The top comments on a YouTube video are very indicative of an artist’s fanbase; think of it as a stan meter if you will. And if Houston native Alaina Castillo’s are anything to go by, she’s about to hit the big time very soon
And it’s no surprise with the Mexican-American’s unique fusion of pop, R&B and hip-hop – effortlessly incorporating nods to her Latin roots.
A Youtube prodigy turned bop churner, clock the heat-stopping, soaring vocals showcased in “I don’t think I love you anymore” to the fiery pop prowess of bilingual track “no importa”. Trust us, t’s about to blow up. Watch this space.
We caught up with Castillo below…
How did you first get into music?
If we wanna go way back, I joined the elementary school choir and loved when I would get little solos here and there. But I think it really started in high school. That was when I started posting covers on YouTube because it was something I could go home and do in my room by myself. I was and still am pretty antisocial, so I was in my element – just singing all alone and then posting it for the world to see. I also remember singing in a pop show during my senior year of high school and right when the lights went down, I could just feel myself starting to tear up because I just knew that was what I wanted to do and I wouldn’t stop until I made it.
Who did you grow up listening to?
I grew up in a Christian home so I was more or less only familiar with that kind of music. I think singing in the church was probably the first time I was like… oh.. ok. It was also a wide variety of music like the Beach Boys, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and then when I got into middle school, I started listening to R&B music, pop, and a whole lot of artists that I had never heard of before until then. Usher was a really big part of the transition of music genres for me. His style, voice, & music was like a whole new world to me. I think that’s why I love a good old school classic vibe.
How would you describe your genre?
My music is a mix of pop and R&B with a Latin vibe thrown in there. I think it depends on what I feel like doing but it usually stays within those lines. I’m super into a synth with a drum beat but I could also go for a bass guitar and an all real-instrument track. Honestly, it’s up to how I feel because if I’m sad, I’ll be all over something with a synth or slow melody on the electric guitar but that could all change if my mood brightens and you add a few more instruments.
What was the moment you realised that music was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
I think I had two moments of realisation. The first was in eleventh grade when life was just not going the way I wanted. I was probably considering moving away and living on a beach for the rest of my life but then I was like, “ya know what.. I’m gonna start posting YouTube videos again.” And I think the whole process of doing something that I wanted so badly and having fun with it really made me see that I wanted to do it forever. The second time was my senior year after the pop show I mentioned earlier.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
I feel like because my musical background was all over the place, I take inspiration from a lot of people. I really enjoy listening to Daniel Caesar’s songs because I really click with the production and his voice. I also love SZA and H.E.R. because of their vocals and the way they use them. Can’t ever forget about Ariana Grande because her voice sounds like an angel and she has so much vocal control and power so it makes me want to work towards the vocal flow that she has. The last one that I can think of is Andrea Bocelli. I say this all the time and people think it’s so weird but he is very classical with his music and style and practices so often so hearing that makes me want to work as hard as him.