Jason René Castro (born March 25, 1987) is an American acoustic/folk-pop singer-songwriter and was the fourth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol. After Idol, he signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and his self-titled debut album was released on April 13, 2010.
Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Rowlett, Texas, he currently resides in Rockwall, Texas. His parents, René and Betsy Castro, are Colombian, and he is the first person in his family to be born in the United States, followed by younger siblings Michael and Jackeline (Jackie), of whom both are singer-songwriters as well. Spanish was his first language as a child.
Castro grew up playing drums. He taught himself to play the guitar in college. He had no formal voice training before auditioning for American Idol and had previously sung only 5 times in public, mostly during church services.
Castro performed as a drummer with the rock band Charlemagne, which later became Keeping Lions. He has stated that his musical influences include Ray LaMontagne, Ben Harper, Bob Marley, Carlos Vives and Kirk Baxley.