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Check Out Adrea Castiano’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrea Castiano.

Hi Adrea, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I have been singing since I can remember. Music has always been such a deep part of me. I started writing songs when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I spent a lot of time sitting on the porch swing with a tiny cassette recorder. As a teenager, my first boyfriend loaned me his old guitar and I began learning and teaching myself to play.

My music was always very private. Just for me. I continued to write and play, and at some point, I realized how powerful it was to share my songs and begin opening up. Two years ago, I posted my first song (“Keeper”) online and was surprised by how many people related to my lyrics.

For years, I didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt like I wasn’t good enough at singing and that I needed a “real job.” I went to college to find my perfect career. I worried about what would happen if I didn’t just choose something. The years went by and I worked different jobs, creating music on the side.

When COVID19 broke out and I lost my job, I channeled everything into music. I was broke and depressed, but writing every day made me feel like a “real” songwriter. My self-perception changed and doors started opening. An agent reached out to me and soon I was playing gigs at hotels and restaurants. That grew into gigs at larger venues in my hometown–places I dreamed about playing at since I was a teen. For the first time in my life, I could support myself on music alone. It was and still is a dream come true. As I write this, I am headed to my new home in East Nashville from my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA. My goal is to continue learning from other musicians and building my network of friends, mentors, and collaborators in Nashville and beyond!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
My biggest obstacle has been confidence and trust in myself. I remember singing Whitney Houston in the backseat as a little girl and becoming aware of other people’s reactions to my voice. I always wanted to sing, but I was afraid of anyone hearing me and had stage fright for a long time. Singing always brought up a lot of emotion in my voice and that vulnerability made me really uncomfortable. I also grew up in a house with mold, which meant I was constantly dealing with throat and lung issues that affected my voice.

As an adult, I’ve had my struggles with addiction and mental health. I wrote a song called “Choices” that talks about my decision to become healthier and take responsibility for my life and dreams. Writing that song was the beginning of so many changes that brought me here today. I actually sing about packing up and moving to Nashville, which makes me smile every time I think about it, because here I am.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m brutally honest in my writing. I always end up sharing my deepest, darkest thoughts, even when I’d rather not. I think that’s what makes me a great writer. I like to say a lot with just a few words. That’s the fun and challenging part of songwriting. It’s like putting a puzzle together. You only have so many words and so much time to express a big idea, which I love.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Authenticity. There are a lot of amazingly talented people out there and what sets them apart is their unique perspective and artistic voice. That’s something that’s ingrained in all of us from the moment we’re born.

You don’t have to be great at something to be successful at it. You can learn and develop your skills in just about everything–performing, singing, songwriting, social media, self-management, etc. Your authenticity and vulnerability are what grab people. Vulnerability is essential, and you’re the only one who can know what that means for you.

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Image Credits
Andrew Hawes and Tim Brady

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