Rockwall’s Jason Castro signs major-label record deal


By J.J. Smith

Castro teams with American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi for debut album.

Multi-talented singer and guitarist and Rockwall’s own Jason Castro has signed a major record deal with Atlantic Records, it was announced yesterday.

Best known as the third runner-up on the 2008 season of Fox’s American Idol, he is currently hard at work on his debut album, set for release later this year.

Among his creative collaborators are songwriter and current American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson, Jewel, Santana), Grammy Award-winning producer John Fields (Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Soul Asylum) and a number of acclaimed songwriters, including  Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Jason Mraz), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), and Jason Reeves (Colbie Caillat).

“I’ve found a home at Atlantic Records,” he told Billboard.  “We’re preparing to put an album together and hopefully get it out by summertime.  That’s the goal.”

A multi-talented singer and guitarist, Jason Castro was among the most popular and talented artists in American Idol history, entering the record books as the first contestant ever to play an instrument on the show.

His performance of the Leonard Cohen-penned classic “Hallelujah” proved such an audience favorite that cult hero Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the song hit #1 on the iTunes chart the following week, selling 178,000 digital singles.

Jason scored a chart-topping single of his own a few weeks later, when his interpretation of “Over The Rainbow” also hit #1 on iTunes after a show-stopping performance of the song on American Idol.  Upon the season’s conclusion, Castro was among the stars of the hugely successful “American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008.”

Since then, Jason has been busy writing and woodshedding the new songs that will appear on his debut album.

In December, he teamed with to release a free download of “White Christmas” as a special holiday gift to his fans.  Castro has also recorded a new version of “Hallelujah,” which will be featured on the soundtrack to the film, Amar A Morir, to be released theatrically this summer.

In addition, Jason has been a prominent supporter of a variety of charity organizations.

Last December saw him starring at a Garland TX Christmas concert benefitting the city’s Best Education Foundation.  He has also been an active supporter of The Recording Academy’s MusiCares Foundation.

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