Andrew Castro adds it up
Breaking down the Sacramento singer-songwriter by the numbers
Andrew Castro is a numbers guy. He won’t hesitate to tell you he’s performed more than 450 times since he first walked onto a stage two years ago.
And that his first EP release show in Sacramento—a joint gig with fellow singer-songwriter Xochitl in February at Shine—completely sold out. And that he had only been living in Sacramento for six months at the time. And that another six months later, it would only make sense to up the ante with an EP release show at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub.
OK, Castro admits he’s obsessed with numbers.
“You can just see your work,” he says. “If you don’t set goals, you don’t know where you’re trying to go.”
His goals for the rest of the year include releasing two more EPs, going on a second tour and bringing at least 200 people out to Harlow’s this Saturday, July 11, for the release of Live.
Castro can also tell you all about Sacramento’s open-mics—he goes to two or three every night, Monday through Thursday. Or his recent West Coast tour. Over the course of nine weeks, he handed out hundreds of CDs for an average donation of $5 apiece. He also lost eight pounds that trip, due to a strict budget of “don’t spend shit.”
One thing Castro can’t tell you, though, is how many songs he’s written.
“I write so many little pop songs but usually just toss them immediately,” he says, estimating that he’s written approximately 200 full songs but only plays 20 on a regular basis.
All right, enough with the numbers. Castro ain’t a mathematician—he’s an artist. He typically performs solo with a loop pedal, weaving together a mix of folk-pop and rhythmic pop.
His last EP, Inside Out, heavily channels Jason Mraz with six fully-produced, pop songs about love. His new EP Live delves into decidedly new territory.
“They’re darker, edgier songs,” he says.
With Live, Castro shows influences of hip-hop, R&B and Justin Timberlake. It’s also his first-ever live record.
“There’s no added stuff to it—it’s just me, my voice, my guitar, my loop pedal,” he says. “I wanted to do that because I play live so much. I wanted to give people the sound—the flavor—that I bring live.”
He wrote the three songs while on his recent tour— in whatever room he was crashing in for the night, very quietly.
“I didn’t anticipate writing this EP entirely on tour,” he says. “It just sorta clicked.”
Besides, he needed to get that second EP out quickly if he’s going to complete his quota of four in one year.
For his third and fourth EPs, Castro wants to collaborate with local hip-hop artists and female singer-songwriters, respectively. Each album will wind up presenting a very different Castro—and eventually get stripped, merged and reproduced for a debut full-length next year—which is just as he intends.
“As an artist, you want to change, but stay the same,” he says. “You want to change a little bit but still sound like you. I don’t think it matters what genre you go to.”