*Whether you thought he was too cocky for his own good or refreshingly confident beyond his years, Brian Bradley made a definite impression on viewers while representing BK to the fullest on the first season of “The X Factor.”
He was 14 and known as Astro (a.k.a. The Astronomical Kid) when he was first introduced on the Fox talent series in 2011.
Despite having L.A. Reid as his mentor and enough lyrical talent to earn the respect of established rappers like 50 Cent, the Brooklyn teen placed seventh in the competition, perhaps putting off voters with his bad attitude. (Remember this moment?)
But his skills made enough of an impression for Fox to tap him three years later for its Octavia Spencer drama, “Red Band Society”…a move he says was influenced by both his “X Factor” performances and his own hustle.
“The thing with those shows is a lot of people leave those shows, and then you never hear from them again. I knew that wouldn’t happen to me, because, I mean, I was grinding,” Astro told us. “I was putting in work before ‘X Factor.’ That was just the biggest platform, but I was performing, putting out music way before then. So I had an idea of what it’s like to grind on your own.”
On “Red Band Society,” Astro plays rebellious teen Dash Hosney, a cystic fibrosis patient in the children’s ward of Ocean Park Hospital. Rebellious, meaning, the disease affecting his lungs hasn’t stopped him from smoking cigarettes and marijuana.
Dash’s outright defiance, Astro admits, is not a stretch to play.
“I definitely think me and Dash are similar in a lot of different ways. I’m one of those kids where I do what I want to do when I want to do it,” he says. “I don’t like answering to higher authorities and stuff like that. And I don’t like taking everything so serious, because life is short. I think Dash understands that. He has cystic fibrosis. Tomorrow’s not promised. So he enjoys every moment of his life.”
In addition to his day job at “Red Band Society,” Astro has also put in solid work on the big screen, co-starring in the films “Earth to Echo” and “A Walk Among the Tombstones.” But the acting gigs haven’t stopped him from carving out time to pursue his first love.
Below, he talks about his upcoming album “Computer Era” and how he defines himself as a rapper:
“Red Band Society” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Fox.
Watch Astro in a clip from the show below, followed by clips from his run on “The X Factor”: