02-19-2017  10:51 am      •     
Brian Astro Bradley

Brian “Astro” Bradley was born on Aug. 26, 1996 in Brownsville, Brooklyn where he started rapping as at an early age. At 14, he successfully auditioned for Season 1 of the reality-TV series “The X-Factor” by performing a song he wrote called, “Stop Looking at My Moms.”

Astro finished 7th overall in the competition whose judges included Simon Cowell and Paul Abdul, and was subsequently signed to a contract by Epic Records. Here, he talks about making his acting debut as the narrator and co-star of Earth to Echo, a sci-fi adventure very similar to E.T.

Kam Williams: Hi Astro, thanks for the interview.
Astro: No, thank you, Kam. How are you?

KW: I’m great, thanks. You know, I’m originally from Brooklyn, too.
A: Yeah? What part?

KW: Bed-Stuy, around Eastern Parkway and Nostrand Avenue.
A: I know where that is. I bike over there every day.

KW: Do you still live in Brownsville?
A: No, I live in Bed-Stuy, near Marcus Garvey [Elementary School].

KW: Cool! What interested you in making the jump from music to movies?
A: I haven’t abandoned music. I’m still doing the music thing. I was 15 when I read the script for Earth to Echo. I thought it was amazing, and I couldn’t think of turning it down. It’s awesome for a kid from Brooklyn to have an opportunity to be on the big screen. And I had a great experience learning what the movie business is like. So, I’m glad I did it.

KW: I loved Earth to Echo. It reminded me a lot of E.T. except with cell phones, texting slang and state-of-the-art gadgets like eyeglasses with video cameras.
A: I think that was producer Andrew Panay‘s mission, to bring that nostalgic film back, but to update it with a 2014 spin.

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Did director Dave Green give you any advice about how to act in front of the green screen opposite special effects that would be added later?
A: He gave all of us advice about ways we could portray our characters better. But as far as the special effects, I got more help from the visual effects team. It was definitely weird to act opposite emptiness, and later see the space filled on the screen by this little alien.

KW: Lisa Loving says: Wow! I just love that music video of “Stop Looking at My Moms.” She asks: How does your mom feel about the song?
A: I don’t want to seem like a jerk, but that song is so old. It’s from over five years ago now.

KW: So, what’s going on with you musically, then? I know you have a new EP called “Computer Era” coming out.
A: Yeah, I’m going to put the EP out soon, though I’m not rushing it. I’m taking my time since I don’t have a due date. I’m going to drop the first video from it really soon, but I’m not going to say when.

KW: At what age did you start rapping?
A: About 9, but I’ve been into music since I was 3.

KW: Who would you say are primary musical influences?
A: The legends: Biggie… Nas… Jay-Z… Tupac… Snoop… Wu-Tang Clan... guys of that caliber.

KW: Children’s book author Irene Smalls asks: Do you enjoy watching sci-fi films?
A: Yeah, but I really prefer comedies. And I recently started watching some kung fu movies like The 36 Chamber of Shaolin which I enjoyed because of the symbolism and what it teaches you. As far as science-fiction goes, I’d watched a few films, but now that we completed Earth to Echo, and I see how amazing it is, I plan to watch a lot more sci-fi.

KW: Have you seen any Bruce Lee karate films?
A: Of course! Everybody watches Bruce Lee. That’s a legend. He’s the man!

KW: What would you says is the main message of Earth to Echo?
A: I think it represents friendship! Echo might be an alien, but it symbolizes something that brings you and your friends together. Echo just happens to be an alien, and it took all of us united to save him. We weren’t the coolest kids in the neighborhood, but when we came together on his behalf, we felt like giants who had conquered the world.

KW: Irene has a follow-up: They didn’t focus on the fact that your character, Tuck, is black in the movie. So race wasn’t an issue. Did you enjoy that?
A: Yeah, I never even thought about that. And I don’t think anybody else on the set ever focused on it either. It’s 2014, man!

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?
A: RZA’s book, the Tao of Wu. That’s a really good one. I’m very into reading lately, especially books that are beneficial, spiritually.

KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to?
A: I don’t want to sound corny, but the last song I listened to really was “88,” one of the songs on my upcoming EP.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?
A: It’s hard to say. I don’t really cook much anymore.

KW: What’s your favorite dish to eat, then?
A: Probably stewed chicken or fried chicken.

KW: Stewed chicken? That’s right your mom’s Jamaican.
A: My whole family’s Jamaican, except for me. I like any type of West Indian food.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
A: A young black male who’s going to take over the world.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?
A: To be happy. I don’t have a desire for material things. As long as I’m happy, I’m good, man.

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?
A: About a half-hour ago, watching this debate about Hip-Hop between Lupe Fiasco and Peter Rosenberg on Hot 97. It was hilarious!

KW: Let's say you’re throwing your dream dinner party—who’s invited?
A: Spike Lee, Jay-Z and Biggie [Smalls], which would be weird, since he’s dead.

KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
A: A chimp or a gorilla. I think a chimp’s the closest thing to a human.

KW: Yes, there’s just one chromosome difference between humans and chimps. The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
A: The ability to read minds.

KW: That’s interesting. Most people say they’d like to be able to fly.
A: With the rate at which that technology’s developing, humans will be able to fly soon, anyway. Give it like 10 years.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?
A: My earliest childhood memory? I remember seeing a demon when I was real young. I forget what age, but I was certainly under 5.

KW: The Viola Davis question: What’s the biggest difference between who you are at home as opposed to the person we see on the red carpet?
A: Not much. I’m pretty much the same person. I’m just quieter at home listening to my music. Red carpets aren’t really my scene, so I try to get off the carpet as soon as possible. It’s cool doing it for Earth to Echo, but it’s weird doing the red carpet for other events when people don’t know me, and I have to stand there while the fans are all screaming for someone behind me.

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
A: Positive energy. When you think positively, you attract positive people. If I’m on a mission to be successful and I’m positive all the time, then more positive people will come around me, and we’ll help each other. If you’re negative, you’ll find yourself surrounded by negative people. That’s why guys like Jay-Z and other successful people strive. They’re positive and they attract other positive people who enable them to go further.

KW: The Harriet Pakula-Teweles question: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
A: No, I think the classics should be left alone. But if I had to remake one, I’d pick Space Jam. I heard they’re trying to remake Juice, but I feel you need to leave certain movies alone. I hope they don’t mess with The Last Dragon, because that’s such a great movie. I don’t mind sequels, but I don’t like seeing a classic remade. It’s really unnecessary.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?
A: Don’t follow in my footsteps. Create your own path. And master your own craft, whatever it is, writer, actor, singer, rapper… Make sure you spend time perfecting being you, and eventually you’ll succeed.

KW: Is there any question I haven’t asked you, that you wish someone would?
A: No, I’m good. Maybe how my day was, but that’s about it.

KW: Well then, how was your day?
A: It was okay. But it’s better now.

KW: Well, I’m glad you’re having a good day and a great career, Astro, and best of luck with Earth to Echo.
A: Thank you very much, Kam. This has been an amazing interview.

To see a trailer for Earth to Echo, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMlcdEtAiBA

To see a video of Astro performing “Stop Looking at My Moms,” visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glTozYOOqX0

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Oregon Lottery
Carpentry Professionals


Reed College Jobs
His Eye is on the Sparrow