@onedavidnet was kind enough to twitpic the pages of this insightful interview with David in the “Life & Times” section of the Malaysia newspaper New Straits Times and I started typing out my favourite parts to post and soon realized I needed to transcribe the whole dang thing. Too good not to share. Enjoy!
The teen with the soulful tenor is now a young man with steel in his voice. He speaks to SUBHADRA DEVAN about leaving his music label, meeting Nashville songwriters and his concert in Kuala Lumpur
Everyone should keep a journal. American Idol 2008 runner-up David Archuleta tells me. “I write in mine every day.”
He is chatting over the telephone, filling us in on his upcoming concert in Kuala Lumpur next month.
The 20-year-old from Utah, who won the U.S. Billboard‘s online poll of Best American Idol Ever in May last year, included some parts of his journal in his book, Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance, published last June.
It tells how he overcame vocal chord paralysis to achieve his dream of being a singer and of the strength he draws from his faith and family. He also paid tribute to people who inspired him and who helped him believe in himself and his talent.
“Writing my journal helps me understand myself better and what I am going through. I encourage everyone to start writing a journal, to keep a record of their life. It helps clear your mind too,” he says.
Archuleta was partying in Nashville, Tennessee last week at the Country Music and Television Awards, staying on for the 2011 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, which featured, among the 60-over artists, Arcade Fire and Mumford & Sons.
He says excitedly that he met Idol’s Season 10 sinner Scotty McCreery at the CMT awards, as well as Crystal Bowersox and lots of other Idol alumni.
On Bieber and Idol
This season’s tween flavour, Justin Bieber, was also at the awards. Bieber’s road to fame came via YouTube, while Archuleta’s was through reality television.
When asked if he would have chosen YouTube, Archuleta, the 2010 Teen Choice American Idol Alum winner, says, “Ah no, I couldn’t do it. I would have probably felt self-conscious.
(The Teen Choice Awards is a teen awards show presented annually by Fox. Archuleta has won four since 2008.)
His thoughts of Idol Season 10?
“I was at the finale. It was really cool, an amazing show, with Beyonce, Judas Priest….
“It’s fun having Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges. They gave a lot more artistic opinions and suggestions, and it’s great to have J. Lo there for the Latina element.”
Archuleta’s material grandparents are from the Honduras, as is his mother. It’s 9:30 p.m. and he tells me he will be meeting some of his family later that night, including his maternal grandfather, who speaks only Spanish.
But Archuleta wasn’t at Nashville to just enjoy the ambience. He was there to meet songwriters.
“I haven’t started writing new material for my next album as yet.” He co-wrote 10 of the 12 songs on his third album, The Other Side of Down.
“I want to take my time, just to meet and get to know them first, and they me … instead of walking into the room, and just saying, “Hi!”.
He says his last collaboration with Nashville songwriters was fruitful. “My earlier songs, ‘The Other Side of Down’ and ‘My Kind of Perfect,’ both co-written by Nashville songwriter joy Williams, among others, are two of my favourite songs on my last album.
“I love the vibe there. They are friendly people … to ideas too. They are really focused on not just getting the hit radio songs but those that actually mean something.”
Nashville, he adds, is not just about country music. “It has a great indie scene too — Paramore and Kings of Leon are from there.”
There’s no new album as yet. Archuleta is working on shows for the Christmas holiday season.
On leaving Jive Records
Archuleta is on his own now, after his self-titled debut album (which gave us the catchy Crush), his Christmas From the Heart (2009) and The Other Side of Down (2010).
“Being with Jive was a good experience. I learned a lot. But now, I am able to do it in a different way. I felt I was really rushed before but now, I’m able to take more time … to figure out what kind of music I’m going to give … what I’m doing, because it’s important for me to get the right sound.
“I want to make decisions as to where I want to go as an artist, and to and to get to it in my own way. Now I really make the decisions. If I feel that’s really what I want to do, and someone says no you can’t do that, or that’s not you, or that’s not what you want to do … just because they are older than me or have more experience in the business doesn’t mean they are right.”
“No one can understand what’s the best thing for you to do, other than yourself.”
As Archuleta sings on the ballad “You Can,” “Show me that good things come to those who wait.”
Any mistake he won’t repeat?
“I guess I really don’t want to repeat any mistake. looking back, it may have looked like one then, but years later, it has taken me to the place I want to be. It was exactly what I needed.”
Still single and his perfect date
“Yeah, I’m still single. My perfect date? I want to have some fun, have a good time, not too romantic a time. A time when I can laugh, have a good meal, with good entertainment. I also love outdoors stuff. i love skydiving. I haven’t don’t that yet.”
“I went snowboarding last winter, back home in Utah. It was great, exciting yet so peaceful because it was in the mountains and around nature.”
On his upcoming concert
“I’m excited about the concert. I have a new band, I’m rehearsing with them, getting to know them, what kind of people they are.
“I am excited to come back to Malaysia, and to sing for my fans. And looking forward to learning Malay.”
David Archuleta will perform a full concert, organized by Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, on July 26, 8 p.m., at Stadium Negara. Tickets at RM300 (VIP), RM230 and RM190 (numbered seating) and RM150 and RM90 (free seating). Prices exclude RM3 handling fees. Tickets go on sale on Monday at Ticket Charge (www.ticketcharge.com.my) and AirAsia RedTix outlets (www.AirAsiaRedTix.com). Latest updates at http://www.facebook.com/sonymusicmy