VIBE caught up with X-Factor’s Astro to chat about his new record deal, his debut album and his first acting gig on Person of Interest.
You’ve been grinding for a while and now things are finally starting to look up, describe the feeling.
I’m very excited, I’m ecstatic, it’s beyond exclamation. I can’t really explain how it feels. I’m young, I’m 15 and for five years I’ve been working to get a record deal, and now I know what it feels like to have one. It feels like a job and it feels fun. It’s just pretty dope.
Now that you’re employed, I’m sure there’s a lot going on?
I just filmed Person of Interest not too long ago. It should be airing soon. And the album, were working on it right now. We’re actually in Toronto working on it and it’s a lot of things that I plan to do this year. There’s no limit. Being with Epic is great, they are allowing me to make the music that I like and we’re just vibing, so i’m sure I’ll be doing movies, music, cartoons etc.
Person of Interest is a big deal, talk about your character.
I play a kid name Darren on there, and it’s really exciting because there’s a lot of action going on. I’m the person of interest on the episode, so I’m just a guest but I was able to act alongside Taraji P. Henson. I like throwing the name in there it makes it sound real official Hollywood [laughs].
And what are you doing with your album?
I’m working with a lot people on the first album, I don't want to give no names away at all. I’m gonna let it be a surprise, but I think it’s gonna bring back that hip-hop feel. The songs I made so far are pretty dope, I think people are definitely gonna enjoy it. It’s going to be a classic.
So, basically, you got some big names lined up but you're playing coy, huh?
I don’t know [laughs], you’ll have to wait and see.
You had already built up a huge following online, but when you got on X Factor it tipped you more into the mainstream so what did you take away from the X Factor experience?
I got a new fan base because of that. I got a little more of what people would call the celebrity life and I learned how to handle different things better, like criticism. I learned what it’s like behind the scenes of these television shows and now I’m more used to being around, because we had a lot of special guests in the audience at the X Factor. We had Tisha Campbell come through, Sean Garrett, The Dream−a lot of people would come there, so now I know how it feels to perform in front of a larger audience for the first time, to perform for millions of people and like I said, deal with criticism. Everyday I’m being judged, not only by Simon, Paula, Nicole and LA but on the internet, YouTube and now the criticism is coming in the hundreds and thousands instead of just one or two, so I learned how to deal with that and just got a taste of the celebrity life.
Do you feel like you may lose credibility as an MC because you were developed on national television.
No. I wasn't developed on national television. I’ve been grinding years before that, X Factor is just something I decided to do because of my mom but I been working before that, like five years before X Factor, so people know that I’ve been grinding. I have five mixtapes out, so the X Factor is not my career at all, it was just a launch pad. It got me a little further, but X Factor didn’t develop me. I went on there myself and left myself. Some people are going to think that that’s were I first started and that’s how I got famous, and it kind of is, but that’s not my career, that’s not how I grinded. I was in the streets giving out my mixtape and giving out my mixtape in school. So, Brooklyn knows and the true Astronauts know and that’s all that really matters to me.
Person of Interest airs tonight at 9/8c on CBS.