Q&A With Jason Castro
A lot has changed since Jason Castro released his eponymous debut album following his fourth place finish on the seventh season of American Idol. He has a new wife, a new baby, a new record label and, now, a brand new album. Castro's sound hasn't changed much - he's still a soulful singer-songwriter with an affinity for acoustic melodies - but this time around his message is much different.
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What can fans expect from your new album, Only a Mountain?
I have been telling people that this new album is really just a snapshot of the last few years of my life. That's really where a lot of my inspiration comes from. I often write from my personal experiences, and a lot has happened between my first album and this album - from getting married and having a baby to all the changes and challenges that come with that - and really just how God has worked through it all. So it's a collection of songs and stories, and my hope is that through the songs about my journey, they would inspire people as they're on their own journeys.
Your first album was secular, so why did you decide to start discussing your faith in your music? Were you ever worried that would cut off some of your fan base?
Well, it was kind of a gradual transition that happened naturally. My debut album was a mainstream album that released in 2009, and we had a #1 single with a song called "Let's Just Fall in Love Again" in the Philippines, Norway and Singapore. And it was really cool and really fun, but along the way, I started feeling like all this work and time away from home [made me] just start to want for God in my music and my life. I just felt really isolated at times, and it was just a desire that was growing in my heart. And little did I know, at the same time, there were some talks going on behind the scenes with my [previous] record label and my new record label, Word Records. They had some interest in promoting my music in the Christian world because there was a lot of interest for my music at Christian retail stores, due largely in part to the I Am Second campaign that I was a part of.
But [Only a Mountain] isn't exclusively a Christian album, or a worship album. I did write it in such a way that all of my fans - and all people - would hear it and be inspired and encouraged, and hopefully that would pique some interest and maybe they would go and see what the reason for my hope [is]. So that was the heart behind it. I really wanted something that was accessible, but also not backing down from the truth.
So what advice do you have for other artists, especially those that are just starting out, to stay connected to God on the road?
For me, one of the biggest challenges that I have is that I'm kind of an introvert by nature. So for me, it was really getting outside of that and really establishing a solid community and being in constant contact with [other people]. That's the biggest help for me, and it holds me accountable. They ask me what I've been reading, what God has been teaching me. And that helps me stay in the Word and connected to God, and that is the ultimate goal. So finding a few good friends and a good church home where you can be encouraged and open and honest [is important].
What is it like now to be creating music with a wife and baby? How have they impacted your creative process?
Everybody said to me when I first had my daughter, "I'm sure you must be so inspired and writing all these songs about her." And in the back of my head I'm like, 'Actually, I'm just not even sleeping right now.' But as time has gone on - and immediately after she was born, too - I do feel like everything just got deeper and richer, as far as my outlook on life, and view and understanding of everything. And I think ultimately that that does impact writing, and I do think that has brought a lot of inspiration. I really realize the beauty of life and how precious it is and [I'm] really seeing through new eyes now. So I'm thankful for her, and she does have a song on the record.
Check out Jason Castro's photos : http://breathecast.christianpost.com/articles/6018/20130129/jason-castro-photos.htm#page21
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