It all started during the seventh season of American Idol. I was sitting on my couch covered in Tostitos crumbs when a young man by the name of Jason Castro took the stage under the American Idol spotlight and made us swoon with his rendition of Hallelujah. If you don’t remember him, something is wrong with you he’s the one with the luscious dreadlocks, piercing eyes and shy demeanor that knows his way around a microphone and a guitar. It was such an amazing performance that even Simon Cowell was moved (and you know you’ve succeeded when Simon gives you his blessing).
While Jason didn’t make it all the way to the end (and David Cook did? WTF?), Idol wasn’t the end of the road for this songster (I think I just made that word up…). Jason’s spent the last two years working on his own music and is finally releasing his self-titled debut album tomorrow (Tuesday, April 13th)! Lucky for me, I got a little preview.
The album is poppy yet soulful, upbeat yet heartwarming. It’s perfect for background music while you’re studying, or giving you some much needed energy at the gym. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Jason Castro (like that sexy voice) and so much more. And if finally having new music from my favorite Idol wasn’t awesome enough, I also got the chance to have a little chat with the dreamboat behind the music. What’s his secret? Girl’s jeans.
The 5 Questions We Ask Everybody:
1. What’s your favorite college memory/most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
The most trouble I’ve gotten into…wow, I really don’t think I can say that here. Yeah, I’d rather not say the most trouble I’ve gotten into. (Laughs.) In college especially. (Laughs again.)
Yeah, I know how that goes. What about when you were a kid?
I was a pretty good kid; I don’t know. I got in trouble a lot – I was always in the principal’s office. But I was a good kid and the principal loved me. You know, I wasn’t trying to be bad I just had too much energy going on there and that’s still true today at times. Though I’ve mellowed out a little.
2. What are five things you cannot live without?
Well, I think I could just pull it off with one: if I just had a laptop and Internet. That is one thing I couldn’t live without. Probably my Kindle. I really love to read so as long as I can have books I could learn anything I ever needed to know. Let’s see, you know it would be nice to have a bed. And I really couldn’t live without my family, especially with what I do – traveling all the time. If I didn’t have somebody that was stable and solid I think I would be a very lonely person. Hmmmm, what else? Probably these jeans that I’m wearing.
Actually, these are a college memory! I got these jeans at the end of my freshman year in this big room where [everyone was] throwing stuff out that they didn’t want to take home. I went and looked through the junk and there were these jeans. I thought they looked awesome so I tried them on – perfect fit! It was like meant to be. But they were girl jeans – first pair I ever got.
3. What is your motto/advice you live by?
You know it would have to be something that Jesus said. There’s always good ones but something like, “do unto others like you would like done unto you.” Something like that is a good one to live by.
4. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/car/karaoke?
I’m too shy for karaoke (Editor’s Note: WHAT?! How is that possible??) but I will definitely try to sing in the car. Probably something Journey-esque, like ‘Don’t Stop Believin’.’
5. Ten years from now you will be…
I will be most likely be on the road – 85% chance. Hopefully I’ll be in a bus by then (right now we’re in a van). I’ll probably have a kid or two running around.
5 Questions Just for Jason Castro
1. If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted, what would it be?
Oh that’s a good one. I think I’d go camping or something, or ride dirt bikes. Do a bunch of motor vehicle things. That’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but never done.
2. What did you like best/worst about competing on American Idol?
Best? I mean we did unreal things. Flying on private jets, it was all just so unreal. Being on live TV was awesome; that was an experience of its own. The worst thing? There really isn’t a bad thing. Maybe not getting a whole lot of sleep one night. That would be as bad as it got. Otherwise we were fed well… I have no complaints.
3. What did you learn about yourself by going through the American Idol process?
You know I think the biggest thing was I realized I could actually do this. Before then, I had barely been singing about a year -I only sang in public like five times and I tried out really unsure of myself. As each week went by it was more clear: this is what I’m supposed to do. It’s really what I took away from it, the confidence I needed to do this.
4. Who is your favorite American Idol contestant ever?
My favorite idol contestant would have to be me. (Laughs.)
5. What we expect from your new album Let’s Just Fall in Love Again?
This is a continuation of what was started there [on American Idol] and that’s a little bit of what I like to do. And it’s really getting to know me a little better. I have some songs that are a little more personal to me, but you know, translate to everybody. That’s the beautiful thing about music. As far as the sound, it is very much a continuation of what was going on Idol. It’s all led by the acoustic guitar. Some people may be surprised by some of the more upbeat songs, but we have the intimate goodies like Hallelujah, too.
Bonus: How long does it take you to get your locks perfect?
Actually, there’s not too much of a process. You can actually look it up on dreadheadhq.com. It’s kind of like a teasing process – you just back comb it. And then you just kind of leave it, wax it. [During the] first six months you have to take care of it, but after that it is pretty much maintenance free. I haven’t done anything to it in years.