Astro (rapper)

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Astro
Background information
Birth nameBrian Vaughn Bradley, Jr.[1]
Also known asThe Astronomical Kid, C.K.O, Coolest Kid Out, Astro, Stro, Stro The MC
Born (1996-09-27) September 27, 1996 (age 25)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, Record producer, songwriter, actor
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2006–2021
LabelsGrade A Tribe Records, Mass Appeal Records
Associated actsL.A. Reid, Snoop Dogg, Nas Jay Z, Bishop Nehru, Statik Selektah, CJ Fly
Websitewww.gradeatriberecords.com

Brian Vaughn Bradley, Jr. (born September 27, 1996), better known by his stage names Astro, Stro, and The Astronomical Kid, is an American rapper, producer and actor. He is known for being a contestant on the first season of The X Factor USA in 2011. Astro took the judges with his original song shot at Simon, for looking at his mom. His mentor was Record Company owner and producer L.A. Reid. Astro was seventh place in the competition. After his appearance on The X Factor, he starred in an episode of Person of Interest. In 2014, he co-starred in the major films Earth to Echo and A Walk Among the Tombstones, and the Fox series Red Band Society.

Early life

Astro was born Brian Vaughn Bradley, Jr. on September 27, 1996, in Brooklyn, New York. There, he lived in a single parent household with his Jamaican mother, and younger sister.[2] He began rapping professionally at the age of ten when his mother promised him studio time if he began to do better in school. He soon released his first single, "Stop Looking at My Mom" and created his first mixtape B.O.A. (Birth of Astro). He later started composing instrumentals of his own that pertained to the hip hop music genre.[3]

Some of his musical influences include Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige, Fu-Schnickens, Tupac Shakur, Nas, and other artists from the 80s and 90's time period. His music is also inspired by the notable film director and fellow Brooklynite Spike Lee.[4]

Music career

2011–2012: The X Factor USA and Post-X Factor

At the age of 14, Bradley went to audition for The X Factor. For his audition, he performed "Stop Looking at My Mom" and stole America's attention by becoming one of the few rappers to perform on such a show. He gained four yeses and proceeded on to the live shows. In the fourth week, he faced Stacey Francis in the sing-off but survived as Reid, Abdul and Cowell kept him. However, Francis received more votes than Astro meaning if Cowell sent the result to deadlock, Astro would have been eliminated. He got into the top seven before getting eliminated.

Performances on The X Factor

Astro performed the following songs on The X Factor:

Show Theme Song Original artist Order Result
Audition Free Choice "Stop Looking at My Mom" Self-written N/A Through to bootcamp
Bootcamp 1 Group performance 1 Advanced
Bootcamp 2 Group performance 2 "Wishing On a Star" (with Tinuke Oyefule, Jennifay Nichols, Lauren Ashley and Tatiana "Reina" Williams) Jay-Z Advanced
Bootcamp 3 Solo performance Not aired N/A Through to judges' houses
Judges' houses Free choice "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" Puff Daddy feat. Mase Advanced
Live show 1 Free choice "Jump" Kris Kross 1 Safe
Live show 2 Free choice "Hip Hop Hooray", "Get Ur Freak On" Naughty by Nature/Missy Elliott 8 Safe
Live show 3 Songs from Movies "Lose Yourself" Eminem 6 Safe
Live show 4 Rock "I'll Be Missing You" Puff Daddy feat. Faith Evans and 112 7 Saved by judges' vote
Live show 5 Giving Thanks "Show Me What You Got" Jay-Z 7 Safe
Live show 6 Songs by Michael Jackson "Black or White" Michael Jackson 2 Eliminated

After leaving The X Factor, Astro released his fourth mixtape entitled Loser. It was based around his experiences on the show. He also put out two beat tapes called "Masterminds" and "New World Art" under the alias of Basquiat. The tapes included productions from both him and his friend Laron (a.k.a. ThatLoserLaron) who went under the name of Keith for the tapes.

He was then nominated for a BET Award in the Young Stars category, asked to present an award at the 43rd Annual NAACP Image Award Show with Keke Palmer, and featured in an episode of Person of Interest.

He put out many singles. One of them was "Stop Looking at My Mom", released under the name The Astronomical Kid. The music video was released on YouTube.[5]

2013–present: Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics and Starvin' Like Marvin

For most of 2012, Bradley went on a hiatus. When in an interview with Sway, he mentioned that he used this time to find himself, musically.[6] He returned releasing a song called "Deadbeat" and another called "Methods", then releasing a visual to his song "He Fell Off". Those songs were all included on his mixtape Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics. He made sure to state that the tape would be nothing like what he has done before with a "gritty hip-hop sound that oozed Brooklyn."[7]

Acting career

Bradley made his acting debut with his role as Darren McGrady in Person of Interest. He then played Tucker "Tuck" Simms in the sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo, which was released on July 2, 2014, and TJ in A Walk Among the Tombstones, a film with Liam Neeson, released on September 19, 2014. He was Dash Hosney in the FOX series Red Band Society, which premiered on September 17, 2014.[8] Most recently, he played Calvin Walker in See You Yesterday, an afrofuturist take on ways that time travel can change the effects of police brutality. See You Yesterday was produced by Spike Lee and directed by Stefon Bristol, and debuted on Netflix on May 17. 2019.

In June 2019, The Hollywood Reporter stated that Bradley was originally set to play a principal role in HBO's Euphoria, but left the show during filming due to its explicit content.[9]

Discography

Albums

  • Grade A Frequencies (2017)

EPs

  • The Astronomical Kid - EP (2009)
  • Computer Era (2014)
  • Nice 2 Meet You, Again (2018)

Singles

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
US CAN
2010 "Stop Looking at My Mom" The Astronomical Kid EP
2014 "Champion" Computer Era
2015 "Mighty Healthy '16" Mighty Healthy '16
2017 "Cut That Sh*t Off" Cut That Sh*t Off
2017 "Apollonia" Apollonia
2017 "From Me" Grade A Frequencies
2017 "Aura" Grade A Frequencies

Features

Year Title Artist Peak chart positions
US CAN
2009 "Hang On" Sha Stimuli
2012 "Want U Back (UK Version)" Cher Lloyd 12 11
2012 "Ghostin'" Torion
2013 "Workaholics" Curtiss King
2013 "Who's Next?" Shadow The Great
2014 "Out Here Gettin' Money" Termanology
2014 "Around the World" Ransom
2016 "Every Damn Dolla" Ill Neil
2016 "3 Man Weave" Logan Cage
2016 "New York Nights" Taylor Bennet
2018 "Flights" LNDN DRGS, Jay Worthy

Filmography

Films

Year Name Role Notes
2014 Earth to Echo Tucker "Tuck" Simms
A Walk Among the Tombstones TJ
2016 Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Lodis
2019 Luce DeShaun Meeks
See You Yesterday[10] Calvin Walker

Television

Year Name Role Notes
2011 The X Factor Himself Contestant, seventh place
2012 Person of Interest Darren McGrady Episode, "Wolf and Cub"
2014–2015 Red Band Society Dash Hosney Main role, 13 episodes
2019 Bull Darius Lambert Episode: "Forfeiture" (as Brian Bradley)
2020 FBI: Most Wanted Anttwon Perry Episode: "Caesar" (as Brian Bradley Jr.)

Awards and nominations

Year Result Award Notes
2012 Won BET Award BET Young Stars Award

References

  1. ^ "THE ASTRONOMICAL KID Trademark of Thompson, Cascia, as parent of Brian Vaughn Bradley, Jr., a minor Serial Number: 77281675 :: Trademarkia Trademarks".
  2. ^ Amos, Candace (October 1, 2011). "Mom of Brooklyn 'X Factor' sensation proud of son". New York Post.
  3. ^ Johnson, Alice. "Astro's Biography Information from The X Factor USA". Thexfactorusa.com. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ List of The X Factor finalists (U.S. season 1)
  5. ^ Johnson, Alice. "The Astronomical Kid - Stop Looking at My Moms Music Video". Youtube. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  6. ^ Astro talks about His New Music, Early Influences and Dating on Sway in the Morning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYuHyPO5-04
  7. ^ "Dripped up 5 Mixtape Hosted by DJ Dow Jones".
  8. ^ Red Band Society Website. http://www.fox.com/red-band-society/
  9. ^ Sandberg, Bryn Elise (12 June 2019). "HBO's Explicit 'Euphoria' Courts Controversy: How Much Teen Sex and Drugs Is Too Much?". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  10. ^ Netflix To Distribute Spike Lee-Produced Film 'See You Yesterday'

External links

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