The Arizona Republic is doing some promos for David’s appearance on Pandora Unforgettable Moments on Ice.
Pandora Unforgettable Moments on Ice
With: David Archuleta, Mannheim Steamroller, Kristi Yamacuchi and Brian Boitano.
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
Where: Grand Canyon University, 3300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix.
Will we see David skating again?
The first thing you’re likely to notice when you sit down next to David Archuleta is how young he looks.
Four years after making a name for himself as the bashful 16-year-old with a soft spot for ballads who finished second to David Cook on “American Idol,” he somehow looks younger in person than he did on TV at the time.
The second thing you’re bound to notice is how sweet and innocent he seems for someone who’s done a fair percentage of growing up in public. He’s disarmingly sincere and humble with thoughts on artistic integrity that may surprise you coming from an “Idol” veteran.
Archuleta stopped by The Republic for a chat about his upcoming performance at Grand Canyon University, where he’s sharing the spotlight with Olympic figure skaters Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano, as well as Mannheim Steamroller.
Here’s what he had to say.
Question: So tell me about your Christmas show.
Answer: It’s an ice-skating show. I’ve done a few before with this company, Pandora, and they’re great. They always have Olympic champion figure skaters come skate at the show. Kristi Yamaguchi is one of the hosts. And this one will be cool because Mannheim Steamroller will also be performing. We’re working on doing something with Mannheim Steamroller, too, which would be fun.
Q: And you’ll be doing your own set?
A: I’m singing maybe a couple songs and NBC will be taping it to air later.
Q: So will you be singing Christmas songs?
A: Yeah, it’s a Christmas thing. It’s a holiday show.
Q: You put out “The Other Side of Down,” your second album, last year (or third, including “Christmas From the Heart”). How did that feel?
A: It’s been a very interesting process because with that album, I didn’t have management. And it was quite the battle for me trying to understand how to deal with a label on your own (laughs). They have their different ideas and I really wanted to make sure that I didn’t do anything that was just for the sake of selling out. Despite whatever commercial kind of success you might have or radio success, I don’t want to do something just to get as many people as possible to listen. I experimented a lot with it and showed a quirkier side. I showed the goofy, dorky side of David. I just wanted to be sincere with it. And I was definitely able to reach that goal lyrically, just staying true to whatever was being said in the songs. I didn’t explore as much or venture out as much into the musical side as much as I would have liked to, but I definitely learned so much from it. I grew a lot last year from that experience.
Q: So do you like that album better than the first one then?
A: I like them both for different reasons. The first album was just a whirlwind couple of months. I had to record it while I was on tour with “American Idol.” That was the first single, “Crush.” And that’s kind of what started my career as a recording artist.
Q: Was there any sense going into this album of “We need another ‘Crush’?'”
A: All of the success I’ve had has come from that song, at least radio-wise. But I don’t know. I just . . . I didn’t really want to try and find an, “Oh we need another song like this.” My goal was different, I guess. I was trying to figure myself out. I’m still trying to do that. I want to figure out what kind of artist I want to be, because with the “American Idol” process, it just works really fast. The night of the finale, they said, “OK, here are all the label people that you’re gonna work with, this is the album you’re gonna make and blah, blah, blah.” So it was a pretty fast process but it’s been cool. I’ve definitely learned a lot about the kind of person I want to be. I still feel like I’m growing up. I’m 20 now.
Q: That’s pretty young. It might seem like you’re older to you.
A: (Laughs) It’s just a matter of being able to take that time, I think, to figure out the person I want to be and the artist I want to continue becoming. I didn’t want to just go with, “OK, I’m just gonna listen to whatever these people say because they know how to make me successful and rich and famous.” As appealing as that might sound, that just doesn’t appeal to me. I guess my priorities are different. I want to make sure that I make music that lasts. I’ve been experimenting. I’ve been writing. Aside from the Asian tour I did this summer, I’ve taken time aside just to kind of figure out, “OK, what do I want to do with myself? What do I want to do with my life? What’s important to me for the years to come?” instead of feeling like you need to keep moving with the current of success or else you’re not gonna get anywhere. I definitely want to do music for the rest of my life. So I just want to make sure that I’m doing music in the way that I feel is the way I need to.
Q: And you feel like you’re doing that?
A: I feel like I’m getting there, yeah. I’m working on new music. I’ve been doing some writing, just really trying to take the time. I feel like it’s important to take time to be able to think.
Q: You mentioned your age and you were really young on “American Idol.” Looking back on it now, do you feel like that was a good age to have that kind of exposure?
A: Well, people are always like “Was that the right time or the wrong time for things?” But you know what? For me, I felt like that kind of was the opportunity. It wasn’t a matter of “Was that the right time?” Either way, it happened (laughs). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen. I was expecting to go, audition and just see what the experience was like, maybe meet someone I could learn from. I wasn’t expecting to go to Hollywood Week and be standing in front of Simon, Randy and Paula. And then making the top 10 to do the tour. Then, the finale. I mean, if you had asked me, I didn’t think I was prepared for any of that. I didn’t think I was good enough to stand out amongst 15,000 people at that first audition. But I managed to get by somehow (laughs). I don’t know how I did it but somehow I did. And for me, that’s just the grace of God working. It did get overwhelming. There was a lot of pressure and there was a lot of work to be done. But I’m still here. I was able to do it all. And that was the most shocking thing to me.
Q: Do you still pay attention to “Idol?”
A: Yeah, I do. You get a totally different perspective after being on the show and knowing what they’re going through, from song selection to editing the song to finding time to work on the song. It’s like, “Man, I wonder what behind-the-scenes stories those contestants have?” Because we had a lot (laughs). I wonder what they had to go through to get that minute-and-a-half song to work out the way it did.
Q: I guess Simon said the night of the finals that he thought you won that night
A: (Laughs.) Yeah, I was surprised to hear him say that. But it wasn’t up to him. It was up to America. I gave it my all and I appreciated that he wasn’t like, “Why are you here?” or something like that. I was afraid of hearing, “This is what we ended up with? You made it here and this is all you gave?” It was a real big relief to hear that the work that was put into it was noticed.