Label, schmabel: TCW interview

Great interview with The Civil Wars about the benefits and pitfalls (mostly benefits) of not being attached to a major label.

Love hearing what they have to say about making music they love, their way. Joy’s coquettish stage persona belies her sharp, savvy, clear-eyed view of the music industry and what it takes to succeed. And, perhaps more importantly, what constitutes success.

And I found John Paul’s emphasis on crafting songs you believe in very inspiring and refreshing.

Bet they could give certain unsigned artist pals some pretty good advice if they ever needed it …. 🙂

What do you guys think? Should David rush into signing with a label?

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30 Responses to Label, schmabel: TCW interview

  1. tawna21 says:

    No! Nada! Nicht! Pas! Ingen! In other words, I think he’s doing just fine. He’s moving at the speed he needs to be to capture and find his voice and where he wants it to be. I just wish the radio stations would hear and play what is out there from him. *sigh*

    However, the speed with which he moves lately, from one side of the country to the other, has me dizzy. 🙂


  2. betsy says:

    No, he doesn’t need one. He’s clearly discovered the joys of independent music making. I’m happy that he isn’t some label’s puppet, scared to do or say anything that would rock the boat.
    Loved the Civil Wars’ video. I have a feeling he’s had some mentoring by them, businesswise.

    • TOfan says:

      I had the same feeling, bets, about the mentoring … Joy’s husband Nate manages TCW and has a marketing background, he’s done a great job establishing their “brand” (altho I hate that word being used on humans/art etc.).

      off-topic, here’s a pic posted on the CMN Hospitals FB page:
      David Archuleta Children's Miracle Network Hospitals

      David, Lupe, Meredith & the gang (Meredith is totally an Archie! 😆 *waves*):
      David Archuleta and Meredith Viera

      & of D. & M. signing autographs (davidarchuletanews.tumblr):
      David Archuleta signing autographs

      …update from Miracle Awards:
      @IWKFoundation: David Archuleta is Tiny but he can sing! #CMNCanada
      David Archuleta is Tiny but he can sing! #CMNCanada on Twitpic

  3. refnaf says:

    Yay awesome interview (love the civil wars) I am so in the “needs no label camp”. The music business is changing and David needs to be where he is right now! He said it himself that he wants to get his sound down and then see what happens.The cilvilwars model would def work for David…
    Interesting too>> they can pay their bills cause the pie does not need to be cut so many ways.
    I trust David to do music his way…”I found John Paul’s emphasis on crafting songs you believe in very inspiring and refreshing.” <<< yes, this is what David is up too me thinks!!!

  4. Kris says:

    I don’t think David should rush into signing with a label. I am very happy that he is working on defining his sound. I think that is most important. I think he should find the music that excites him and he is passionate about. The music that is clearly him. The music that sets him apart from the rest and clearly defines him so that when people hear his music they say “that is a David Archuleta song.” I’ve seen many comments from fans saying they want him to make the type of music that certain other artists make. He needs to find his own type of music. If people want to hear those artists music why would they listen to David? They will just listen to that particular artist.

    I like how John Paul said that artists should be as selfish as they can about their music. It is something that I heard another artist say years ago and I agree with it. I believe they said something about how they make music for themselves. And that is how it should be. I like how John Paul said that music is subjective and you can not please everyone, just yourself. But I also think an artist making music for themselves is important because if they do not love the music then what is the point?

    I agree that David could learn a lot from The Civil Wars. I also agree that Nate has done a good job of marketing their brand. The Civil Wars have a certain image and style. That image and style runs throughout their music, their website, their merchandise, their videos, their tour photos and tour diaries, and even the clothing they wear when they perform on stage. I know it sounds wrong but artists are products. And products need to have a definable image. People know what the image is and what it stands for. That is something that David lacks right now. He does not have a definable image or sound. Hopefully when he finds his sound then they will work on defining that image for him. Because right now I do think it is legitimate to wonder who is David as an artist? I don’t know. I’ve seen other people say this about him and I do think it is valid. And it comes from David doing so many different things that don’t relate to each other. And it confuses people as to who he is an artist.

    But David is young and he is learning along the way. I hope when does find his sound he has someone on his team that is as knowledgeable as Nate about marketing and promotion. And someone who is creative and innovative about those things.

    • TOfan says:

      Kris, couldn’t agree more with all of your points!!!! You’re right of course about artists being “products,” I just bristle whenever I hear that. What’s cool about the branding Nate has done for TCW is that it’s not an end in itself (as, I’d argue, it appears to be for some other artists *cough*Biebs*cough*). Those B&W tour diaries, album art, yes, even their stage outfits, everything, just help give some visual clues about what to expect from their sound, their music, which is central to what they’re about (as it is for David).

      I really think once David does refine his sound (as I’ve said before, I suspect the heart of it’s been there all the time) then the fact that he does different things that don’t appear to relate to each other won’t confuse people because they’ll see what we see and hear … a true original. This will date me, lol, but I loved how, over her hugely successful career, Linda Ronstadt was able to put out pop albums, Spanish records, cover standards (w/Nelson Riddle) and even appear in a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, and the buying public went along for the ride because she was the brand … her unique talent & yes, sound. I see Adele doing that too, she says her next record will be “countryish”… and people will buy it I bet, because of the strength of her talent/sound.

  5. Kizzi says:

    Thanks for sharing TCW interview. Gives a lot of insights into the business of making music. Great to see such people of good sense, balance, love of life and art, do what they love to do and share the “how to” and pitfalls with others.

    Once David makes precise, definitive choices to do what he loves and he does it consistently and really well, others will get his sound. He already made a definitive choice to not have a label.

    We get his sound now,the substance of it. It is the sound of the spaces between laughing, filled with joy, happiness and beauty, or it can be the sound of longing, pain, or angst. David does up beat sounds well. Its full of innocence pleated with optimism and faith; it grabs us and carries us along in a bubble of effervescent, sparkling light; AND,yet, it is the cry in his voice when he sings with longing, with tenderness and pain that is equally riveting. I really believe as he matures romantic themed music will be part of his sound. The cry element of his voice is a perfect vehicle for that.

    I see him making some interesting choices in his covers. His writing on his sophomore album actually got some good reviews.

    I am happy for him that he is taking things at his pace, on his timeline. The best part is I get to watch it unfold.

  6. TOfan says:

    Was thinking more about John Paul talking about making music for yourself first and came across this interesting post in The Lefsetz Letter, esp. this part:

    “… genius is love, not ability. Do you love what you do so much that you can’t stop talking about it, can’t stop practicing, can’t stop innovating? [Malcolm] Gladwell uses the example of Wayne Gretzky. Who cried when hockey games ended on TV when he was only two. Who invented shots no one had even contemplated.…

    “And then there’s Steve Jobs. He loved computers, he loved technology. He may have been unjustly fired from Apple, but he didn’t take his money and go home, he began again, with NeXT. Funny how today’s culture is different. I’m gonna create an app or a Website, sell it and retire! The geniuses never retire, their insides won’t let them.

    “And when you see a genius at work, you feel something. Those Apple keynotes, you could see that Jobs himself was thrilled, the excitement was contagious.

    “And I’m sure you’ve been at a show where the performer was so into it you’ll never forget it. When they weren’t playing for you so much as themselves, enraptured by the music.

    “Do you know those people who can’t stop talking about something, whether it be music or cars or computers? They’re the ones to look out for, they’re the ones who are going to make it.”

  7. peppertara says:

    Well, label, schmabel….haha, yes that seems to be the fit for David and seems to be a good one for him. Good write up TOfan,
    The Civil Wars have done well for themselves and are a good example of a number of artists today following their own unique path and doing quite well, really enjoyed watching that video.

    Whether David will ever sign with a label….don’t know, imagine the ‘glove’ would have to fit very well for him as far as musical expression, etc goes, if he ever did.
    Love all the interesting comments here and it’s true, the music industry is changing and label or no label….think a true, passionate, dedicated, gifted artist like David will have no problem honing his craft and finding those who are “willing to listen”. Doing things his way, the only way for him, truly.
    I do think that David could be very versatile too and be successful at it, he is just that unique and that gifted. As he is ‘finding his own sound” I think nothing but gemstones of creativity and pure music will be the result.

    TOfan….have always loved Linda Ronstadt! Yes, beautiful singer, artist and very versatile. You may as well express the gifts you have been given, right? People respond to the real, genuine and unique, I know I do. David certainly has the gifts, incredible musicality and the beautiful expression to carry it all through.

  8. peppertara says:

    Oh…and ove the photos from CMN….a lovely place for David to be this weekend.

    Love this too from the above quotes…..”“Do you know those people who can’t stop talking about something, whether it be music or cars or computers? They’re the ones to look out for, they’re the ones who are going to make it.” aka DJA 🙂

  9. peppertara says:

    That should be ‘love the photos”. Enough said tonight. 🙂

    • TOfan says:

      haha, loved every word, pep!!! Here’s another photo from @MissAmerica! (she tweeted: “@DavidArchie you and your group are some of the kindest and most wonderful people I’ve ever met- God bless!) 🙂

      … and “At rehearsal this afternoon with @DavidArchie and some of his friends and family”

  10. abanana77 says:

    Ahhhhh! This Dream Sky High is killer! Brace yourselves!

    (will never know how to embed haha)

    • TOfan says:

      WOOOWWW!!!!! Killer is right!!! *chills* baby *chills* Reminded me of fierce Star Search David! 🙂 Loved the Standing O at the end!!!

      thanks for posting that, abanana (& the warning, lol) … I actually doubted there’d be a vid from last night since it wasn’t a public event, and to have to such a professional one with such awesome audio is amazing! Loved Meredith’s intro too (“his voice is as big as his heart” and “distinguished musician” 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

    • Kizzi says:

      Oh my…. >:O “….and a distinguished musician….” YES!! And that raspy, velvety intro…gentle, respectful and tender.

      YouTube comment: *sniff*

      I’m a Riley kid. I was born a month early with my umbilical cord around my neck 3 times. This happened a lot now I know, but apparently mine was making me suffocate. The nurses made sure after I road in the ambulance to Riley that I was taken care of.
      If I had been born on my due date, I would have been a still born.
      I am now a college student getting ready to turn 21 soon.
      God saved my life,Riley saved my life,& music has saved my life.

      In a way,so has David. 🙂

      kjracegirl313 5 hours ago 2


      Power ballad for the win. What a performance! Very old school Whitney and Mariah sounding, but from a young white guy lol. Don’t see this everyday.

      Realupside 5 hours ag

  11. refnaf says:


  12. peppertara says:

    WOW, loved DSH….amazing, soulful and beautiful!!! Love the intro too and David’s sweet words before he sang. Can’t keep that soul man down!
    Here is a double WOW. Lean On Me…..gorgeous and more soulfulness!!! So love this, from his awesome lower register to belting it out with passion, amazing:
    (probably can’t embed)

    • abanana77 says:

      Wow!! Love that too!

      As much as I love his audience participation usually in this song, it’s nice to hear him sing the whole thing through 🙂

    • TOfan says:

      I had no idea he sang another song, ay carumba!!! I can only imagine what those kids & their families were feeling as he sang “If there is a load / that you can’t carry / I’m right up the road / I’ll share your load / If you just caaaalllll me” *sniff*

      Download mp3s for:
      Dream Sky High
      Lean on Me

  13. betsy says:

    Every day is your celebraaaaaaaaatttion”

  14. TOfan says:

    The DSH vid already has 1,696 4,542 views! (#11 Top Favorited (Today) – Travel & Events) … love this comment on the vid:
    “Being able to sit in the audience and listen to him sing this at the CMN awards was unforgettable! It was a beautiful performance and i don’t think there was anyone else better suited for this event.”

    …and I’d been thinking that one advantage of being with a big label is promo & publicity (not that Jive ever did that for David 😯 ) but just heard that TCW will be performing on Letterman next week. 🙂

    …aaaaand the amazing JR4DA just posted this from last summer (I’ve never seen it)… I remember hearing that the President was late meeting the champions so David entertained the kids by singing to them a capella:

  15. pandasmama says:

    Just wanted to stop by and say “HI” to everyone here at Snowangelzz from deep in the Heart of Texas.

    Viewing David’s performance of Lean On Me this morning gave me chills and made me think of therealnewangel’s article a couple of months ago talking about David’s “Heart Voice.” I just completed writing a post presenting my thoughts on this “Heart Voice.” Check it out on my blog.

  16. TOfan says:

    Thanks for the link, pandasmama!

    From the CMN Miracle Awards (click pic 2 enlarge):

  17. MunkFOD says:

    David should never rush to a label or rush into anything for that matter. He can take all the time he needs to write, create and bring us his music in his way! I trust his judgement completely and am very happy that he has worked with Joy and Nate in the past. 😀

    thanks for all the great articles and comments! 😀

  18. Katheryn says:

    The Dam Nation Idol Tournament – Semifinals

    It’s David vs. Kelly in the semifinals. There are only 48 hours to vote. We have until 10:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 26 to cast our votes for David.

    Just as before, fans should vote on as many PC’s, laptops, iPhones, iPads, etc. as they can get their hands on!

  19. refnaf says:

    Have had these CMN songs on repeat…. gah we need to hear this soul on his next album….the ending of DSH??? WOW! David takes cheese and makes souffle!!! yum

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