Uber-talented sibling group Castro recently released Diamond Dreams, their first EP together, which just so happened to debut at #1 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart, but it’s not the Texas-based trio’s first rodeo, musically-speaking. You may remember Jason Castro’s otherworldly performance of Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on Season 7 of American Idol, younger brother Michael’s stint on Season 8, and sister Jackie was basically born with a song on her lips.
“Our family is from Colombia, South America, and Jason was the first of our family to be born in the States. Our whole family is musical—my grandfather dreamed of being an opera singer, my dad sings and plays guitar, along with my eight aunts and uncles, and my mom sang harmonies,” explains Jackie of their musical heritage. “Every family gathering involved playing music in Spanish, then eventually English when everyone learned it. In middle school, Jason started on drums and Michael started on guitar. Every home video of me since I was a baby was of me singing, it was always my thing. My brothers didn’t really start singing until later; Jason was a drummer in a band for years, but took up singing in college. Michael did American Idol after Jason was on it—Michael hated college, so he quit to be on Idol, and learned how to sing 20 days before his audition,” she adds with a laugh.
Jason pursued a solo career after Idol and toured extensively; eventually he decided to give music a break for a while, spending two years at home with family, singing at church, and working locally, but realized he really missed making music. “Michael was doing his own stuff, and I was finishing college,” recalls Jackie. “We’d tossed around the idea of forming a band, and the timing was right.”
Jackie admits being in a band with her brothers has its pros and cons—“We’re so comfortable with each other that we don’t have to worry too much about hurting each other’s feelings if we don’t agree on lyrics or something, so in a sense, that makes it easier to work together, because we love each other no matter what,” she says. “Spending that much time together can be a bit much though, and we enjoy days off to recharge and be on our own. Jason got really lonely at times when pursuing his solo career, so it’s great to have each other in this band.”
Be sure to catch Castro live this fall on the Country As Folk Tour with Green River Ordinance and The Roosevelts.