“As Simon Cowell would say … ‘Everything and More’ just isn’t relevant.” I read this line in one of the trashy blogs that pop up in my Google alerts from time to time and instead of dashing off a defensive comment to Pop Dirt or Dust or whatever it was, I stopped and thought about it.
As a fan, obviously David’s relevant to me, but how about to the music industry in general? And that got me thinking about what constitutes relevance in today’s pop scene?
Is it adding auto-tune effects and repeating the same lyrics over… and over…and over… and over … to be “radio-friendly” (code for sounding exactly like every other song on every Top 40 station)?
Or is it recording truly original music that sounds like no one else on the planet *cough*AdeleFlorenceandtheMachineTheCivilWarsMumford&Sons*cough*?
I think it’s all those things … but only if listeners respond to your music, hopefully buy it and turn up at your concerts. That is the true test of relevance in my view.
Lady Gaga probably represents the current standard of “relevance” — all other up-and-comers are usually compared with her talent for generating both hit songs and headlines. But back when she was starting out and tirelessly touring, radio stations told her they couldn’t play her “club” music … it wasn’t “relevant” … didn’t fit in. Her getups certainly didn’t fit in. But she stayed true to herself and her sound and look at her now.
Where does that leave David? In this great interview in The Salt Lake Tribune, he’s is quoted as saying, “I want to make my voice come through more … I want to do songs that are more vocally driven, so I can be emotional.”
Bingo! Music to my ears. THAT is exactly what will set him apart from the crowd and guarantee his relevance…. David knows, as we do, that emotional connection between song, singer and listener is the mark of a true artist, a relevant artist … and who does that better than David Archuleta?
Simon and whoever else can go ahead and lump him in with all other former Idol contestants who faded into obscurity but we know better. David’s taking a huge leap of faith walking away from major labels and onto the showbiz tightrope without a net. How can detractors accuse him of not being relevant because he doesn’t take risks? David’s brave enough to stay true to himself in a business where shock value is often the only value.
No worries. Along with That Voice, David Archuleta’s relevance lies in his undeniable talent, his fierce pursuit of what’s real and true, and his heart of pure light. He is David and the music industry is Goliath and we all know how that turned out.