Raquel Castro has had a busy summer.
She's been studying for her Regents exams. She's been hanging out with her friends. And -- oh, yeah -- the 17-year-old from Port Jefferson Station is also working on her debut album and getting ready for her biggest concerts since she unveiled her singing talents and became a finalist on NBC's breakout hit show "The Voice."
Castro will open for Miguel Friday night at Rye Playland and then play Beatstock on Saturday at the Brookhaven Amphitheatre in Farmingville. "I'm so excited to be there with all these great people," she said. "Kelly Rowland is going to be there and I love her, and the New Boyz are going to be there, so I'm hoping they're going to teach me how to Jerk."
For her part, Castro will debut her single "No. 1 Fan," which she calls an "ode to Christina Aguilera," the coach on "The Voice" who picked Castro for her team. "I'm still so thankful that she turned around and picked me and gave me an opportunity," Castro said. "I thought it would be fun to do one of her songs that I've been singing since I was younger and something new."
Just don't expect Castro to do her version of Ke$ha's "Blow," which ended up getting her eliminated from the show. "I think that I'm going to let that stay on the shelf," she said. "It's not really the kind of artist that I'm trying to be. That was for the show. Now, I'm really going to focus on my album and my genre."
Castro has been working with several producers, including Ballistik Beatz from Coram, who have collaborated with Chrisette Michele and Lil Twist. "I have some great songs that I'm really excited about, but we're not quite there yet," she said. "We don't have a time frame yet, but I'm hoping soon."
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She is most excited about finally playing a big Long Island show where all her friends and family can come see her. "I've always wanted to perform, and being on the show makes me want to do that much more," she said. "I still get the butterflies before I go on stage, but I'm more comfortable now and I really want everyone to have a good time."
INFO $30-$85; 800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com
The stars come out in Farmingville
This year's Beatstock, sponsored by Long Island's WXXP / 105.3 FM instead of its traditional sponsor, WKTU / 103.5 FM, features dozens of acts, including:
* Kelly Rowland
* Kim Sozzi