Universal Music Publishing Group signs publishing deal with Jason Castro

MUMBAI: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with acclaimed singer/songwriter, Jason Castro.

The Texas-based tunesmith – best known as the third runner-up on the 2008 season of Fox’s American Idol – parlayed his Idol success into a major-label deal with Atlantic Records, who signed the artist in April 2009 and will release his untitled debut album later this year.

Among his creative collaborators are platinum producer/songwriter, Eric Rosse, Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriter, John Fields and a number of songwriters, including Kara DioGuardi, Martin Terefe, Sacha Skarbek, Guy Chambers and Jason Reeves.

Castro was among the most popular and talented artists in American Idol history, entering the record books as the first contestant ever to play an instrument on the show. His performance of the Leonard Cohen-penned classic "Hallelujah" proved such an audience favorite that Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the song hit No.1 on the iTunes chart the following week, selling 178,000 digital singles, and propelling the song to Gold and Platinum status.

"Jason is an original and compelling artist that I have wanted to work with ever since first seeing him perform on American Idol. We’re delighted to be able to collaborate with him in connection with his future work," said UMPG senior vice president, A&R Monti Olson.

"From starting as a drummer and realizing that I have a passion and conviction for singing and writing songs, I am very excited to work with UMPG given their reputation and global presence. David Renzer, Monti Olson and everyone at UMPG have been so supportive and helpful as I embark on recording my debut album," said Castro.