How do we love Contigo? Let me count the ways

davidalma021You tax my vocabulary, David Archuleta. I’ve run out of words to describe that thing you do to us when you sing. That magic you make. That spell you cast.

I’d bet many Canadians tuned into the ALMAs last night to see Nelly Furtado perform and ended up under your spell, instead.

7 things to love about Contigo:

1) The introduction. There was no mention of A.I. or the words “runner up,” only a warm, heartfelt welcome to the stage. “We are very proud to recognize the accomplishments of a very special young man. Please welcome the recipient of the Year in Music NCLR New Artist Award, David Archuleta.”

2) The first line. No existe un momento del dia
En que pueda apartarte de mi”
(“There’s no moment of the day
That you could drift apart from me”). He had us at “No existe.” Soft yet strong, tender as an embrace, it was his “Once upon a time…” that took us by the hand and led us into the story of the song.

3) Lone guitar. The ideal minimalist accompaniment to showcase David’s vocals (which were so overwhelming I had to replay it to convince myself there wasn’t also a string section or horns off stage).

4) Spontaneous applause during the third verse. At “Es que te has convertido En parte de mi alma” (“You have become part of my heart/soul”), the intensity and passion rang so true, I felt an electric charge jolt through me and, clearly, so did the audience.

5) Looking up to the stars on “las estrellas.” That move took us up to the stars with him, but subtly, with restraint — a grown-up glimmer of the youthful gestures David uses in his live shows. Demonstrating his impeccable instinct for calibrating his performance for each audience, venue and occasion.

6) Panther-like movement. The rise from the stool, the Archustrut to one side, the rhumba-like step back and stroll to centre stage – masterful and commanding. The opposite of awkward.

7) The song. Oh my. Each exquisite note caressed with love. The embellishments of David’s youthful version stripped away to reveal the beating heart of that song. Written in 1950 by Cuba’s César Portillo de la Luz, it’s a timeless classic dear to the Latino community and it took courage and cojones to sing it for them. He could have also wowed the crowd with Angels or ZG – something to promote his own releases. But no, he offered up a gift to that community, and by doing so, a gift to us all.

So beautiful. So David.

Thank you. Merci. Mille grazie. Muchas gracias.

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19 Responses to How do we love Contigo? Let me count the ways

  1. refnaf says:

    Wow TOfan, your every point is spot on! (love you and your writing). i have been doing the errands and can not stop listening to Contigo, every where I go …. Dpod in pocket, to the grocery store, the liquor store… I can’t stay away> It is exquisite. Another treasure.

  2. Kizzi says:

    TOfan – Words of love from a woman who is love about a song about love sung by a person who is the personification of love.

    Just beautiful and your observations were thrilling to read.

    Thank you!

  3. Kizzi says:

    Oh, and, it has all changed now. A Quantum Performance leap has just occurred. New reality alert.

    I feel a little like I am in a bit of a “tilt” mode (as in the ground shifted) but I am readjusting.

  4. awestruck says:

    TOfan – lovely especially “He could have also wowed the crowd with Angels or ZG – something to promote his own releases. But no, he offered up a gift to that community, and by doing so, a gift to us all.”

    Oh how he instinctively knows how to make an impact by GIVING.

  5. TOfan says:

    Thanks, guys! But I realize now I forgot to mention one of my favourite parts … the mmmm ending followed by that smile.

    Refnaf, I videotaped the performance in SP mode (best sound quality) and keep replaying it. Find something new to love every time.

    Kizzi, “the ground shifted” … I think I know what you mean. Glad you’re readjusting, don’t think I’m there yet. LOL

    Awestruck, so true. And what’s most amazing is that it seems to be second-nature. wow

  6. lotusb says:

    Wonderful post TOfan! I couldn’t agree more with all of your points. That performance was bliss. I particularly love your point 6….the panther like movement across the stage. I don’t know why, but by viewing 50 of the video, I couldn’t take my eyes off of his feet!

  7. Kizzi says:

    I haven’t a email relationship with masterclass lady nor a name recognition on her site as I didn’t comment during AI 7.

    If anyone here does, it would be great if she would comment on Contigo en la Distancia.

  8. Sunshine says:

    Great post TO_fan! It was so David to sing an authentic Spanish lovesong and not a translation of one of his own. He said at one point that the Spanish version of Crush was proving difficult. You just can’t capture the essence of a song in a translation. He truly paid homage to his Latino roots.

    I also noticed in his red carpet interviews that his pronunciation is stellar. Many of the ‘Latino’ celebs sounded like they spoke no Spanish. It’s also nice that, since many were hearing him for the first time, he wasn’t introduced by his Idol moniker.

    He truly made us love him more.

  9. TOfan says:

    lotusb, the feet, I know! 50x? You mean you’re just getting started? LOL

    kizzi, great idea about MCL. I’ve never commented there but I will investigate! I also loved your story about Mr. Kizzi’s reaction to Contigo. “David is love.”

    Sunshine!!! I don’t speak Spanish but I too thought his pronunciation sounded flawless. Especially the word “hondureño” (Honduran) … even that sounded musical! 🙂

  10. awestruck says:

    Kizzi-TOfan I went to MCL to leave a link and two people had already done so… She is with her daughter’s family waiting for #2 grandbaby, so it may take a while for her to review

  11. refnaf says:

    Watching the vid that has the English subtiltles…. man , there are no words that I can find! Gosh, David is such an enigma. I am thankful to be a part of his journey, He keeps us up in stars, for days at a time with one song!!!
    Love to hear MCL deconstruct of CEDL!
    lotus-b, the feet, lol, it’s the way he slides across the stage smoooth, and in control!

  12. awestruck says:

    TOfan you’ve got mail

  13. TOfan says:

    sheesh, can’t believe David says in his blog that he was nervous before this performance … zero evidence of it. Have never seen him seem more comfortable, poised and confident.

    And, oh, just found another thing to love about it … that the first thing he does at the end, even before taking his bows, is to thank the guitarist. Class act.

  14. pastelpastel says:

    TOFan….beautiful beautiful beautiful. You wrote was resides in my soul, and struggles to come out every time I watch the vid or play the MP3. Thank you.

  15. tibitibi says:

    Hello, i didn’t knew this site , but i’m so glad canadians have a place so thank you.
    Your description is AMAZING, and point exactly every important moment in David’s performance
    ”He could have also wowed the crowd with Angels or ZG – something to promote his own releases. But no, he offered up a gift to that community”
    I admire David for do that and recognize this part of his heritage, even before this recognizion from the ALMA Awards. He always said that for him his mother culture is and was in the past of too much influence for him like person , not all the latino singers( or latin roots singers) in the anglo market do that and speak so loud and proud of their heritage.

  16. fodvicki says:

    Veeeeeerrry beautifully written. And so true. I also loved the mmmmmm after ‘Si no estas tu tambien’ along with the mmmmm and the little smile at the end. That did remind me of the AI days, the week David sang Long and Winding Road – the little smile at the end indicating he knew he ‘nailed it’. Such an amazing breakthrough performance at the ALMAS. I can’t get enough of it.

  17. Josie says:

    TOfan!!! This was wonderful! I’m loving your site 🙂 ♥

  18. TOfan says:

    {{{hugs}} to Pastel, Vicki, tibitibi and Josie!!!!

    I thought the Contigo “spell” might have worn off by now and I could stop rushing home to watch it on my VCR … not having much luck with that. LOL

    (tibitibi, please email me at

  19. Pingback: Must-Read Fan Reviews on David Archuleta’s Contigo « David Archuleta Beyond Borders | David Archuleta News, Musings, Charities & Promotions

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