Hailing from Costa Rica from a family of musicians, JP Castillo was practically born into music. “[Music] was always in me,” he reminisced. From a young age, he would sit in his kitchen surrounded by his grandmother’s pots, creating musical notes with wooden spoons. Yet surprisingly, it took the singer-songwriter a few musical detours before finding his passion.
The signs were there. Castillo even sang at his high school talent competition and won, but that moment wasn’t it. It was in his second semester at Fullerton College where he majored in percussion when he discovered his passion for singing. He was a part of the Cabana Boys, a Grammy-nominated alternative jazz band from school, who needed a singer in their production. Castillo stepped up to the mike and the performance became a turning point. “I got to experience what it’s like to be an artist—to sing and to deliver a song to somebody and feel that energy back and forth,” Castillo said. “I got hooked.” Shortly after, he changed his major from percussion to voice and dug deep into vocal lessons and songwriting.
Following the Cabana Boys, Castillo tagged along on a friend’s audition for Disney’s live production of “High School Musical” and ended up booking a part as one of the main cast. He then spent a year traveling abroad as a performer for Disney before coming back to the States where Castillo’s career would snowball further, singing and performing in live productions from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller Live” to Jennifer Lopez’s fourth concert tour “It’s My Party.”
Through the highs and lows of his career, Castillo’s belief in pushing forward helped get him to where he is today. “One constant thing has been for me is keeping an attitude of ‘Just go for it,’” Castillo shared. “I try not to be driven by the fear of failure but more on the willingness to succeed,” he said. “Work your butt off but don’t let your fears hold you back.”
Watch JP Castillo’s full performance and interview above, and make sure to visit his GoFundMe page to help support his work!