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Juggling USG and songwriting: How Joshua Castillo does it all

Courtesy of Joshua Castillo

For artist and Baruch College student Joshua Castillo, it feels like the first year of college again.

Castillo reminisces — he sits in Baruch’s cafeteria watching a new world develop around him as he’s busy building his own. The second verse of his first single “MOON” was born here, out of a lonely mind and artistic heart.

“I wrote the second verse at Baruch in the cafeteria as a first-year student, kind of sitting, thinking a lot about how lonely I felt, I wasn’t involved and was thinking so heavily, then I went home that day and produced the beat up until 3 a.m.,” he said.

Castillo, known as CAST, follows many creative directions in perfecting his craft.

His ideas were put onto paper around 11 years old, but he began to envision a future of music during high school. Castillo writes and produces his own music, with no sign of slowing down.

“I don’t think I really became an artist, I think I’ve always been an artist,” he said. “The journey has definitely been a life-long journey of artistic development so that’s how I really think of myself, I’m constantly progressing and getting to a higher place than I already am.”

Castillo does not consider his artistic side as an alter ego, but more of who he truly is. He describes evolving as an artist with “the development being really personal behind the scenes.”

“Circling/round round round/you lift me up at the speed of sound/” — These are the poetic and vibrant lyrics of Castillo’s “MOON.” Castillo is the epitome of art imitating life, his music lifting spirits up and even inspiring other Baruch artists to stick to their vision.

“I think CAST is a very unique mind, and an artist at his core. I think he sees the world from a different perspective and he uses that to produce art,” fellow Baruch artist and sophomore Rafeed Hossain stated.

“It’s not just music, I met him when he let me perform at the ‘Great Artists Steal’ show last year and I just remember how he enacted his vision in such a cool way, with multiple stages, the seating arrangements and even the choice to hang up paintings and album covers all around the room,” Hossain continued.

The process that Castillo endures in creating his music is rather brilliant and intellectual — his talent and articulation for music is one to applaud.

When describing his personal approach to the process of writing the verses to a song, he described vividly, “I start off with the idea of the seed then create the universe around it.”

The creation of “MOON” symbolizes Castillo’s approach to artistry, proving that his catchy beats and witty verses contrast mainstream artists. His style is fresh, full of youth and empowering.

“MOON came about as an idea to make something dark and sweet, I really thought about how a lot of songwriters and poets say ‘you’re like the sun and the sky’ and I wanted to flip that like you’re my sun, like no, you’re my moon,” he said.

Currently serving as the executive vice president of the Baruch Undergraduate Student Government, Castillo wears many creative hats.

With his involvement in many artistic events and now headlining USG events, Castillo credits Baruch for his growth as an artist on the entertainment and business side.He is a senior and a current marketing major, with a minor in psychology. 

“It really relates to the stuff that I do, because it’s all very interdisciplinary, and it’s not a trade like finance or accounting, marketing is a culmination of a lot of things . . . it’s very eclectic and artistically, I’m very eclectic,” he stated.

All of Castillo’s past releases and futue music can be streamed on Spotify and other music platforms. 

In an Instagram post, he describes that his first single reached over 10,000 listens on Spotify, a major feat and not his last one.

He credits Daniel Dumile, known better as MF DOOM, for musical inspiration, and thanks his friend Stefano Castro for making it all possible.

“Picturing the final form of myself and where I am now and getting there, I’d say I’m well on my way,” Castillo said. 

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