Mississauga's own Paul Castro (professionally known as THE iDENTiTY CRiSiS) is an artist that stands in his own league. He is a singer, songwriter, rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and producer that prides himself on making unique, cutting edge entertainment.
Over the span of his career, he has created an evolving buffet of sound that mixes alt-rock, classic rock, alt-hip-hop, funk, house, dancehall, jazz, drum and bass, and various other influences. His unique blend has become the trademark sound that continues to win over new fans.
His captivating wordplay and dynamic showmanship have earned him opening slots for the likes of Stereos, Karl Wolf, Kitchie Nadal, Rob Base, Thousand Foot Krutch, the Junction, Grits, and Maestro Fresh Wes. He has also shared the stage with Shawn Desman and Danny Fernandes.
His versatility has lined up collaborations with many different artists including the RZA (Wu-Tang Clan), Tyler Connolly (Theory of a Deadman), Jeremy Larson (MuteMath), Ricky Tillo (Lady Gaga), Coffee Jones (Grits), the Durrani Brothers (Imran Khan), Justin Nozuka, and Grammy nominated songwriter/producer Randy Crawford (tobyMac).
He has released three solo albums: "Record of the Year" (2007), "Breakfast With a Psychopath" (2009) and most recently "I Hate the F Word" (2011) which are all available online at theidentitycrisis.com and iTunes.
Take the time to discover his music. Artists this unique are few and far between.
To say that it has been an uphill battle to get to where he is today is
an understatement. But Paul Castro (better known as THE iDENTiTY
CRiSiS) feels re-energized, revitalized, and hungrier than ever. An
overnight sensation? Not quite. Flavour of the month? Not even close. A
one-hit wonder? He's not even on the charts. But his popularity has been
at a steady growing pace: one fan at a time.
In comparison to new artists with big marketing budgets, that pace
can seem too slow. Doing all the marketing and financing by himself took
a toll on the young producer turned artist, and it really started to
discourage him. In the last episode of his popular youtube vlog EQOTW
Season 2, THEiDC looked burnt out, and felt like he had hit the ceiling. He
went on to state that "this last year has really stretched me, making me
question whether or not this is what's meant for me", referring to the
entertainment business. Down for the count, he was ready for a break.
During his downtime, he received an overwhelming amount of
support from his fans all across the globe. Emails about how his music
and EQOTW had impacted lives were coming in by the hundreds. One
particular email caught his attention. "It was from somebody who was
struggling with depression, and was considering ending it all", says
THEiDC. "They said that my music helped them to deal with the pain, and
to stay in the fight". Humbled by the email, he realized that his hard work
was not in vain. He realized that his fans were not only extremely
passionate, but that they were also spreading the word.
Soon enough, major and independent labels all over the world
started looking at him with dollar signs in their eyes. "I was about ready
to tap out. But having label executives look at me as a cash cow was
enough to motivate me to bring it even harder", says THEiDC. Most labels
had intentions to re-release the critically acclaimed "Record of the Year",
but THEiDC had already started working on a new collection of songs. "I
felt like I was sitting on a gold mine, and I wanted to strike while the iron
was hot", he says about his third studio album entitled "Breakfast With a
Choosing to remain independent with his label Radio Insect
Records, THEiDC feels like he is better than he has ever been as an
artist. "I haven't hit my peak yet...this is only the tip of the iceberg,
because I'm constantly learning new things, and evolving", he says talking
about his approach to his new album. The project covers many topics
including life, love, self-esteem issues, older women, and pathological
liars. Mixing house, electro, breaks, and dance hall beats with dirty
guitars and radio friendly hooks, this is arguably the most musically
consistent album in his library. The unlikely combination of mosh-pit
energy with club-vibe is constant throughout this booty-shaking
experience. Ever unique, progressively innovative, yet intricately designed
for mass appeal, this album is the next step in the evolution of THE
"Breakfast With a Psychopath" is now available! Get your copy at
theidentitycrisis.com and iTUNES
Grammy awards. Billboard Music Awards. Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine
cover stories. Platinum selling records. 40-city North American tours. He
hasn’t achieved any of these accolades, yet Paul “THE iDENTiTY CRiSiS”
Castro's solo debut album is entitled “Record of the Year” and will be
available February 6th. Caught your attention, didn’t it?
After releasing “Your Girlfriend Thinks I’m Fine” in 2004 with his original
band, THEiDC decided to take the project solo, and in a completely new
direction. “If I could describe this new direction stylistically, I’d have
to label it suburban singer/songwriter/experimental producer music,” says
THEiDC. “Growing up in the suburbs of Toronto, I was exposed to many very
different styles and genres of music. We get all of the Top 40 American and
underground stuff, plus the European and homegrown Top 40 and underground
Mixed by Phil Mark, co-founder of Radio Insect Records, and mastered by Andy
Krehm at Silverbirch Productions (Matt Dusk, the Salads, Jeff Healey),
"Record of the Year" fuses elements of rock, electronica, hiphop, soul,
funk, reggae, and house. "It's like a buffet for your ears. I couldn't
help it, but at the same time, I didn't force it. That's just my style."
Other than a couple of collaborations with former co-writer Kenneth
Nofuente, up and coming Toronto artists Kofi Kain, The Quits, and THEiDC’s
sister J-Lia, “Record of the Year” is entirely written, produced, and
performed by THEiDC. The album showcases his diverse musical style, and
mixes it with a shot of his current life experiences, and a double-shot of
his brand of tongue-in-cheek humour. "Some of these songs come from a deep
place, and some of them are just me messin' around, havin' a good time".
Overall, he believes that there is something for everybody on this album,
"be it musically, or lyrically, I think everybody can relate on some level".
Record of the Year? Probably not. But you're intrigued, aren't you?