From ASMR Lullabies to Rising R&B Goddess, the Magic of Alaina Castillo's 'the voicenotes'
Photo: Chris Shelley
The story of Alaina Castillo's rising artistry begins in a suburb of Houston, Texas, tucked away in her childhood bedroom, clutching a cardioid microphone while singing soft lullabies into her laptop. Up to this point she had only sung in church choirs, but being a natural introvert with a stunning voice, turning to YouTube to share her gift was the obvious next step for the then teenager.
Almost two years later we see the release of Castillo's sophomore EP the voicenotes, a vivid portrayal of how the ASMR lullaby queen is becoming one of the hottest rising pop-R&B artists today.
YouTube has proven time and time again to be a prominent catalyst in the careers of up-and-coming artists, but Castillo's decision to start posting her covers online was an unassuming one. Her parents, though loving and supportive, were skeptical over their daughter actively focusing on a career in music, encouraging Castillo to stay in school and broaden her life goals as much as possible.
This led her to take a gander at studying Biology at the University of Texas in Austin. Though an intrinsically academic person with an impressive level of focus and drive, her studies didn't bring the gratification she was hoping for. So instead she traded studying osmosis and diffusion for lullabies and ASMR, quickly growing her YouTube platform to the hundreds of thousands. It was this remarkable traction which convinced Castillo and her parents that this may be her life calling and a quintessential element to her happiness.
The following series of events proved this hunch to be a fact. Upon moving to Los Angeles to pursue music full time, Castillo has been met with overwhelming support, including being named as Spotify's sole United States RADAR artist of 2020. Joining forces again with primary producer collaborator Rà˜MANS (Lewis Capaldi, Ella Mai, Demi Lovato, Khalid) to release her second EP the voicenotes, Castillo's growth as a songwriter is not only apparent but inspirational.
the voicenotes acts a digital diary, capturing melancholic moments of self-realization, while exploring heartbreak, jealousy, nostalgia and everything in between. Stripping back the production significantly since her debut EP antisocial butterfly, she allows the integrity of the songwriting to take center stage. The writing and of course her gentle, honeyed vocals on each track showcase her ever-expanding expertise and incredible vocal control.
the voicenotes will be rereleased in Spanish on May 22. As a daughter of an immigrant, Castillo has made staying connected to her Mexican roots of the upmost importance in her career.
Listen to the voicenotes below: