Fans of American Idol can no doubt attest to the unique charm of Season 7 finalist Jason Castro. In an Idol year jam-packed with formidable talent, Castro initially stood out for his distinctive look (dreadlocked hair and an easy smile) and the affable nature he displayed in on-air interviews. However, it was his impressive ability to convey the emotions behind his chosen songs that ultimately won over a legion of dedicated fans. In standout performances on songs like “Hallelujah” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Castro displayed an interpretative gift rarely matched on the show.
After finishing fourth in the competition, the Texas native participated in the Idol tour and then moved to L.A. to begin writing. Ultimately, he signed with Atlantic Records — who helped hook the 22-year-old Castro up with some name-brand songwriting partners — and began work on his debut album. While the self-titled record is slated for a spring release, Castro provided a preview of the album’s tracks with “The Love Uncompromised EP,” a five-song collection released at the beginning of this year. It was enthusiastically received by The New York Times, who likened Castro and his brand of buoyant pop to Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, and described the disc as “among the most sure-footed records, debut or otherwise, by an Idol contestant from any season.”
Currently, Castro is on the road, enjoying getting back to his pre-Idol roots by playing a string of intimate venues with label mate Matt Hires and Caitlin Crosby. He recently took some time out to give TWRY the scoop on his new album, share his feelings about the writing process, and explain why fans won’t see him singing behind the drums anytime soon.
Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin | February 2010