It began with a vlog.
October 29, 2010 to be exact. Weeks after David’s sophomore album, The Other Side of Down, dropped – only to generate disappointing sales – the Archie fanbase held our collective breaths as we awaited some kind of reassuring word from The Voice.
Most of us loved the album and thought it was work that David should be proud of, but we were downright frustrated with the obvious lack of promo from his label and management. When David finally broke the silence by vlogging, it was only natural that some of us – well, at least the folks here at Soul David (because that’s just how we roll) – began speculating. What? No mention of the album at all? And are those bags under his eyelids? Is David getting enough sleep? OMG! David is embarrassed that his album isn’t doing well! Does he think we don’t like TOSOD?
Before we knew it, Gladys from Argentina transcended her limited English to sound the clarion call to all us English-speaking fans: Let us tell David how we really feel! It was a call that we all read and comprehended and felt from our hearts. I still marvel at the rapid speed in which the word got out:
LET’S TWEET DAVID OUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION!
And just like that, in less than 24 hours, we here at Soul David gathered an army of Arch Angels to bombard our beloved with tweets of love about #TOSOD. We, who had organized during longer periods of time various twitter-trending parties for his album, book release, and birthdays (to no avail), suddenly got David to “Twitter Trend.” And the best part: David saw it, gave us 3, not 2, hahahas, and brightened our day, as we brightened his.
It’s a highlight for me in 2010, not just because it made Helium’s Top 10 Twitter Trends (albeit rounding out the list at #10) and not just because it started here at SD, but because it represents the very best of David’s fans and the mutual love and affection that exists between an artist and his audience.
We may have overreacted, misinterpreted, or overanalyzed David’s vlog, but deep down, most of us went with our intuitions (while others who weren’t all that worried about David decided to just join in the fun because it’s never a bad idea to say “I love you”). Beyond David, however, were the hurt feelings of a fanbase. We had believed in our own power to launch David into the stratosphere: whether this got reflected in a strong debut of David’s first single, “Crush,” or in a #1 music video spot for weeks on VH1′s Video Countdown or in sellout concerts or in various Internet polls or in another strong debut when David’s first memoir, Chords of Strength, premiered at #15 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestsellers list. We Archies always had David’s back in these things. We who could get David’s name out there suddenly could not get his single, “Something ‘Bout Love,” or his album, The Other Side of Down, to launch or even get his name to trend on twitter.
Perhaps these particular efforts were too market-driven in a commercial competition with the likes of Justin Bieber or other Idol alumni. Other artists, whose labels coughed up more cash to finance their promo, propelled way ahead of David, who quietly and diligently kept on wooing us and wowing us with his pure talent. So certain that the artist we love was deserving of those crass commercial trappings – big record sales, high-profile gigs, radio play – we frustrated ourselves when these were not as forthcoming as they had been in the past.
The #TOSOD twitter trending event was a marvelous reminder of what was really important for David and for us: it was that our collective love for David reigned supreme, and it mattered more than anything else: more than sales, more than TV spots, more than radio play, even more than twitter trending!
We didn’t even try to trend #TOSOD; our main goal was mainly to cheer up David in case he wasn’t feeling too cheery about the reception of his lovely album. What we had tried to accomplish in previous events unfolded effortlessly. It’s a sobering and humbling moment and one that I hope we will always cherish as we move forward and embrace a new year and new chapter in this fabulous and unpredicatable journey of following David and his music.
A few hours ago, David revealed a New Year’s Resolution to plan a tour for 2011 (and doing it for the fans no less!), and so far, new management has already booked David for a televised event for New Year’s Eve. There’s reason to hope that the future is bright.
Whatever new developments and old conflicts, the love is there, and the love is real. It is my own sincere hope that it sustains us for 2011.
Happy New Year!