Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
When Woodward singer-songwriter phenomenon, Bobbi Castor was a mere 16-year-old, she braved the slings and arrows of an audition with American Idol.
Two years later, the tenacious young lady ran the gauntlet again, auditioning for American Idol and The Voice.
"I was really nervous and insecure. I had never auditioned for something like that and I didn't make it far at all," Castor says. "I am never sorry, though, that I did that. It was really great experience."
After trying out for those two particular reality-talent shows, Castor later immersed herself in the world of professional music, singing for a record label and all that implies for a while.
With that year-long journey came a tough but inspiring type of reality-the real kind-that few survive and even fewer spin into gold.
Bobbi Castor has done both.
Now days, type the name Bobbi Castor into YouTube and that is no frightened, insecure performer you see there. That's a budding star.
In her debut performance at the Woodward Arts Theatre, September 7th, Castor hopes to gather around her, the people of Woodward, who she says have been the foundation of encouragement and honesty that kept her real.
Those who are lucky enough to get a ticket, will have the rare opportunity to be transported by her slightly folksy, pop style that feels a bit like a combination between Christina Aguilera, Adele and Carrie Underwood.
Castor lives her performance and watching her, one gets the feeling that she channels the artists, whose music best suits her. Simply said, when Castor performs a classic, it's still a classic.
Her range and ability to flex from jazzy classics such as Chain of Fools, to Country and then on to Gospel and pop music, is not only fun, it is inspiring. Those who get a chance to see her in her concert will not only be entertained, but will get the right to say, "I knew Bobbi Castor back when..."
Castor says she hopes to unveil a couple of her own originals for her Woodward family. Her goal is to inspire the people who have inspired her, she says.
"I'm just a girl from Woodward. I eat at Big Dan's and I see people I know and they are so encouraging and they ask me if I have an album out and where they can find my music," she says. "It is an unbelievable feeling that they care and take the time to ask."
The love of music came early for the tiny, platinum blond performer. As far back as her mind can take her, she remembers singing everything she could sing. As early as a young high school student, she began writing music.
"It has been really hard for me to find my style," she says. "In fact, I am still working on that but I think I am closer. But when I started writing, I was writing some things that were...like...Taylor Swift-ish."
After she penned the song, she would send them to her brother, Chris Castor. That's the singing and production talent starring in the Youtube sensation "Beard Like Harden".
"I would write something and take it to my brother and a guy named Denver Duncan, who is well known artist as well, in Oklahoma City," she says. "Then, I'd say, 'I need your honest opinion. Give me the hard truth,' and they would do that."
Her two mentors were not cruel to Castor, but they gave her sometimes hard to take advice that, in the end, has helped her to hone her craft, she says.
This music business hasn't always been kind to Castor. But this lionhearted crooner says she's doing her best to internalize all the lessons life gives her and hopes that those are the things that set her apart and make her unique.
" God has blessed me, but it is not because of anything I have done," she said. "I want this performance to inspire people and be a way for me to give the glory for my blessings to the Lord."