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Tag: Jason Castro (1-4 of 4)

'American Idol' roundup: Phillip Phillips releases song previews, Jessica Sanchez goes 'Glee,' and 'Skyfall' gets a killer cover by... Syesha?

Over the past 11 years American Idol has played host to 133 different finalists vying for a shot at belting out a coronation anthem at the Nokia. As such, keeping track of all the goings-on of American Idol alumni can be a daunting task — but hey, that’s what we’re here for!

Here’s what’s going on with your favorite American Idol stars:

PHILLIP PHILLIPS: The reigning champ’s album, The World From the Side of the Moon, won’t be available until Nov. 19, but 90-second previews of all the album’s songs have surfaced on iTunes. Though many of them reflect Phillips’ personal style while on Idol, there are more than a few that resemble his double-platinum smash “Home.” Come back to EW for a review of the disc later this week, but in the meantime, check out these snippets below. (“Gone, Gone, Gone” is my personal fave.) READ FULL STORY

What did we leave off our list of Best Songs by 'American Idol' graduates?

This just in from the Department of American Idol Blasphemy: Earlier today, I posted a gallery of 28 of the best songs ever recorded by the show’s alumni, and my omission of not just one, but two Idol champs, as well as three Idol runners-up, resulted in the launching of many strongly worded emails and Tweets in my general direction. “You included LaKisha Jones but not **a*a *e*a***?” “How could you leave off *a*ha**ne ***hee?” “Where the heck is **be* S****a**?”  some of you demanded to know. And, to my shock, I even managed to offend myself by overlooking season 8’s tragically early evictee Deanna Brown and her bluesy little number “Sometime Ago,” from her recent indie release Traveler. (I’ve tried to make amends by embedding it below.) But hey, that’s how it goes when it comes to the graduates of American Idol U: There are former contestants out there making a whole lotta music, and when a definitive list of some sort or other gets compiled, there are gonna be inadvertent (and, yes, overt) omissions. Click here to check out our randomly ordered playlist, then head on down to the comments section below to tell us which songs and artists you think should’ve made the cut. (Yelling at your humble listmaker is both allowed and encouraged, as long as you follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak!)

Jason Castro talks about his new single, his upcoming debut album, and (not) getting the last laugh

jason-castro_lAttention, American Idol fans: Jason Castro’s jaunty major-label debut single, “Let’s Just Fall in Love Again,” premiered last night and is currently streaming at his Web site,

To celebrate the occasion, the season 7 third runner-up got on the phone with to discuss his songwriting process, his collaborators, and how he defines success.

EW: What I like about your debut single is that it’s really well-produced, but it doesn’t steamroll the intimate sound we’ve come to expect from you.
Jason Castro: That is definitely something from the onset that I tried to be aware of. You know how some of the Idol projects can turn into manufactured pop things? From my first meeting with Atlantic, I went in there and explained my vision and played for them — I wanted to get my deal off of my songs — and we were all just on the same page. We’ve been on the same page since day one. We decided to do the whole album with one producer, Eric Rosse, and we put a lot of love into it.

EW: So getting back to “Let’s Just Fall in Love Again”…
JC: The original demo was just acoustic, and we wanted to keep that same energy but give it some extra oomph — without losing the magic. That recording actually ended up being like a Frankenstein monster, but you wouldn’t know it. We had pieces from the original demo — the original guitar and the handclaps. We had to use the handclaps because they were really lively. [Laughs.] And when we recorded it out here [in L.A.] we tracked the whole thing, we used drum and bass from our session out here. And then we used a little organ and a couple other things from another session we did in New York.

EW: What about the whistling that starts the track? Where did you come up with that?
JC: It’s the melody from the chorus. It was going to be some line, maybe a guitar line — but the whistling just kind of stuck out. It felt like that kind of song. When have you heard whistling lately? So we were like “Let’s whistle it up!”

EW: Who’s doing the whistling? You?
JC: That is not me, you would be surprised! Don’t tell anybody! Everybody in the studio took turns. We can all whistle — but it wasn’t like that whistle. [Laughs.] That was the key to the project, finding a whistler.

EW: Did someone win the whistle-off?
JC: Somebody in the studio. And actually we brought in an outside whistler, and I don’t want to say it, but he couldn’t cut it. But I don’t want to talk bad about any whistlers around town or anything. READ FULL STORY

Jason Castro talks about his debut album -- and reveals his 'Idol' picks

Jasoncastro_lTurns out Jason Castro had quite the head-start when Atlantic Records signed him this month. The dreadlocked American Idol alum tells the Music Mix that he’s already penned around 40 songs since last September. Next up: The long process of winnowing all that material down into a debut album. "I’m real excited," Castro says. "Tomorrow we’re getting together to see where we’re at. I’m hoping we’re ready to get into the studio." Tonight at 7 P.M. EST, Castro will host a live webcast on his official site, where he’ll perform a few songs and answer questions submitted by readers via the webcast’s chat function and/or on Twitter. In the meantime, you can read on after the jump for a full Music Mix Q&A on Castro’s songwriting partners, what he wants his album to sound like, and who he thinks will win this season of Idol.


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