Annotated excerpts from this amazing interview!!!
KG: You have a new Christmas album coming out November 2nd called Winter In The Air. It is your second Christmas album (the first being Christmas From the Heart released in 2009), how does this Christmas album differ from the first?
**[okay, I asked this question in VIP at the Olympia show and got a much shorter answer, so kudos to you, Kimberley]**
DA: I tried to have a little more fun with it than the last one. I tend to get kind of heavy and serious with Christmas arrangements because I feel like Christmas just gives you the time to just open up with your voice and get sacred with it, but at the same time I really tried to get some fun, more classic sounding songs on this album—which I didn’t really do on my first one—kind of like a Bing Crosby, or Nat King Cole, or like a Bublé kind of a feel; I mean he’s not like old school, but I feel like he already is classic at Christmas.
**[“classic” is totally the word that came to mind when I heard “Christmas Every Day”… it really does have that feel like it’s always been around and yet still fresh and new… does that make any sense at all??]**
KG: Your new album features traditional Christmas songs along with some original songs you co-wrote including “Christmas Every Day,” “Winter In The Air,” and “He Is Born.” How special is it to create new Christmas songs for fans to enjoy for years to come?
DA: That’s exactly what my goal was, that these would be songs you’d enjoy for years to come, and so I wrote one of each kind of original song—I wanted one that was just out of my comfort zone actually, because I’m not used to writing happy, fun, bouncy songs, but that was my goal that I set, to push myself with “Christmas Every Day,” which is the first single that I’ve released and I feel really good about it. I feel like I accomplished what I was hoping to.
Then the second one, “He Is Born,” I wanted to share my testimony of Christmas, like the spirit of it all, kind of talking about Christ and his birth, and how it made me feel to think about that.
And then on the third one, “Winter In The Air,” I just wanted a holiday song where you just look around and it’s quiet because all the snow is falling and all you hear is the snow crunching under your feet, and you just getting to share that peaceful moment with someone. It’s a ballad—kind of a slow kind of thing—so one of each: fun, bouncy, sacred, and kind of, I don’t know if romantic, but kind of romantic.
**[SOOOO excited to hear “Winter In The Air”!!! I love that feeling of the first snow when everything gets real quiet and a blanket of peace covers everything and everyone *sniff*. And: “I don’t know if romantic, but kind of romantic.” 😆 😆 😆 … Puh-lease, David, just spit it out, you can do it, bud… repeat after me: “IT’S ROMANTIC!” 🙂 There, see, that wasn’t that bad.]**
KG: “Christmas Every Day” is your new single off your Christmas album. Like you said, it has a very upbeat, cheerful vibe which I think your fans are really going to like. Tell me about the feeling that you wanted to convey in this song.
DA: I basically wanted a song that captured the same happy feeling of songs like “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “Underneath The Tree.” When it comes on, you just naturally start feeling happy, **[YES! YES!!! THIS TOTALLY HAPPENS!!! I MISSED TWO BUSES THE OTHER DAY AND WAS IN SUCH A GROUCHY MOOD AND THOUGHT, ‘I KNOW WHAT CAN CHANGE THAT,’ AND PUT ON CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY AND IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!!… okay, back to the interview, sorry]** and it’s fun. I almost like, wanted to write a song that people would get sick of, that kind of song where it’s like, “Oh man, that song again?” I kind of wanted that—not that I want people to get sick of the song—but I just wanted it to be a catchy song for the holidays for everybody.
**[If anyone else said, “I wanted to write a song that people would get sick of,” I’d scratch my head and say, “huh??” But we TOTALLY know what he means, am I right?? So we totally speak David now, obvs.]**
KG: It is catchy, and it’s funny because you got me listening to Christmas songs way before the stores got me listening to Christmas songs!
DA: (laughs) Oh man. I’m glad you like them. Yeah, I was like, I don’t know if people are ready already in September for Christmas every day. I was like, um, is that too soon? Especially that the song is called “Christmas Every Day.” Like, I don’t want them to get sick of it by December.
**[No, chance, my friend. Like, zero.]**
KG: That’s so funny.
I read that American Idol alum, Melinda Doolittle, sang background vocals on your song “Christmas Every Day.” How did that come about?
DA: She did! I just kind of kept in touch with her over the years, and then I ran into one of her friends while I was going salsa dancing with some of my friends, and so then we’re talking about how great Melinda was and all, and then I ran into one of her other friends on the airplane and we’re talking about Melinda and how great she is again. I never had a friend do background vocals for me before; there was always a hired person, or I usually do it myself, so when we were like, we really need someone who just has a really good voice that isn’t my voice, I was like, let me see if my friend Melinda is around and could do this. She was and it was a lot of fun having her in the studio.
**[Love Melinda!!! Hope they do more together! … also, salsa dancing. Salsa. Dancing.]**
KG: That’s really great. Are there any other Idols that you might want to collaborate with in the future?
DA: I mean, there’s so many. Jordin Sparks and I have talked a lot about it. I mentioned her in a Twitter comment, and she’s like, “Oh, my gosh, let’s do it!” I had a song called “Numb” come out, and she came to one of my shows, and she’s like, “I want to do a duet version of that with you sometime.” Jordin is just always up to collaborate with people, so I’d love to do one with her.
**[(A) Love that Jordin went to a show, and (B) A Numb duet with Jordin?? Something I never thought I needed in my life but now I TOTALLY DO!!!!]**
KG: You are going on tour this December to sing the songs off your new Christmas album; how excited are you to share your new music with your fans live during the holidays?
DA: I’m always a little nervous before any tour. I’m also really excited because I worked really hard on this album. Just learning how to do something independently, be the guy in charge, and figuring out, like, what I want to accomplish with these songs, and working with the producers and getting inspiration from them as well. I just feel like I was really invested in every single part from the start of the songs, from writing them and giving the vision that I wanted to accomplish, to then having the mixes of the songs done like this… and maybe sometimes I get too involved, because it’s not like I’m a master at every single step of it, but I just wanted to make sure I felt good about it and I was happy about what my fans were going to listen to. And I really wanted it to be something that regardless of even if they don’t follow my career, I wanted people just to feel like, “You know what, that’s a good Christmas album.”
**[So dang proud of this guy. He’s just so… true to himself. And dedicated to his craft. And bursting with integrity. … I have such faith in his impeccable musical taste and skill that reading this, I have 100% confidence that that’s exactly what anyone listening to it will say, “That’s a good Christmas album.”
Don’t get me wrong, I still love Christmas From the Heart (except for the cover, but I’m almost over it), but it didn’t feel completely David the way I know this one will. I never really expected to get a “single” at all from the Christmas album, and to be able to hear it so soon and it exceeds any and all expectations.
It kind of shocks me how awesome it is because I knew David’s vocals would be impeccable but I instantly loved everything about it and have had it on repeat. The way it builds and the way it lifts me and fills me with joy. The way his voice takes off into the heavens near the end. The way it makes me want to dance around the room. Each and every time. Beautiful work, David. Thank you.]**
KG: What is your favorite thing about Christmas time?
DA: A big part are the songs. I just love the songs. I’m one of those people who doesn’t get sick of Christmas music and listens to it well into January because I just can’t get enough of it. I mean, even on my playlist, I have Christmas songs on my normal playlist, even on my feel-good summer one.
**[Wonder what those songs might be? hmm]**
KG: Well, hey, you can celebrate Christmas in July, right?
DA: I know. I mean, I needed the inspiration anyway, because I’ve been working on my Christmas album all summer, so I kind of was already in the mode anyway. If I was like, out of the studio and going somewhere with my friends, they’re like, “Why are you singing Christmas songs?” I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even realize I was.”
I love the happy songs, but I also love just the spiritual songs. I love the time with family and the spirit of Christmas overall. I mean, other than like, Black Friday sales and all that, that’s a little much for me, but everything else about Christmas, I really love.
**[ 😆 😆 😆 ]**
KG: In addition to your new Christmas album you recorded several songs, including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” in Spanish which will be available in a four-song EP. What does it mean to you to be able to share your music with your fans in Spanish as well as English?
DA: Well, my mom is from Central America, from Honduras. I didn’t grow up speaking Spanish, so I feel guilty that I didn’t. I love that it runs in my veins, but I didn’t speak it until I became a missionary and then I lived in Chile two years as a missionary for my church, and then I became fluent. It was so cool. When I got home, my grandpa who I never understood what he was saying—he was always there, but it was like I opened up a new book that had just been sitting on the shelf all my life and I just didn’t know anything about it, until I just picked it up and opened it; that’s what my grandpa was—so it was just so cool to learn so much from him and the stories that he tells about my relatives, and my ancestors, and just his life and my mom. **[This is so beautiful, I can’t even even… the analogy of his grandfather as a book he could never read before *sobs* and that he could finally understand stories about his family and his mom *more sobbing*] I’ve always wanted to connect to that side because I was born in Miami, and that’s a Hispanic culture, a lot of my best friends are Hispanic as well, so I was like, I have to give back to that part of me, even if I don’t have the best accent in Spanish, it’s still a part of me—it’s in my blood—and I wanted to offer that to that part of my heritage that I love so much.
KG: That’s great that you were able to share language with your family in that way.
How different is it to sing in Spanish than it is to speak in Spanish, especially since you just learned it not too long ago?
DA: I’ve sung in Spanish ever since I was little, so that’s always been easier for me because even if I didn’t understand every word I was saying, I knew generally the pronunciation. I think it’s easier to sing in Spanish because you can memorize the tone, whereas when you’re speaking, sometimes you’re just speaking off-the-cuff and then in conversation sometimes you come up to a thought, or a sentence, you want to say and you’re like, wait, “How do I form this sentence in Spanish,” or sometimes your accent isn’t the best. I get really self-conscious about my accent, because I know it’s kind of Americanized, but it’s definitely easier to sing in Spanish because you have time to memorize it and form your mouth to say it properly.
**[his accent sounds pretty good to me, just sayin’ 🙂 ]**
KG: Do you think you’ll ever do a full Spanish album?
DA: Oh, yeah. Definitely.
KG: This year marks the 10 year anniversary of your first single, “Crush.” Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Idol and all the places your career has taken you since?
DA: It feels like another lifetime, because American Idol felt like—even though it was only like that year of 2008, and I guess just the effects of it in 2009—it felt like a different life because it was so fast paced. I don’t have a fast-paced life generally, but American Idol just gave me a fast pace, and it gave this platform of millions of people watching and voting for me, and liking what I was doing, and excited to see me, or hear me, and it was like the introduction to what I’m in right now, of me as a singer, career, releasing albums, so it just blows my mind, and I’m super grateful for everything it’s brought me. To get to do Christmas albums, or just albums in general, and share things—having a fan base to engage with is a pretty remarkable thing. It was super hard, it was really hard, American Idol, but sometimes you just need a little kick in the booty to get going to where God needs you to go.
**[I love that this interviewer did her research (or she was already a fan, even better)… also love what he said about having a fan base to engage with because, well, “he mentioned us!!! he knows we’re out here cheering him on and he’s okay with it!!!! … okay, I’m done, lol]**
KG: It really prepared you for your career.
DA: Yeah, I call it boot camp.
KG: David, do you have a message for your fans?
DA: I always tell them thank you. Thank you for sticking around. I don’t know why you stuck around for even 10 years later—I’m so happy that I haven’t bored you—but I am so thankful for your support, for your excitement, for the music that I work so hard to put together and create, and I can’t wait to see you out on the road. I hope you come to one of the shows, but if you’re not able to get out on the road, I hope you enjoy the album when it comes out in November, and I hope you can feel just my passion and my love for it, and that it can motivate and inspire you as well.
**[someone hold me]**
For more information about tour dates and tickets, or how to pre-order David Archuleta’s newest Christmas album, go to www.davidarchuleta.com.
p.s. I do wish she’d asked about a music videooooooo! (*greedy Gretchen*)
How about you guys?? What did you think??