The ALMA effect: What CELD could mean for David

Artwork: Samantha/Snarky Archies

Artwork: Samantha/Snarky Archies

It is interesting to watch the media — and fan — reaction following David Archuleta’s performance of “Contigo en la Distancia” on last Friday’s telecast of the ALMA Awards.

Everything from mainstream websites and publications to Latino media outlets to celebrity gossip sites to Top 40 blogs are buzzing with glowing reviews of David’s performance. And on top of all that are the comments from everyone from teens/tweens to people reconnecting with David’s music since A.I. and new “converts.”

The blogosphere
The mainstream blogs were really awed by David when he first sang Imagine. Yes, they have since reported on his activities (the Idol-related ones to be sure), but with his performance at the ALMAs, I detected a new tone in their blogging. A “let’s start taking this guy seriously” tone. And new blogs have joined in as well. This is despite the fact that Jive’s promotion to mainstream pop fans has been relatively quiet to say the least.

Fan fare
And speaking of pop fans, they have perhaps been the most vocal. There are the new arrivals (many of whom post comments like “When did he grow up?”) and the returnees (with comments like “Thank God. I loved Archie during his season but have hated everything he’s done since. This reaffirms my faith in his talent again. Loved it.”).

And longtime fans — like ggdoorsfan, who asks: “How exactly do you market a 17/18, fresh faced, youthful appearing, big voiced singer with so much musical versatility, and appeal, across so many diverse demographics, and do it in a way that is critically and commercially viable?”

Jive talkin’
That last question is a relevant one as record companies today seem to stream their signed talent into one genre and one genre only. It poses a conundrum to say the least.

I think critically David will have no problem. His musical genius will speak – has spoken – for itself. Commercially he can certainly satisfy all genres by recording pop, Christmas, Latin, as well as David’s own unique style, which will evolve and change over time… Jive, can you keep up? Can you alter the way you do business to accommodate someone as versatile as David Archuleta?

Maybe they have begun to. Let’s start with Disney. Perhaps Jive found a clever way to appeal to the Disney crowd – touring with Demi Lovato, promotion for Disneyworld’s A.I. Experience, airplay on Radio Disney – without David actually having to BE a Disney performer.

It was encouraging that Jive tweeted about David’s ALMA performance (not so encouraging that fans had to prompt them to do so). Perhaps an indicator at just how influential that performance could end up being in the long run.

The Latino community
We all know that David hit this performance out of the park. And doing so – and singing in Spanish, to boot – could very well have a huge, far-reaching impact on his career.

Watching the ALMAs, it was apparent to me how strongly the Latino entertainment community in America supports and acknowledges their talented entertainers. The venue was filled with the bright lights of that community. Salma Hayek, for example, is a powerful producer as well as actor – and she reportedly leapt to her feet at the conclusion of David’s performance. The live audience’s reaction left no doubt that doors will open for David as a result of this event. Doors to opportunities where he will be able to have an impact on all ages in the Latin community and beyond.

This is only the beginning.


Here’s a round up of recent buzz:

Disney Dreaming

SciFi Latino

ElHeraldo El Heraldo (in Spanish)

AboutComTop 40 Blog

perezhilton_celebrity-gossip_ballsq2Perez Hilton

Disney Blog

ChristmasFromtheHeart_P.S. Christmas From the Heart Update: After being available for pre-order for a mere 48 hours on, Christmas From the Heart has leapt to #9 on’s Top 100 list. Broke the Top 10 … woot!

Way to go Canada! Pre-order your CD(s) here.

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5 Responses to The ALMA effect: What CELD could mean for David

  1. Kizzi says:

    Excellent compendium of reactions to last Friday’s CELD performance and potential. Beautifully said, awestruck.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your analysis of the Disney strategy. I don’t think the intention was to label David as Disney; I believe the intention was for him to gain new fans in the demographic that Disney attracts.

    Also, I believe that Demi Lovato is a musician in her own right and not a cute kid actor who is packaged “the right way” to appear like a musician.

    How can he be marketed to multiple demographics with different tastes? With performances, like CELD that hit all the marks, that cross age, gender, religious, social & cultural origins, it may very well be in this instance that the singer markets their self naturally.

    The other thing that David has perserved at is continuing to be “himself” and learning and growing while maintaining his kindness, genuineness, and vulnerability. His random tweets are representative of this. That seems to be his “uniqueness” in the media beyond his gifted vocals.

    I remember post Idol David did an interview with Spike Feresten who told David he needed an “edge.” I think David may be on to something in that he unique because he has no edges. He is a squeaky clean OrIgInAl.

    Again Awestruck – great post, excellent lense to view the CELD performance through.

    As a die hard David fan, just knowing the powerful people in the ALMA’s audience listening to David’s performance is innervating and energizing when pondering “things yet to happen” in David’s career.

    How’d we get to be so lucky? 🙂

  2. refnaf says:

    Awesome Awestruck!!!
    It has been a great week for us die hard angelz to soak up David’s brilliant performance. Nothing is better than reading of others being stopped dead by David’s vocal ability. So true that critically he will recieve the kudos, but mass marketing? that’s tricky. He certainly does not fit the “mold” of pop stars, perhaps David’s future will involve breaking and tossing the mold! His musical genius, but also his “Davidness” is something that pop music can’t seem to handle. I wonder how many (if any) other pop musicians have as diverse a following as David? To me David is one artist who could have success in almost every market… pop, latin, r and b, religious, adult contemporary ….. I’ll support all! I think you are on to some thing kizzi “it may very well be in this instance that the singer markets their self naturally.”
    The effect that his Alma performance will have for his future? I think the industry peeps in the audience took note of this man who has the voice of perfection and the grace and charm of a true idol… just not enough adjectives to describe him.
    Thanks so much awestruck…

    btw, I adore David’s tweets!!! always bring me a smile during my day.

    And Go Canada #15 at amazon!! woot

  3. TOfan says:

    AWEsome post, AWEstruck!!

    I agree with your point (& Kizzi’s) re Jive/Disney — I can’t believe the favourable reviews Disney “talent” (JoBros, Demi, Miley) have been getting from so-called serious music critics across the board.

    David appeals to that same demographic yet has REAL talent, as his CELD performance made abundantly clear … so long as audiences (and those same critics) haven’t forgotten what real talent looks like, comparisons with the current Disney stable should work in his favour.

    I wonder if David got this gig because some ALMA organizers attended the Latino Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C., earlier in the year and heard him sing the national anthem? hmmmm

  4. awestruck says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments, they expand on the article and are truly appreciated.
    Kizzi– I have wanted to make a statement about Jive for a while. Through my ignorance of how record companies operate, I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt in that perhaps they may even be taking their direction from David? Slow and steady, not in your face marketing, let things evolve in their own way approach? Far-fetched, perhaps.
    Yes, to him hitting all the marks and I do so agree with your “it may very well be in this instance that the singer markets their self naturally”. I believe that David opened up the Latino group by his own promotion – that of musical genius and unmatched versatility and was rewarded by the ALMA performance opportunity (got this in TOfan!).
    refnaf Perhaps one reason for David’s diverse following can be explained by a remark made in an article by Don Ashley “I find it very interesting that even though David Archuleta reached “stardom” on a reality singing show, his fan base developed because of his sincere and genuine personality”
    TOfan – in my opinion today’s music stars are more about performance flash and flair than actual singing. With David ‘less is more’ works because of his extraordinary (insert your own choice word here) vocal ability and his instinctive knowledge about how to present a song in a specific circumstance.
    Let’s see if I have mastered the italics/bold thing…

  5. TOfan says:

    [Awestruck, the formatting elves fixed your bf & itals! 🙂 ]

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