“Country music just doesn’t sound like it used to.” If you grew up listening to top country bands of the 90’s and artists like George Strait, Tim McGraw, Shania Twain, or Garth Brooks, chances are you’ve heard this line before. Better yet, maybe you have even said it yourself. These four artists are only a few that helped shape the genre and they are typically some of the first names that come to mind when recalling top country bands and artists. However, many singers featured on today’s top country stations have fused pop music with classic country lyrics, blurring the lines between the two genres and losing that special spark that separated country music from every other sound in the music industry. It’s true, country music just doesn’t sound like it used to. But singer/songwriter Matt Castillo is here to bring it all back.
Matt Castillo is a rising country star who was born and raised in the heart of Texas. As a child, his mom was the first person to introduce him to the world of 90’s country music. She would often fill the air with toe-tapping sounds of a steel guitar and rich voices with a southern twang. This is the music that Matt instantly fell in love with, and Matt admits that his upbringing is a direct reflection of the work he’s producing today. He gives all of the credit for his country music passion to his mother and is excited to have her watch him perform the classic country genre that means so much to each of them. Matt says, “One of the coolest things is finally having my mom come out to shows and almost bringing it full circle. From singing 90’s music in the car to picking up a guitar, and finally having her see me play a show, that was the coolest thing.”
While it was Matt’s mother who sparked the singer’s interest in country music, several singers have influenced the classic country sound Matt replicates in all of his music. From a national standpoint, Matt has always admired and taken inspiration from well-known names like Garth Brooks and the Randy Rogers Band. But it doesn’t stop there; he has an appreciation for any and all artists that fall in between. Country music is a lifestyle for Matt. The singer says, “I wake up in the morning listening to country music and go to bed listening to country music.” With a laugh he finishes with, “It’s my life.”
2020 Was a Year of Reflection for Matt Castillo
As many people have learned throughout the past year, nothing in life is certain. At any given moment, life can do a complete 180. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the music industry but even with all of the uncertainty, country music has been one of the few things that remained constant in this singer’s life. The singer admitted that the sudden change did put a damper on things, but it also allowed him to reflect on his career and figure out exactly what he wanted to do with his music. “We were supposed to release a couple of radio singles early on, we were supposed to release a brand-new album. So that put a stop to everything. But it also helped me reflect on where I want to go for 2021 and it really set the course of what we’re doing right now.”
It’s no surprise that Matt took advantage of the extra time on his hands and he has several new songs to prove it. “We just released my brand-new EP…it’s six songs and I’m super proud of the outcome of what we’ve done so far.” Matt’s latest EP titled “How the River Flows” was released April 30 and it is the singer’s third album and first national release.
Matt began his career in country music back in 2013 and has been working hard to get to where he is today. “[I’ve been] grinding it, trying to tour and play anywhere and everywhere — just trying to spread my music far and wide and stay relevant.”
Matt Castillo’s reach has expanded over the past 8 years and he now performs shows all around Texas and in several other states. His tour dates from the summer months were recently announced and Matt is looking forward to getting back out on the road. When it comes to touring, it can be hard for some artists to balance their career with their family. But Matt does this balancing act with ease. “I’m very blessed to have a supportive family…I can’t do it without them and having their support…makes my life a whole lot easier. When I come home I try to spend as much time with them as I can and catch up before I’m back on the road again.”
Matt Castillo enjoys life on the road and loves to perform at any and all venues. “Ever since COVID hit, I’ve been really appreciative of any venue that I get to play out now,” the singer says with a laugh. Matt is grateful that live entertainment venues were able to survive the pandemic given the widespread shutdown that completely stopped business. “I’m here to support [venues], whatever they need I’m ready to honky-tonk!” Matt’s favorite song to perform for an audience is one of his most recent releases titled “Cause He’s a Cowboy.” The lyrics of this tune were based on true events and the song is featured on Matt’s latest EP.
For rising artists that are interested in pursuing a career similar to his own, Matt has one piece of advice: don’t give up. “Early on everyone is trying to find themselves — who they want to be, what they want to do. Keep grinding it out…and don’t give up. It’s an uphill battle and there’s always going to be challenges along the way. If you’re willing to face those, then you have the right mindset to make that career [your] career.”
With a can-do attitude and a positive mindset, Matt has achieved his goals thus far and continues to build up his career as a country music artist. Castillo has found his niche in the industry and is determined to bring back the classic country sound to American stages.
Matt recently signed with TSE Entertainment to book and advance his shows. TSE Entertainment saw a real up-and-coming country music singer/songwriter and was very pleased that he chose TSE to be his country music booking agency. Matt Castillo’s tour calendar is rapidly filling up as more and more venues discover his singing and songwriting ability with his 90’s Country Music Style
For more information about the singer or to book him for your next event, visit his TSE artist page!