One of the first Christmas songs David Archuleta ever sang was “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” but he admits he has always hated that song.
The idea that his mother would ever kiss someone else besides him offended his sensibility. “I was super-protective of my mom,” Archuleta said. “Even when I was three, no one could touch my mommy. I would sing that song in a jealous way.”
Although he has toured the world since he finished second in 2008’s seventh season of “American Idol,” in an interview Archuleta still displayed the jitters he says he feels when he’s the center of attention. He sang bits of songs to himself under his breath, and when asked, he admitted his friends make fun of that trait. “I don’t even notice it,” he says. “When I’m not thinking about being watched, or being threatened, I do it.”
The lack of self-confidence comes from his perception that he’s not a “Vegas performer,” with decades of experience under his belt. “I’m still learning how to do it,” he says. “I’m not the most professionally skilled performer out there, and I will say my abilities are limited. What I do know, I love to sing, and I always want to do my best.”
On this tour, Archuleta has continued writing songs for his next album, experimenting with what he described as a more natural approach than on his two pop-influenced Jive albums. He’s concentrating on writing uplifting music. Not religious songs exactly, but songs with a message.
When he was younger, vocal coach Dean Kaelin would take him to assisted-living homes to perform. Archuleta remembered standing at the side of a bed that held a terminally ill patient, singing “A Piece of Sky,” from the Barbra Streisand film “Yentl.”
“That music meant a lot to her,” Archuleta says. “She was coming alive during the song. That’s when I realized how important music could be.”
The year 2012 will likely be another defining year for a young performer who is still finding the musician inside himself. “The goal this year is to take the time I need to know what I want to become,” he says.
As he crooned to an elderly woman so many years ago:
Tell me where
Where is it written
What is it I meant to be?
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