#TBT: Student Superstar and Her Guitar

Photo by Brighton Nivers Strumming Away Castaneda sharing one of her songs with the newspaper staff.
Photo by Brighton Nivers
Strumming Away
Castaneda sharing one of her songs with the newspaper staff.

Many people have different passions, whether sports, acting, art, and so on, yet only a few get to do what they love for other people to enjoy. For senior Stephanie Castaneda, that door has been opened.
Her passion gives her a lot to do, like practice to polish up her skills, write songs amongst other things and all of this takes up quite some time yet in the end it has its rewards. And recently, to her surprise, doing what she loves is a strong possibility of the future.
While in Dallas visiting her family, Castaneda was invited to perform downtown. After the show, a representative of Rebel Knight Music, Misty Boldish, an all-media artist from Dallas, offered her the chance to record her own album.
“Basically, through this label I would own the rights of all my music on that record without having to pay a single dime,” Castaneda said. “I would be considered an independent artist, but unlike most independent artists I wouldn’t have to finance recording time, the making of CDs and stuff like that; all of that would be taken care of by the label.”
Most people would jump straight into the offer, and so did she, but as a serious musician she knows that it is a big responsibility and that if she wants to be successful, she needed to get everything together.
“When I got the news I felt super excited, but also a bit pressured to make the best album I could,” Castaneda said. “It motivated me to work even harder. Since I was only visiting, there wasn’t much time to record. I had nine self written songs at the time, and I now have almost 50.”
Though her recording was postponed to some time in the future this young artist has not been slacking.
“I kept all of Misty’s information and she told me that they’re ready whenever I am,” Castaneda said. “I keep in contact with her often and we’re planning to record by the summer of 2012.”
For Castaneda, this offering was a dream come true.
“Guitar has been my passion since I was eleven,” Castaneda said.
But desire isn’t all it takes. As they say “practice makes perfect.”
Castaneda had preformed at various venues before receiving the opportunity to make her own record. These include Hot Topic at the Pearland Town Center, weddings, and at an art show in downtown Houston during this past summer. She has taught guitar for four years, placed in UIL Music Interpretation for two years in a row, and even composed music for the school’s fall show last school year. At a young age she knew music was her destiny and that it would change her life.
“Albert Rodriguez is probably the biggest inspiration I have as a musician.” Castaneda said. “He was the lead music ministry director at my church, and seeing him be so young and successful inspired me to do the same.”
The time she’s dedicated to writing music is time she spends on herself.
“My songs are about things I’m too afraid of to say in real life; songs about love, anger, hope. My songs make me brave,” Castaneda said.
All of her hard work is going to pay off soon and this will probably open more doors to her future and to what she aspires to do in her life
“I use life experiences as inspiration for my music; there are times when I don’t even sleep just to finish a song,” Castaneda said. “My goal in life is to be part of my church’s music ministry one day.”

Story by: Isamarie Martinez 

ed 1/ pg 4/ 2011-2012

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