Jason Castro:Even Better in Person

Katerina Sperl

Jason Castro
Photo Provided by AP

I have never been nervous about conducting an interview before, but as the cliché goes: there is a first time for everything. Jason Castro’s greatest influences are some great musicians: Coldplay, Switchfoot, and Tom Petty. Even with some big shoes to fill, he definitely wasn’t panicking as the crowd cheered for him to come out. He ran through forty minutes of warm-ups, which gave him time to settle down and clear his mind. Everything is very mellow about his persona, which made even his longest-running fans feel instantly at home in his presence.

 

 

Jason Castro started his show off strong with some hits off of his new album, Only a Mountain. I have to say that his live performance was even better than the soundtrack recordings. He opened with “Good Love,” “Only a Mountain,” and “If It’s Love.” When I asked the inspiration for the latter, one of my favorites, Castro explained, “Being a musician, there are late nights and early drives. I had only been home for a few days and had to leave again. My wife and I were fighting about nothing. You’re fighting because you want to be together. Why waste time fighting? Love is really worth the fight.”

The next segment of the concert included hits off of Castro’s 2010 self-titled album. The most famous, “Let’s Just Fall in Love Again,” was a number one hit in the Philippines, Singapore, and Norway. He joked that unfortunately it was not number one in the U.S. This self-depreciating humor is what makes Castro so adorable and personable.

He also played the tracks “Love Uncompromised” and “That’s what I’m here for.” The crowd absolutely loved them. Listening to Castro play is like hanging out with musically inclined friends.

Returning to the new album, Castro wowed the crowd with “Rise to You,” before performing what he calls his most meaningful song to date. He explained to me that “Enough” is about “[his one year old] daughter, the most meaningful of all things in life.”

Perhaps the best part of the entire concert, although it is hard to pinpoint just one, was the closing song. Had my interview been before the show, I was going to specifically ask him to sing “Hallelujah,” as he had on American Idol starting out. Luckily, I did not need to and he agreed with me that the song “felt particularly good tonight.”

After the concert, I jumped on the opportunity to ask Castro a couple more questions.

The first one I couldn’t resist. “Where did the dreadlocks come from?” As a senior in high school, Jason wanted to do something crazy. After narrowing down his options to shave his head or have dreadlocks, the dreadlocks won and he has had them ever since.

I had noticed that his music was getting much less lovey and much more religious. I asked him if this was a conscious switch, and he replied, “Definitely. The baby album was mainstream so it was purposely love songs. As we released the album, we got interest from Christian stores. I might as well go to Christian radio and embrace that side too. It makes my music more well-rounded.”

I also asked how long it takes to write a masterpiece like “If It’s Love?” Castro said, “If I’m by myself, a lot longer. I love co-writing, because you have two minds… a lot of times the person I’m writing with comes from different life experiences, and it makes the process a lot quicker.”

One thing Castro wants people to know is, “The next time I’m in their town, you can go to JasonCastro.com for that. The biggest challenge to musicians is how do you let people know? I wish everyone would know.”

So what is next for Castro? Unfortunately, he is not writing anything at the moment. On the road, he likes to just enjoy the experience. But do not fear, you can catch him in his first acting stunt as a surf shop owner in “The Perfect Summer,” which premiered in July on the GNC network.