From The Staronline
Archuleta alert! He’s all grown up now
By FIONA HO
David Archuleta talks about his new journey as an independent singer-songwriter as he gears up for his upcoming concert in Kuala Lumpur.
David Archuleta has the buoyant wholesomeness of a Disney Channel pin-up. Blessed with boyish good looks and soothing, vanilla vocals, the childlike singer with the cute charisma has come a long way since he first stole our hearts on the seventh season of American Idol.
After a brief episode with a paralysed vocal chord that nearly destroyed his singing dream at age 13, young Archuleta emerged the runner-up on the hit reality series just five years later. Now at 21, after a highly successful self-titled debut album, which sold nearly a million copies worldwide, his season CD Christmas From The Heart (2009) and last year’s The Other Side Of Down, Archuleta is ready to go his own way.
Last February, it was announced that the engaging performer from Utah in the United States has been dropped by Jive Records, his label since 2008. Archuleta also left his management, Wright Entertainment Group in the same month to pursue what he called, “a new direction.”Free as a bird: Now at 21, David Archuleta is ready to go his own way with his music career.
It’s a certain change of environment, but if the wide-eyed singer has anything to say about it, it’s a positive one.
“A lot of people were surprised to hear that I’m not with Jive Records (owned by Sony Music Entertainment) anymore. But it wasn’t like that. I’ve actually been offered a different deal to still stay signed with Sony but I just felt like I haven’t been happy for the past one or two years and I haven’t been going the direction I’ve been wanting to go,” said Archuleta in a recent phone interview from Nashville, Tennessee.
“Ever since Idol, it was like go-go-go-go-go; do this, do that! There were so many people telling me what I should be doing and what’s going to make me successful but I didn’t actually have the time to think about what I really wanted to do,” he added.
Just like his affable persona, the singer was chirpy and candid throughout this interview.
“I was under a lot of pressure and I didn’t know what to do. I was just so confused…. Now, I finally feel like I’m breathing oxygen again and I’m free to be myself again.”
While his heart is still set on singing, Archuleta said he is not looking to be signed under a new label at the moment.
“I’ve learned a lot from the industry since Idol but right now, I need space to grow as a musician and to try to find my own sound. I want to spend time just writing and putting songs together, and then go out to record labels and say: I’m ready to make an album now. This is the music that I want to do – do you believe in me?”
For now, he is working towards writing his own music with songwriters from the musical city of Nashville.
“I love the vibe here,” he said with typical candour. “It felt like magic the first time I came here and that’s why I’ve been coming back over and over again.”
While country music remains synonymous with the city, Archuleta said the local music scene has a healthy variety of pop, punk and rock.
“There are so many types of different musicians out here. Ke$ha, Kings of Leon and Paramore are all from here.”
But despite his inherent optimism, the singer isn’t afraid to admit that his transition from manufactured pop star to independent songwriter has not been all smooth sailing.
“I was always so afraid to do this before, making decisions for myself because there was always someone else making decisions for me,” he shared.
Archuleta, who began performing publicly at 10 when he participated in the Utah Talent Competition (and won the children’s division), also revealed it is hard for him to finish a song on his own.
“I have a lot of ideas that I’m really excited about but I’m still trying to figure out my sound and what I really want to say in my songs. Hopefully, some of the writers I’m meeting will be able to get the songs I want to write out of me. I want to be able to connect with my fans and reach as many people as I can.”
“I love Adele so much and people love her because she puts her heart into her songs and you can hear how much feeling she puts into it. I wanna be able to do that.”
Pop fans can breathe easy, though, for Archuleta will not abandon his pop roots just yet.
“I still love pop music. That’s what I’ve always been doing but I want to work harder on my vocals. I want to put more focus on my voice instead of all the beats and sounds that technology can add to a track.”
“People didn’t vote for me on Idol because of who I was working with or the kind of tracks I was singing. They voted for me because they liked my voice.”
The best part about making music on his own is that he doesn’t have to meet anybody’s expectations anymore, he said.
“This is all coming from me, from my heart.”
Faith also takes precedence for the singer.
“No one guides me better than God. I could be going so many different ways and it’s scary because I could mess things up and I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen, but with God, I feel good about what’s going on and the decisions I’m making.”
His family background is also a strong one.
“My family has been consistently there for me. My parents, especially, they’ve been extremely supportive because they just care and it means a lot that there are people who care about you and who are there for you.”
Archuleta also revealed there’ll be another album on the way but added with a tinge of prudence, “just not this year.”
“Right now, I’m thinking of releasing just another song for fans who’ve been so patient and so good to me.”
Besides writing songs, he is also working on shows for the Christmas holiday season.
“There could even be a Christmas release, even if it’s just a little one,” he hinted.
But his Malaysian fans won’t have to wait that long, for the congenial singer will be back to perform his first full concert here on July 26 at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur.
Archuleta, who was last here in April 2009 for a mini showcase in Sunway Lagoon in Selangor said he is very excited about his upcoming concert.
“I was sweating a lot the last time I was in Malaysia but it felt so good. It was such a fun experience to meet my fans and it’s great to be able to come back and do a full show. There will also be a full band this time around.”
Fans of Archuleta can expect a performance filled with breezy, light-hearted numbers from all his albums at the concert.
Organised by Sony Music Entertainment, Malaysia, David Archuleta’s concert will be held at Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur on July 26 (8pm). Tickets are priced at RM300 (for VIP), RM230 and RM190 for numbered seats, and RM150 and RM90 for free seating. All prices exclude RM3 ticket handling fees. Tickets are available at Ticket Charge (www.ticketcharge.com.my) and AirAsia RedTix outlets (www.AirAsiaRedTix.com).
Limited VVIP tickets also entitle fans to premiums like a T-shirt, poster, the “Asian Tour Edition of The Other Side Of Down” album and not forgetting the Sound Check Party pass. To purchase the VVIP tickets only, call Sony Music’s office at 03-6207 9898 and ask for Sue, Joanne or Sing.
THE hottest concert tickets in town must belong to David Archuleta, who brings his music to Stadium Negara in KL on July 26. Everybody is rushing to get a piece of the live action. Expect the bells and whistles as well as the hits from this young star as he plugs in his first full paying concert here. He has also released The Other Side Of Down: Asian Tour Edition, a CD+DVD package, which includes five brand new tunes.
The good news is, concert organisers Sony Music Malaysia has come through with 20 pairs of David Archuleta concert tickets (worth RM90 each) to get you Star2 On Sunday readers to the show.
All you have to do is answer the simple questions below and finish up the slogan.
1. When and where is David Archuleta’s concert in Kuala Lumpur happening?
2. Name us the five new tracks found on The Other Side Of Down: Asian Tour Edition.
Complete the slogan: We want to see David Archuleta live in Malaysia because … (not more than 20 words)
For the contest, direct all e-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org complete with personal details (name, address, IC number, contact number), answers and slogan. Contest title: David Archuleta/Star2 On Sunday. The closing date for the contest is July 19, 2011. Winners will be notified by the organisers.