David Archuleta / Shaun Vadella
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In 2008, more than 30 million television viewers fell in love David Archuleta; with his angelic voice, bashful sweetness, and megawatt smile, over 44 million votes made him the first runner-up in Season 7 of American Idol – and a star at age 16.

Shortly after “Idol,” David’s first single, “Crush,” debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The track sold more than 2 million digital copies to become double platinum. Three months later, his self-titled album, David Archuleta, sold more than 900,000 copies worldwide.

With a faithful social media following (3.5 million Facebook followers, 1.1 million on Twitter, and almost 1 million followers on Tik Tok), David has toured all over the U.S., Canada, Asia and even in the Middle East. In 2017, he relocated to Nashville and released his seventh album Postcards in the Sky featuring all original songs that he had a hand in writing.

The gamechanger though was David’s 2020 album, Therapy Sessions, which featured an inside look into his internal struggle with himself – a battle he has experienced for most of his life. He carried a heavy burden by trying to be something he was not, while knowing that who he really was would put him at odds with the church he grew up in. “I was going through therapy, and trying to apply the steps it took to escape the barriers I had created for myself,” he explains. “Music has always been healing for me and I hoped that what I created on that album would help people who were also struggling with who they were.”

In 2021, David came out as queer to the LGBTQ community and continues to navigate his identity. In the fall of 2022, David revealed to Good Morning America that he was experiencing a faith crisis and stepping away from the Church of Latter Day Saints, having been a Mormon his whole life. He then rounded out 2022 with the release of “Faith in Me,” his first song since having vocal cord surgery and, by far, one of his more personal songs. “It’s about being OK with who you are and moving forward. Not caring about what anyone thinks, just letting go of baggage, forging your own path and finding joy.” says David.

About 2 weeks ago I sat down with David to find out more about him before his performance here in South Florida as part of Harmony Waves Rock the Block.

Photo: Shaun Vadella

At what age did you begin performing?

I began performing at age 6 when we moved from Florida to Utah. To keep me busy my dad put on the PBS special of Les Misérables, and I was so captivated by it I kept watching it over and over and singing the songs. And then my parents gave me other songs to sing, and they were amused about how into it I got. 

What was your first professional gig? And how much did you get paid?

It was probably when I was 10 years old and I went into the Utah talent competition and I won the kids division and I got paid $300, which was a lot for me.

I know it’s been a long while, but can you tell us about your American Idol experience?

It was wild crazy experience. I felt like it was bootcamp for becoming an artist. Suddenly you have millions of people watching you and you have a fan base sending me fan mail. I couldn’t go anywhere without security and I wasn’t prepared for it, but it was an amazing experience that I am grateful for. 

You sang so many songs on Idol that people raved over, do you have a favorite (mine was your rendition of Imagine)?

“Imagine” was the moment that connected with everybody, and I connected to it as well. I think it was because the message is beautiful. For me my favorite was for Dolly Parton Week when I sang “Smoky Mountain Memories,” as at that point I was really missing home so it hit home for me. 

When did you know performing would be your career?

Probably not until into my 20’s to be honest. I had bursts of moments growing up, but they would come and go so fast I was skeptical. Even after American Idol I wasn’t ready to be famous. It wasn’t until I came back from being a missionary that I realized this is what I was supposed to do. 

You had a hard time coming out due to your religious upbringing. Are you willing to talk to us about that struggle?

Actually, I am writing a book that discusses growing up religious and having to come to terms with my identity. It also talks about how I found peace with the two.

Photo: Zack Knudsonb

Now that you are out, is there someone special in your life?

I don’t talk about my dating life but I am allowing myself to love and be loved the way I never have before.           

Tell me about your Masked Singer experience?

It was so fun to be back on a Fox show which was all about celebrating your life and trying to give your best performance is just a joy. 

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Curious, spacey, and earnest. 

What do you do for fun?

I do like to go to the gym, listen to DJ sets and dance. I also love to find good food to eat. 

What should our readers expect from your Performance at Rock The Block in Wilton Manors?

I’m excited as I am going to have a blend of up-tempo songs and heartfelt meaningful songs. I have recently infused choreography in my performances, and I promise it will be fun for everyone. Also, I am so excited to be back in south Florida, where I was born.

 

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For more about David, go to: Davidarchuleta.com, or follow him at Instagram.com/davidarchie.