Mississauga’s incredibly talented Paul Castro, who goes by the moniker “THE iDENTiTY CRiSiS” has spent nearly 30 years involved in music and with that, comes a lengthy list of talents.
He’s a proficient multi-instrumentalist, musician, producer, songwriter, rapper, singer, performer, videographer and documentary maker.
He started piano lessons at 11 at Walters Music, where he eventually ended up teaching for several years. There wasn’t an immediate spark to the lessons but Castro persevered and learned to appreciate them.
Throughout high school, music continued to be a driving force. He was an active member in the concert band, jazz band, vocal band and outside of school, a rock band or two. It was through this immersion in music that he learned the importance of production and songwriting, which he’s carried throughout his career.
His early influences leant towards rock and hip-hop and enjoyed blending multiple genres of music to create something unique to him.
Furthermore, he would actively search for music that wasn’t mainstream and spent time with like-minded people.
Castro says “I would seek music that was off the grid and different from what was popular."
After three years at York University towards his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Castro decided to change gears and record his 16 track debut, multi-genred album “Record Of The Year”, released in 2007.
In what became an on-going theme, he wrote and produced the record and performed all the instrumentation himself. There were dozens of performances to support the album, which was a catapult towards launching his career.
Fast-forward to late 2009 and Castro released his sophomore, nine-track album called “Breakfast With A Psychopath” that saw further refinement of his producing and songwriting skills.
It was after his third album in late 2011, “I Hate The F Word” that saw this local talent really take leaps forward. He toured with a band he grew up listening to, Grammy nominated Nashville band GRITS, both as part of their band (guitarist and backup rapper) and he was given a set to perform his original music. That led to him getting credits on productions with Mark Wahlberg, RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Tyler Connolly (Theory Of A Deadman), Finger Eleven, Ricky Tillo (Lady Gaga) and Superwoman (Lilly Singh) and others.
As Castro built an impressive resume, he was focusing on the production side, with a downshift in original material. In early 2016, he chose a reduced role in music until mid-2017, citing “I had the self-realization that I just wasn’t into it as much as I needed to be; I needed to recharge.”
There were still collaborations with Grammy winner “King George”, Mississauga’s super group “From Far & Wide” and earned Best Pop Artist at the 2017 Mississauga Music Awards.
The reinvigorated Castro is releasing a 10 year deluxe anniversary version of his debut album, in 2017; he’s releasing a series of mini documentaries spotlighting local talents that inspire him and releasing new music.
He advises aspiring musicians and producers to “learn music, theory and different instruments…maintain the vision you had as to why you initially fell in love with music.
Talented producers find balance in the artist and know how to spotlight their strengths to bring out their absolute best.”
It’s been an interesting, exciting and insightful path for Castro and he sums up his journey as this:
“Music is a gift that I’m fortunate to have and I feel that I have to share it with the world, for better or for worse and everything in between.”