Yeah Boy’s Johnny Castro Talks Parachute Youth, Pharrell, & US Debut
It’s impossible to get enough of Johnny Castro these days. The Australian singer/songwriter has just released his US debut Can’t Get Enough EP via Big Beat Records as Yeah Boy, showing off a marked departure from the alternative sounds of his former band Parachute Youth. The new identity represents a more soulful outlet for the Adelaide native, fusing infectious pop hooks with funky R&B stylings. We caught up with Castro to talk about the new project and moving on from Parachute Youth.
DJ Times: What are the key differences between Yeah Boy and Parachute Youth?
Johnny: I always wanted to do things different than that of Parachute Youth. Parachute Youth had a distinct sound and we pushed that sound to define who we are as a band. I’m ready to do the same with Yeah Boy, which explores my inner love for experimental hip hop/soul.
DJ Times: How does the approach to the writing process differ from Parachute Youth to the Yeah Boy material?
Johnny: Parachute Youth had a set formula to making our songs work, which was great and exciting, but as time goes by it becomes more difficult to ‘nail it.’ I feel I can be more experimental and try new things as Yeah Boy.
DJ Times: You’re from Adelaide. Australia’s hit a bit of a dance renaissance, what music inspired you growing up? What’s inspiring you currently?
Johnny: I was influenced by so many different artists it’s hard to say. But early on I’d say a lot of hip hop and soul music. I love my female soul artists [Laughs]. Mary J. Blige, Sade, Toni Braxton, etc. Progressing through my musical career having played at a lot of dance music festivals, my influences are changing everyday, but I’m always learning and taking new things on boat. It’s rather exciting! At the moment I’d have to say my major influence would be Pharrell Williams. Man, I would kill to have a writing session with him!
DJ Times: Your “Can’t Get Enough” EP is out now. What went into the making of it and what can fans expect from it?
Johnny: I think going more hip hop/soulful, which is where I started in the first place. “Can’t Get Enough” was a great door opener and showed that I do love writing something very different than usual that can still come across as a pop record. I’ll be working with different artists for this EP also to explore the true potential of Yeah Boy and where I want to go with it. It’s still early days but expect a cool EP.
DJ Times: What are your plans for the rest of the year? Is an album on the way?
Johnny: Yes, it is! I’m so excited to see the response to the first EP and the 2nd. Then I’m super pumped about finishing and releasing an album. I can’t believe I have the support of these major labels from around the world. I’m so blessed to have this for my first release.