Texas based Jason Castro, the soft-spoken dude with the powerful vocal ability who wowed America on Season 7 of “American Idol” last year, has just signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Castro’s debut album on the label is planned for release later this year.

Atlantic has spared no expense for this project, enlisting heavyweight producer John Field (Soul Asylum, Lifehouse, Switchfood) and songwriters such as current Idol judge Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson, Jewel, Santana), Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Jason Mraz), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), and Jason Reeves (Colbie Caillat).

Castro’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” last season was so powerful that it sold 178,000 digital copies of Jeff Buckley’s version of the song. A few weeks later, Castro’s version of “Over the Rainbow” also hit #1 on iTunes and he finished fourth in the competition, frequently overshadowed by the more popular Davids–eventual champ Cook and runner up Archuleta. Those guys have released their debuts and now Castro takes his turn.

We’ll keep you posted when we know more about the official release date.