Every great story has a humble beginning. Willinton Castillo, who goes by his stage name ‘Willinton,’ is a rising R&B singer from New York City.
His passion for singing began when he was in High School. Castillo attended the George Washington Educational Campus High School of Law and Public Services.
“I remember my friends and I were getting ready to get out of the gym locker room. We started joking around and started singing the old school R&B joints from Ginuwine and Boyz II Men,” Castillo says. “The minute I started singing one of their songs, my boy was like, “Yoooo ya hearing this? My boy Willinton can hit them notes sum light” From there on, I told myself, “yeah, I can do this,” he laughed.
Willinton got his first taste of singing in front of the public at his High School Graduation in 2009. He performed Boyz II Men’s’ “It’s Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday.” Willinton never imagined doing something like this. It was a nerve-wracking experience for him, but he pulled it through and received a standing ovation.
“I don’t know how I was able to do that,” Castillo expressed. “Giving the fact that it was my first time performing in front of my peers, family, and people I didn’t know, it was beyond crazy. All I can think of was how nervous I was, and I couldn’t sleep the night before of the graduation,” he continued. “I was panicking because the minute that they announced my name, I was shitting bricks! Surprisingly for me, it all went away as soon as I started singing, and it was truly an unforgettable moment.”
The selection of music for a graduation event is essential. Some memorable songs are often played in graduations such as “World’s Greatest” and “I Believe I Can Fly.” When I asked Willinton who chose “It’s Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” and his motivation to sing at his graduation, he said this:
“Weeks before the graduation, Miss Alonzo, who was in charge of assembling a group of students that would sing for graduation in which I took part. She gave me the liberty of choosing the song for graduation, and I managed to pick that song,” Castillo explained. “Being that it was one of my favorite songs, I was able to feel comfortable and had the drive to sing that song,” he continued. “I would say this; this was the first time where I fell in love with inspiration. I began to experience the truest love with music.”
After High School, Willinton continued to work on his music. But just like any artist, he had to face the harsh reality of rejection.
“Being rejected for the “X-Factor” audition struck me,” Castillo says. “It hit me hard to the point I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but so many good memories happened after that.
Good memories after rejection certainly happened for Willinton. As an independent artist, he’s written and recorded a lot of songs. Some of his songs are “Switched Up,” “Games,” “Only,” and a few other songs that are untitled but shall be released pretty soon.
“I have “Switched Up” and “Games” available on SoundCloud and YouTube,” Castillo says. “It’s so hard to pick and choose my favorite song because a lot of these songs speak from experiences, but if I was choosing which ones I can connect more with is “Games,” he continued. “There are several things that happened at that moment in where it encapsulates my overall bad experience with romance.”
Willinton’s music gravitates towards love, but it has so many layers to it. He likes to refer to his music as “human” music.
“The audience would be able to connect with every different experience and tribulation that fuses in my music, and that to me speaks high volumes,” Castillo says.
Willinton is working on an album “When There’s A Will, There’s A Way,” and will be released somewhere between December 2020 and January 2021 on SoundCloud. What does this album bring to the game?
“I have believed that given the fact, there are so many times where I’ve been in the dark side of things,” Castillo says. “The thought of just having that muse around would be able to pick me up and push thru with things. Fortunately for me, I’ve always had that muse and know there are so many great things that are coming along the way,” he continued. “So hence the reason why I have that will and drive, there’s always a way I will breakthrough. The authenticity behind every situation that I have experienced with relationships and complications involved with it. A lot of people can relate to my stories, and they’ll get that in my music.”
Artists love collaborating with other artists. It can be the hottest artist in the game or legends that cemented their legacy in the industry. What artists and producers he would love to collaborate with in the future?
“If I could run down the list of all the artists I would want to work with, we’d be going for weeks,” Castillo expressed. “There’s so many talented artists and producers that I would love to work with side by side. If I have to choose, I will go with the legends Timbaland, Scott Storch, Jimmy jam and Terry Lewis,” he continued. “On the artists’ side, I’d start with my idols Boyz II Men, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Justin Timberlake, Jill Scott, Joe, Ginuwine. Man, there’s so many.”
To check out more of Willinton Castillo, follow his Instagram page @willinton604. On his Instagram page, you can see him singing on his videos. Below is the link to his SoundCloud: