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April 18, 2009 - 9:35 PM

The carnivalesque percussion rolled into the air as hot guitar roared through the festival of electrifying music, soon joined by feverish horn that endowed the piece with a passionate tropical embrace.

"Cumbiaton," written and recorded by Pedro Castillo "Mr. Extasis," has made a hit at Club Karma, where Frank Rodriguez, also known as DJ Frank, has begun playing the tune for the grateful crowd. The song, which is also being played at Club 151, is aptly named for its combination of Cumbia and Reggaeton.

"It's like Cumbia and Reggaeton mixed in together but with an up tempo beat," he said. "Reggaeton is slow. Cumbia is a little fast, but you combine those speeds together and you come up with this style, but with a faster upbeat."

Castillo's producer, Rangel Morao, said Castillo came up with an idea to combine the two rhythms.

"There's a couple of guys that did kind of like the same thing," said Morao, who owns Ram Productions in Houston. "AB Quintanilla did something like that with Kumbia Kings, but it was more techno. So we stuck with the idea. What I did, I changed a little bit the Cumbia. We didn't do the traditional Cumbia from Mexico; we tropicalized it, more flavor from Colombia, more like Colombian style, Caribbean style."

Rodriguez said that Castillo is introducing a style to the Valley that is "huge" south of the border.

"This style of music is pretty big like in Salvador, Honduras, all those areas," he said. "In the heart of Mexico, that style is BIG. And it hasn't made it down to the Valley, yet."

At least until now, and that's because of the efforts of Castillo, whose CD "Todo O Nada" will be released May 1. Castillo said he's also making arrangements to appear soon on the show "El Marco Valdes" on Univision. He has traveled a long journey to arrive at this moment; the 35-year-old musician tried for years to break into the music industry and kept meeting closed doors.

"I would tell bands down here, ‘Hey, you know something? Look, I'm writing some material; let me sing with your band,' and they would say, ‘No, we're all full, we don't need another singer.' "

Castillo did have one chance to sell a song to La Mafia in the 1990s; he turned them down because he didn't understand the music industry well enough to know how to negotiate a deal. Other than that, no other chances availed themselves. Finally, Castillo decided to do it all himself. He invested his income tax checks and any other sources available to him, hired Morao, and began promoting myself.

"I'm real serious about what I do, and if nobody gives me the opportunity, I guess I'm going to go solo," said the father of four. "I do have a family, and I have kids and I told my kids, ‘You know something? It's really up to you what you want to do with your life. You gotta make it happen. Nobody's gonna come to you, you gotta go out there.' "

The producer, Rangel Morao, admires Castillo's diligence.

"He used to travel all the way from Brownsville to Houston, but he had a dream, so he actually was fighting for it," Morao said. "And you know, I kind of like, ‘Let's do it! Let's do it! Let's make it happen.' It's been almost five or more years doing this project, on and off."

Since Castillo lost his job in November as the manager of a loan company, he's had more time to pursue the project.

"Honestly," he said, "I think things happen for a reason. In the past, I was the type that didn't have hope, didn't have faith. Once you pray, you gotta open your heart. You just gotta have faith, and believe in God. If you don't have faith, you don't have hope. You don't have nothing."

That's what Rodriguez says.

"I told him, ‘You've got something in your hands. You've got something positive. You've got something big in your hands,'" he said. "You just need the proper people to help you market it and manage it and help you promote, and after that you won't have any worries. That's where it all starts, marketing."

Rodriguez was a little skeptical when Castillo approached him.

"I'll be honest with you," Rodriguez said. "I don't support local talent at all, because with local talent you've got a lot of young kids that you know they come up with a lot of nonsense, a lot of ghetto style music, a lot of stuff that doesn't hit big down here. All they're doing is dissing somebody else. They're rapping up on a gangster life they don't live, they don't have and they never will."

However, he agreed to listen to Cumbiaton, and what he heard grabbed his attention.

"Damn. You did this, dude?" Rodriguez asked Castillo.

"Yes," he answered.

"Get outta here."

"Yeah," Castillo assured him.

"Wow," Rodriguez said. "I'm impressed. You know what? I'm gonna give it a shot."

Rodriguez invited Castillo to Club Karma to hear the first playing of the song.

"They stayed on the dance floor, man, and more people got on the dance floor and they started dancing," Rodriguez said. "I go, ‘Dude, this is the first time we played it, and look at the response. The crowd accepted it, and they're not even used to it.' For being the first time that they heard it, I was like, ‘Wow.' I told him, ‘I'm pretty impressed.' And he saw it too."

Castillo said he felt "goosebumps" when he saw the response.

"That's what I mean about the word itself, ecstasy," he said. "You feel the true extasis when you get goosebumps in your body."

Castillo illustrated the experience with a hypothetical scenario in which someone pursuing a college degree receives no support from his or her family and must rely on governmental assistance. Finally, after 10 long years, the individual completes the coursework.

"I think you're gonna be pretty proud of yourself for being so determined and receiving a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. It's like ‘Wow,' " he said. "It's a feeling when you win the lottery. That's the feeling I'm talking about. You look at people dancing to your music. It's ‘Wow.' It's a good feeling."

Anyone interested in purchasing Castillo's CD will be able to find it May 1 at www.mrextasis.comor They can also purchase the CD off the Mr. Extasis Records Web site. The CD can also be purchased at or download the music from It will later be available online at AOL Music, Yahoo Music, Napster and other distributors.
- By Travis Whitehead, The Brownsville Herald





Pedro Oscar Castillo, Jr. is the Creator/Founder of EXTASIS. EXTASIS has been a very long journey in which a dream needed to become reality.

In 1993 Castillo became interested in his first composition entitled “Si Tu No Estas.” He came across these lyrics and found that he had the talent to integrate a melody into the words and started to intone his voice into various interpretations from different artists. Castillo was then enticed by the many different opportunities that the entertainment business offers.

In 1995 Castillo registered to participate on the B104/All Valley Talent Show in which he was nominated to enter the semifinalists as 2nd place winner, which was automatically entered into the finals. Castillo saw that he was able to interpret and participate in different shows, different settings, and even participate in a TV Show, called “Aqui Rogelio”. Castillo became more interested in his compositions and became affiliated with BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) as a songwriter. He also started to exploit his own material to different artists, production companies, and record labels. He accomplished this by mailing copies of his lyrics and songs on cassettes and CDs.

In 1996 Tejano Music was at it’s peak and the recognized Tejano Band “La Mafia” became interested in one of the most prominent compositions he had written, “Pensando en Ti.” Castillo had faith in this song and everything he had composed. Castillo felt that he was not ready to give up his dream and creations, which resulted in not turning his song to this band.

In 1997 was even more prominent, as he was getting recognized somehow for his original work. It was then that he created his own publishing company, EXTASIS.

In 2000 Castillo signed publishing contracts with Zomba Golden Sands (, one of the most recognized publishing companies. He was determined to be recognized as a songwriter and was confident that he had made the right decision. It has been an ongoing process up to now. However, Castillo is certain the future holds even bigger and better opportunities.

In 2001 Castillo resided to Houston, TX and was able to record a single demo for “Pensando en Ti” at Ram Productions. Time was passing by, so he felt that he needed to upgrade his music. (As we all know, music keeps changing every year) Castillo felt that his compositions needed a boost in different rhythm as well as creating a new symbol and image for EXTASIS. EXTASIS was in his mind and he felt the need to create an eye catching symbol that expressed all his internal feelings.

In 2002 Castillo created the EXTASIS symbol, which led into developing his own website, This symbol is expected to internalize everyones desires to express themselves. His idea was to bond music with the wildest and most intense joy and an overpowering feeling of excitement.

Continuing his goal to succeed in the music business, in 2006, Castillo recorded songs "Cumbiaton" and "Mira" again at Ram Productions in Houston, TX. With production in hand, but not yet as the final draft, on January 17, 2009, Castillo presented his demo cd to "The Ruby Group" Talent Search in McAllen, TX at La Mexicana Resturant. The judges approval gave Castillo an extra boost of confidence and allowed him to perform one of his greatest songs, "Cumbiaton" at KVNO-TV48 UNIVISION/El Show De Marcos Valdes on January of 2009. He also later appeared on Alegre Despertar in McAllen, TX in July of 2009 .

HIS GOAL: To finish CD Project "TODO O NADA" by May 2009.
HIS ULTIMATE GOAL: To have his own brand of clothing and accesories.

“I believe that the best is yet to come. Prepare to expect the unexpected. It all started as a dream and I will make it happen. Success does not come to you, you go to it! It takes discipline, desire, determination, and devotion to accomplish your dreams and goals in life. Do not give up by any circumstance or let drawbacks pull you down. Optimism will lead you into success as long as you believe in yourself.”