself in the bottom two a couple weeks back and expressed a reluctance to sing his survival song.
The M.C. showed a lot more restraint on Thursday’s results show when the double elimination began with his ousting as the performer with the least amount of America's votes. It’s clear Astro is walking away having learned some rough lessons.
“I learned that I'm ignorant,” Astro told reporters when asked what he's taking away from the series. “I learned that I gotta basically deal with stuff better. I get angry easily and I definitely learned from last week and I'm learning more now, and I'm just ready to work.”
Fresh from the elimination, Astro reflects on the competition and reveals his plans for the future.
You’ve done more original material than anyone else from these type of competitions. Do you feel that gives you a leg up?
Astro: It definitely does, I'm an M.C. and this is what an M.C. does, we write records ourselves and we remix stuff. Like I said, I'm ready to work. I 'm going to be doing original material every day, release a song every week if I can. I'm ready to work and I'm just going to have fun.
What was the best lesson you've learned being on the show as far as your creative process?
Astro: I learned that I can work really quick, that I work the best under pressure. Like when I wrote “Lose Yourself” – a lot of people don't know that I wasn't going to do that song. I was going to do a completely different song. You know, L.A. heard it and he said it was whack and what else did I have? I only had a few hours to write this song. I wrote this song in two hours and I had to focus on remembering it. But with the other song or songs like the Michael Jackson, I had a day to remember it and it was harder to remember it. But when I had two hours to remember it, I got it out perfectly. I work better under pressure.
Would you jump to other genres?
Astro: Yeah, of course. I'm going to take over every genre that I can. When I say that I'm not dancing, people get it confused like I'm not going to do anything outside of rap. It's not that. When I leave this earth, I want to be remembered as an M.C. But I'm definitely going to touch a lot of other genres, not just rapping. I'm going to be doing all other genres, TV, movies, cartoons, clothing lines. Whatever I can touch, I'm going to do.
Chances are that everyone is going to be part of the finale. If you were to perform with someone, who would that be?
Astro: I'd want to perform with Jay Z or Kanye [West], Pharrell [Williams], or Lupe [Fiasco]... Jay Z and Kanye, people who really respond to me, it would be a pleasure to perform with them.
You've been stamped a star so many times in this competition already. Do you really feel like one now?
Astro: No, I ain't a star, I'm just a kid from Brooklyn, living his dream. I ain’t going to call myself a star, because people are going to call me cocky on the Internet... I'm not a star. I'm just a kid from Brooklyn who's living his dream and doing something that he's wanted to do since he was young.
What is the next step for you?
Astro: I'm going to go home, I'm going to release a lot of music I could tell you that much. A lot of music is going to be released and this is not the last time people will hear from me or see me. You know, I'm going to be on TV a lot, I'm going to be everywhere, you know. Teen Astronauts across the world are holding me down, so I'm going to be around for a long time.