It took awhile, but Jason Castro is finally starting his life after “Idol.”
The third runner-up on 2008’s “American Idol,” Castro’s self-titled first release recently debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard 200 and No. 7 on the digital chart, and it’s already moved more than 200,000 copies. “I was ecstatic,” reports the Texas native, who now lives in Los Angeles. “I didn’t really know what to expect ’cause it was such a long process, but to get that great feedback when it came out was excellent.”
Castro says he was disappointed when 19 Entertainment, the home label for “Idol,” opted not to sign him to a contract, but that did allow him to pursue other options which he now says may have worked to his advantage, even if it did lengthen the wait for his eventual album.
“This is actually my dream scenario when I set out for the (‘Idol’) competition,” notes Castro, 23. “The music is really important to me, and I wanted to be involved in every step of the way. I felt that was as important as any commercial success, just being part of the creation of it.
“So when it didn’t work out with 19, I saw it as a blessing and an opportunity to do what I wanted to do in the way I wanted to do it and take my time and write all these new songs.”
Among those is Castro’s popular cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” that he performed during his “Idol” run, as well as the singles “Let’s Just Fall in Love Again” and “That’s What I’m Here For.” Castro plans to spend the bulk of 2010 on the road, and though he’s primarily performed as a solo singer-songwriter or with one accompanist, he says he’s getting acclimated to performing with a full band.
“It’s still so new to me,” Castro says, “but it’s definitely something I like. We’re only a few shows in, but I’m like, ‘Wow, this is cool. I don’t really know what’s going on, but I like it!’ So I think it’ll only get better as we go along.”
Jason Castro, Michael Castro and Camera Can’t Lie perform Friday, April 30, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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