Jason Castro (singer)
|Birth name||Jason René Castro|
March 25, 1987 |
|Origin||Rockwall, Texas, United States|
|Genres||Acoustic, pop, contemporary Christian|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, drums, ukulele|
|Associated acts||Keeping Lions/Charlemagne
The Heavy Steadies
Jason René Castro (born March 25, 1987) is an American acoustic/folk-pop/contemporary Christian singer-songwriter and was the fourth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol. After Idol, he signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and his self-titled debut album was released on April 13, 2010.
Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rowlett, Texas, he currently resides in Rockwall, Texas. His parents, René and Betsy Castro, are Colombian, and he is the first person in his family to be born in the United States, followed by younger siblings Michael and Jackeline (Jackie), both of whom are singer-songwriters as well. Spanish was his first language as a child. Though he doesn't speak the language very often, he has considered making a Spanish album. Their father, René, is an architectural swimming pool designer and singer-songwriter.
He attended Rowlett High School where he was a left winger on his school's soccer team and an honor student. He received a 1340 out of 1600 on his SAT. Castro was a junior majoring in Construction Science at Texas A&M University in College Station on a full academic scholarship when he auditioned for American Idol.
Castro grew up playing drums. He taught himself to play the guitar in college. He had no formal voice training before auditioning for American Idol and had previously sung only 5 times in public, mostly during church services.
Castro performed as a drummer with the rock band Charlemagne, which later became Keeping Lions. He has stated that his musical influences include Ray LaMontagne, Ben Harper, Bob Marley, Carlos Vives and Kirk Baxley.
On October 31 on Halloween in 2009, Castro proposed to Mandy Mayhall, an alumna of the University of Oklahoma, a Kappa Kappa Gamma member and his girlfriend of a year and a half. Castro proposed to her at a tailgate party before the Oklahoma/Kansas State football game in Norman, Oklahoma. The two were dressed as Disney characters Belle and The Beast from the animated film Beauty and the Beast as their Halloween costumes. He proposed by writing on a pumpkin, "Marry me?" Castro and Mayhall began dating in 2008 when Castro's Idol stint began but first became friends in high school at Rowlett High School. Mayhall made a brief cameo in Castro's music video for "Let's Just Fall In Love Again."
Castro auditioned for American Idol in Dallas, Texas, singing the Ray LaMontagne version of the song "Crazy". He was not shown on the television series until the final 24 due to legal restrictions on the songs he chose to perform. During a March 17, 2008 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, judge Simon Cowell chose Castro early as one of his four favorites in the competition, along with David Cook, David Archuleta, and Brooke White. On April 12, Ryan Seacrest and the three judges appeared in Larry King Live, Larry King revealed the results of his website poll which asked "Whom do you want to win American Idol?" and said that Castro was in the lead.
Castro played the guitar during the Top 24 performance night when he sang "(What A Day For A Daydream)". He was also the first contestant to play the ukulele on the show. He played the instrument while singing Over The Rainbow, after learning to play it in less than a week. Castro also sang in three languages on American Idol, supplementing English songs with Spanish (a combination of Sting's "Fragile" and "Fragilidad" on March 25, 2008) and French (Paul McCartney's "Michelle" on March 12, 2008).
Before he was eliminated, Castro was in the bottom three only once. He was voted off the competition on May 7, 2008.
Castro's rendition of the song "Hallelujah," which he performed on American Idol, led to a surge of popularity for the Jeff Buckley cover of the Leonard Cohen song from the iTunes Store, propelling it to the number-one spot on the iTunes singles chart. Buckley's version of the song sold 178,000 digital downloads in the week following Castro's performance, to debut at number one on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs chart. According to the March 22, 2008, issue of Billboard, this was the highest boost in digital sales a song had ever received after being performed by a contestant on American Idol. It was the first time Buckley's version of the song charted on a Billboard chart, as well as the first U.S. number-one song on any chart for Buckley, who died May 29, 1997, at age 30. Jason Castro’s rendition of the song propelled Jeff Buckley’s version to be certified gold and platinum as a single on April 22, 2008.
Castro's version of the song "Hallelujah" briefly appeared in the number-one spot on the iTunes chart before it was removed due to the producers of American Idol not wanting any contestant to be favored.
A mix-up led to a sudden rise in donations for a West Michigan-based charity. The blog Castrocopia.com suggested that fans donate money to Castro's favorite charity. The former Castro fansite, Daydreamingboy.com, claimed Castro's charity was GLOW Ministries, a Christian group based in Zeeland, Michigan, that helps the poor in Haiti. Their website is usually quiet, but before long they had hits from 15 different countries with many online donations. "Before this we weren't really hearing from people online," said Snyder, "and didn't get a whole lot of contributions online." The problem was, Castro didn't even know about GLOW. Jason was referring to the GLOW 5K run in Texas, a charity from which money goes to various service agencies for children. Snyder said the mistake has brought a lot of money and attention to her cause. Castro stated he was glad the Zeeland nonprofit got some well-deserved donations.
Castro's father had been instrumental in starting a soccer ministry at Lake Pointe Church to reach out to the community. Jason played soccer in high school and has been to Russia three times with Higher Goal Soccer Ministry.
He has also done charity work during his university career. In 2007, he joined Aggie Men's Club, a fraternity organization.
On December 13, Castro performed alongside R&B singer Patti LaBelle for a Christmas concert in Garland, Texas, benefiting the Best Education Foundation, an organization that supports the city's school district. He also auctioned himself off for charity courtesy of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares. The bid ended on the 11th of December, earning $5,689 for the charity. The winner of the auction had a lunch date with Castro. On April 8, 2010, Jason was named the inaugural "Staying Alive" Ambassador for Malaria No More Foundation.
|Week #||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Order #||Result|
|Top 24 (12 Men)||1960s||"Daydream"||The Lovin' Spoonful||11||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Men)||1970s||"I Just Want to Be Your Everything"||Andy Gibb||2||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Men)||1980s||"Hallelujah"||Leonard Cohen||7||Safe|
|Top 12||Lennon–McCartney||"If I Fell"||The Beatles||4||Safe|
|Top 11||The Beatles||"Michelle"||The Beatles||8||Safe|
|Top 10||Year They Were Born||"Fragile"||Sting||2||Bottom 31|
|Top 9||Dolly Parton||"Travelin' Thru"||Dolly Parton||4||Safe|
|Top 8||Inspirational Music||"Over the Rainbow"||Judy Garland||3||Safe|
|Top 7||Mariah Carey||"I Don't Wanna Cry"||Mariah Carey||7||Safe|
|Top 6||Andrew Lloyd Webber||"Memory"||Elaine Paige||2||Safe|
|Top 5||Neil Diamond||"Forever in Blue Jeans"
|Top 4||Rock and Roll Hall of Fame||"I Shot the Sheriff"
"Mr. Tambourine Man"
- ^1 Castro was the first person declared to be safe on this elimination night.
After his elimination Castro made appearances on Live with Regis and Kelly, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Sauce, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Access Hollywood, Today, Best Day Ever, Larry King Live, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet as well as dozens of local FOX television affiliates and numerous radio stations across the country. Castro has been the subject of articles in newspapers and magazines including People, Star Magazine, US, OK!, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Billboard.
Castro returned to the Idol stage for the season finale and was the only top-12 finalist who performed a solo. He sang "Hallelujah".
When he returned to his hometown of Rockwall, TX, Thursday, May 29, 2008, he had the experience of having the day declared "Jason Castro Day." Castro was honored with a parade and a ceremony/concert. He was presented with a key to the city by the mayor of Rockwall and a US flag that flew over the nation's capital by Texas congressman Ralph Hall. Castro also performed four songs for the crowd, including an original song that he had written. The parade and concert were estimated to have attracted close to 15,000 fans; it was the largest event in the city's history.
Castro completed the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008 with his fellow contestants during the summer. The tour ran from July 1, 2008, to September 13, 2008.
He recorded "Hallelujah" in Toronto, Canada, for the Mexican-Colombian indie film, Amar a Morir, which premiered in the spring of 2009. On November 3, Castro shot a homemade video of himself performing the song "Sweet Medicine," an original song of his. He put the video up on his YouTube account. Whether or not this song will be released on his upcoming album is not known. He recently took part in the "I Am Second" campaign and openly discussed his Christian faith.
On November 29, 2008, Castro performed a live concert with his band, The Heavy Steadies, at the Flytrap Music Hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the concert included new songs from his album. On December 15, Castro released the Christmas song, "White Christmas" as a free download through Amazon.com as a gift for his fans. On December 24, 2008, Castro performed "White Christmas" at Lake Pointe Church's Christmas program. Castro performed the full version of "Hallelujah" at the world premiere of Amar a Morir on January 23 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
A download of the song "Love Uncompromised" and an appearance on Idol were both scheduled for March 3. Due to time constraints, both plans were canceled.
Castro helped co-write "Be Yourself Tonight" with Canadian singer Gerald Eaton for his brother Michael's self-titled debut EP.
On April 12, 2010, on Atlantic Records he released his self-titled album Jason Castro. He worked with songwriter, producer, and Idol judge, Kara DioGuardi and producer John Fields On the album he also worked with DioGuardi, Guy Chambers, Martin Terefe, Dave Lichens (a member of The Heavy Steadies), Jason Reeves, Sacha Skarbek and Espionage. Fellow Atlantic Records artist Serena Ryder appears with Castro on a duet titled "You Can Always Come Home," which Castro debuted at the Texas State Fair in a live performance, his sister Jackie in Ryder's place.
Castro sang "Over the Rainbow" and his second single "That's What I'm Here For" at the wedding of The Bachelor stars Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney on February 27, 2010, for ABC's taping of The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding.
The Texas-based singer/songwriter confirms his Christian faith in his new release called "Who I Am." Five of the tracks are favorites from Jason's debut record, while the others are original songs exploring life, love, and God. The first single, “You Are,” is one Jason calls his "first love song to God." Castro also appeared in a testimonial video on I Am Second, in which he shares his story of his faith in Jesus Christ.
Debut album, EP, singles and promotion (2009-2010)
On August 18, 2009, Castro performed his new single "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" on a live video webchat from his website, as well another song titled "It Matters to Me." Castro's label, Atlantic Records, released presales of the album and offered the single as a free download to buyers. Castro's album was to be released in November 2009 but was pushed to an early 2010 release date. "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" entered Billboard's Heatseekers Songs chart at No. 15 and Hot Digital Songs at No. "Let's Just Fall In Love Again" was used by Overstock.com for a television commercial. 57. A music video for the single premiered on October 14, 2009. Castro released a debut EP in January 2010 titled The Love Uncompromised EP. The EP has sold more than 7,000 copies to date. Castro completed a tour with Matt Hires and Caitlin Crosby and traveled to Malaysia, Singapore, and The Philippines to promote his EP and album. He then toured a second time with band Camera Can't Lie and his younger brother Michael as his opening acts to promote his album.
Only a Mountain (2012-present)
A large audition was held during the fall of 2009 in Hollywood, California, for Castro's band. The band played their first live show together on September 25, 2009, when they headlined the opening night of the Texas State Fair. His band members are as follows:
- Stephen Kanicka (Lead guitar, vocals)
- Jordan Critz (Keys, rhythm guitar, vocals)
- Ben Davis (Bass, vocals)
- Jason Dering (Drums)
- Dinges, Gary (2008-02-13). "Five Texans make 'Idol's' top 24". Austin360 (The Austin American-Statesman).
- - Michael Castro Music
- - Jackie Castro Music
- "Q&A: American Idol's Jason Castro". Latina. 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Jason Castro's "Who I Am": An in-depth interview, CBN.com.
- "Jason Castro: Aggies Are We Interview" (video). Aggies Are We (Daily Motion). 2008-02-18.
- MySpace.com - Rene’s Music - ROCKWALL, Texas - Acoustique / Christian - www.myspace.com/renecastromusic
- "'Idol' star Jason Castro is no mental lightweight".
- Soft-spoken 'Idol' contestant Jason Castro comes from a musical family | GuideLive.com|Arts/Entertainment News and Events|Dallas-Fort Worth|The Dallas Morning News|Television
- "Castro draws local Idol following". Kenny Green (The Mesquite News Star). 2008-03-27.
- [dead link]
- Atlas, Darla. "'American Idol' hopeful from Rockwall has more hair-time than airtime".
- Philpot, Robert (2008-02-19). "The Latest 'Idol' Boasts North Texas Ties". Star-Telegram.
- Jason Castro- Top 10 Contestants - American Idol
- "Cheyenne" (2006)
- Herb Longs / (2009-11-01). "It's Official: Jason Castro Is Engaged". Ainow.org. Retrieved 2010-04-18.[dead link]
- "Jason Castro Engaged to Girlfriend Mandy Mayhall". News.rin.ru. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "'American Idol' Alum Jason Castro Gets Married! - Jason Castro". Zimbio. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Simon Cowell with Oprah saying Jason Castro is a front-runner to win American Idol
- "CNN Larry King Live "Idol gives back"".
- American Idol Season 7 Top 8 Results Night
- "Texan hated to leave show".
- Rolling Stone: Rock & Roll Daily
- Jeff Buckley's mother praises Jason Castro
- Billboard Hot Digital Songs
- Billboard RIAA Single Certifications
- "Latina Magazine interviews Jason Castro".
- "Sudden rise in donations thanks to Jason Castro".
- "GLOWing mix-up benefits local ministry".
- "Faith and family produced this American Idol finalist" (PDF).
- Helmick-Richardson, Peggy (December 2008 / Jan 2009). "Jason Castro, Grammy-winner Patti LaBelle, to perform ‘An American Christmas" Concert Dec. 13". LakeView Image (Moonlight Graphics).
- "MusiCares Grammy Auction, Bid on a VIP Lunch with Jason Castro.".
- Collins, Roger. "Jason Castro Concert". Iomusic News. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
- The City of Rockwall welcomes Jason Castro home!
- Rockwall Herald
- The Canadian Press: American Idol also-ran Jason Castro recorded track for upcoming Mexican film[dead link]
- Welcome to AccessAtlanta! | AccessAtlanta
- "American Idol' Daily: What's on Jason Castro's mind". Los Angeles Times. December 4, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "Jason Castro signs management deal".
- Posted January 24, 2009 by Brett Leigh Dicks (2009-01-24). "The Santa Barbara Independent "A Grand Hallelujah for Amar A Morir " by Film Fest 2009". Independent.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- [dead link]
- Jason Castro Signs with Atlantic Records, Writing and Recording with Kara DioGuardi - VIDEO
- Jason Castro talks about his debut album -- and reveals his 'Idol' picks
- Former 'American Idol' finalist Jason Castro signs with Atlantic Records
- "Show Tracker". Los Angeles Times. July 2, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "It’s Official: Bachelor’s Jason And Molly Get Hitched! - PEOPLE TV Watch". Tvwatch.people.com. 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "American Idol's Jason Castro to Perform on The Bold and the Beautiful". TVGuide.com.
- "Jason Castro Pre-Sales Available Now!". Atlantic Records. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "Jason Castro Official Updates". JasonCastroMusic.com. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
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