Crush on David Archuleta

hot Magazine, Issue 175, June 2011

Crush on him
Watch out for the stampede, because David Archuleta is coming to town!

By Sophia Goh

David Archuleta needs no introduction. Ever since he emerged runner-up in the seventh season of American Idol – that he didn’t win is an abomination, many would argue – he’s taken the pop world by storm, not just in America but around the world.

Just ask all the fans who turned up at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur, to buy his concert tickets.

We’ve spoken to David several times in the last few years, and we know we keep saying this, and we don’t know how he does it, but we swear he’s as easygoing and adorable as ever. Even after all this time in the supposedly cutthroat music industry.

Well, he doesn’t have that slightly awkward air anymore. He’s smoother, more experienced, but still a little goofy. Like when he lets out a huge burp a couple of minutes into the interview and bursts out laughing. “Sorry,” he says, taken by surprise. “That was loud.”

Come 26 July, the 20-year-old from Utah will perform at Stadium Negara in what will be his first full concert in Malaysia. If his last showcase here in 2009 is anything to go by, it’s going to be an awesome, fun and, well, high pitched screams-filled affair. The fans can’t wait, and to be honest, we’re pretty excited ourselves.

What can fans expect from your concert?
Well, they can expect a lot of the familiar songs, just from the album release I’ve had, and I’m excited to sing more songs because I haven’t been to Malaysia since the last time I came out. I’m really looking forward to performing those songs along with other songs that I haven’t gotten to perform there yet.

What’s your secret to staying grounded?
Um, I don’t know. I feel very blessed to have the people I’ve had around me. My family’s been a big part of that as well. They have helped to motivate me the right way and are just good examples to me. They help remind me of the right priorities in life.

And what are those priorities?
Just keeping your family close and always doing what you can for other people. And see how you can use the gifts that you’ve been given to make a difference for other people – that’s the best feeling. It’s just people telling you and sometimes you see it from other people and from your own experience, but I think that’s how you realise that’s the most fulfilling thing. It’s just remembering those things and remembering what mattered to you in the first place and why you love to do music and feel passionate about it. I guess remembering is the biggest thing. It’s important.

We can’t really imagine it, but are you ever grumpy?
Am I grumpy? [Laughs] When I don’t get a lot of sleep, it’s so hard for me to focus. That’s the big thing, when I’ve gone for a while and I’m lacking a lot of sleep, it’s really hard for me to pay attention and focus on what people are saying and stay energetic. That’s one of the biggest things – when I don’t sleep for a while.

Have you been working for a long stretch?
I’ve been working in a different way. I’ve been focusing more on writing. I’m actually in Nashville right now meeting with writers. My focus now isn’t just on writing, but on meeting with writers and seeing which writers I feel most comfortable with and could start working with.

That must be very exciting.
Yeah, I’m very excited. And I just love Nashville. I’ve written a couple of songs here. There are songs called ‘The Other Side of Down’ and ‘My Kind of Perfect’ from the last album I did, and those were done here in Nashville. I just had a really great experience here with the writers [the last time]. I felt they really took time to understand what I was trying to say, not just with the words but musically, like, melodically. And I thought, I should probably come back and try and get more familiar with the people who are here and the writers, because there’s a lot of talented people here. A lot of people think, ‘Oh, Nashville, are you doing country music now?’ But there are all kinds of writers here – urban, R&B, pop, rock and country.

A lot of artistes become jaded and tired after a while because they work so hard for so long…
Oh, that is the hardest thing. I think, and a lot of people would agree, that one of the biggest challenges is having a lot of attention on you. It’s a great thing because it lets more people hear your music and gives you more opportunities to share your music with other people, but it’s harder. I think it’s a weird feeling to have a lot of people looking at you and focusing on you, and you can feel their energy. Like in American Idol, that was probably the hardest thing about the whole show. It’s just all the focus and attention that people had on you. And I think that’s why sometimes people can feel overwhelmed and they try to look for a way to get that space and some quiet and some privacy. Maybe that’s why some people sometimes can become a little jaded.

So what do you do when you want some quiet and privacy?
Um, a lot of times I just turn off my phone or leave my phone at home and just go for a drive or a walk. I try to look for a park, or when I’m home I’ll go up the canyon, up the mountain, and just spend time there to think about things and keep myself in check. I think nature is the most peaceful place you can be, and that’s the best way to keep myself in check, just having that time to myself. I think everyone needs that, no matter what you do. I think everyone needs time to themselves, just to think.

Speaking of American Idol, what do you make of all these new singing and dancing talent shows out there? There are so many now.
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I have been trying to watch a little bit of The Voice. I think that’s a really fun show to watch. It’s kind of cool. It’s a different way of doing things that they have going on. I feel like you can always keep learning and the best way to learn is by watching other people sing and perform.

Going back to your concert, can you name three things you think every fan should bring to your show?
I guess a camera if they want to take pictures for memories, a cell phone in case their parents drop them off and they need to get a ride back home, and also to let their parents know they’re okay and safe. And then, what else? I don’t know. Earplugs? In case it gets too loud? [Laughs] I usually just bring my phone and then some money in case I need it for an emergency. But not too much money, just in case I lose it.

Earplugs might be a good idea, not for your music but for all the shrieking that will be happening.[Laughs] Oh, man, I don’t know. Sometimes the screaming gets loud no matter who’s singing.

We were there for your last showcase in Malaysia, and the screaming was unbelievable. We don’t know if you noticed, but there were middle-aged women screaming for you too.
Oh, man. [Laughs] Well, I’m sorry about that.

No, that’s a great thing. But is it weird for you when you get fully grown women screaming for you?
[Laughs] I guess that’s funny. That’s crazy. I’m glad that they’re having a good experience with their kids, though. That’s a good thing.

Do you have any expectations of yourself for this upcoming concert?
I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to keep my voice in the best condition I can. Because with the travelling and things, it’s one of the biggest challenges when it comes to performing – being able to keep the voice in good shape, especially in airplanes because for some reason, they really dry your throat out and make you dehydrated. I just want to make sure I’m in as good a condition as I can be and give the best show I can for my fans.

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