Angelica Di Castro

I have listened to quite a few CDs in my day. Sometimes I listen to just 20 seconds of a song before losing interest, other times I may indulge in a couple of songs. I was handed Bitter Sweet by a coworker and I listened to the eight song EP more than once. Why? Because Angelica’s voice has a beautiful distinct tone with a rich texture and she is able to eloquently articulate the heartfelt ballads. I even found myself comparing her to Celine Dion (who just happens to be one of my all time favorites).

From Woodridge, Ontario this 27-year-old is a rising Canadian star. Her passion for singing started at the tender age of six when she would thrill family and friends with her enthusiastic performances. At 13 she began taking opera lessons which inspired her to pursue a career in singing. A graduate from the York University with her honours degree in classical voice, Angelica explains, “I have the classical background – I am so happy that I did this because it gave me an appreciation for classical music. If you can do the technique in classical you can do any other style because it is probably the most challenging. It makes you a stronger pop or jazz singer and is the foundation for singing.”

Having a few successful independent releases under her belt, in 2006 Angelica signed a management deal with Peter Linseman and Music Mentor Productions. Bitter Sweet is the product of this partnership and the full CD will be released in the fall of 2006. “We are waiting for three or four other songs from songwriters in the US…We had the showcase in February for this EP and in the fall we will have the launch for the full album. We also have an interest in a distribution deal so the CD will be in the stores.”

She adds, “Coming from an Italian background I do a lot of the Italian festivals. I have been invited to go to Vancouver in September to sing songs from my Italian album (self-entitled) which has cover songs from the 1930s and 40s. To date I have sold about 5000 copies just from live performances with that CD. It really got my name out there in Italian communities across Canada.”

One of her biggest honours was to sing a verse of the International World Youth Day theme song in front of almost one million people and Pope John Paul II in Toronto in 2002. “I never expected to be in that situation. I had just signed up to sing for the street festival that goes on during that week and someone called me and said they heard my CD and they wanted me to sing the Italian verse of the song – it was so unexpected and so wonderful.” The event was broadcasted by major networks around the world.

Bitter Sweet features songs written by Angelica and heavyweights including Alexandra Slate (EMI/Hollywood Records), Dean McTaggart (Amanda Marshall) and Joel Feeney (LeAnn Rimes). “This was my second attempt at songwriting and I was a little hesitant at first but I know how important it is to write my own material. That is the first thing people usually ask me if I write my own material. I am happy to be able to write and put in my own creativity – it turned out pretty good.”

I asked her which artists she listens to, “In my CD player I have anywhere from Michael Bublé to Carrie Underwood, Black Eyed Peas, Sheryl Crow and Maria Callas. I have different styles because I love all the different types of music and it is nice to hear what people are coming out with.”

You can catch Angelica performing at The Savoy on Thursday, May 19, 2006 at 8:30pm. Music Mentor Productions will also present two other artists at this evening event, Melanie Joy and Donna Ferra. After listening to the album I am convinced this will be a great show to attend.

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