Daily Archives: May 2, 2010

Soul-Preservation in These Manufactured Times

So this latest graphic by James over at the Rabid website made me do a double take.  Not just that it’s so inappropriate.  David is neither “Terminator” material nor is he a machine – which is to say: he’s not reproduce-able. There is no “next David Archuleta” or a “David Archuleta 2.0.”  There’s just the one and only.

I thought about this image, after reading that link about Usher (thanks, Desertrat), because this really is a “tough time” to be a soul-singer.  In particular, this part of the article rings true for David, I think:

It’s not just that the music has changed: the new paradigm for a successful musician demands constant interaction with fans and artfully choreographed press campaigns to produce saturation coverage around record releases and tours. There’s no room for mystique, and if your private life is public property, what’s left to put into your art? And what if you’re a naturally private person who, despite having grown up in public and spending years making music that has to be sincere to succeed, doesn’t really want to have to put all the details of your personal life on public view?

Not that I worry about David too much in this capacity since he has already mastered the craft of protecting his private life even while tossing out tidbits here and there via twitter and vlogging.  I respect that.  And, while Usher has received flak for appearing on Idol, only to trash it weeks later by saying that talent shows like Idol are “killing the music industry” (while also unleashing Justin Bieber onto the world), he happens to be speaking the truth.  According to reports, Usher argued:

The true art form of music is being lost, because it seems so easy that everyone can do it, and that it can happen overnight. Television is a lie. It can’t happen overnight. The artist who thinks that it can just comes and goes. The reason why great singers cannot exist in this time is maybe because they’re not properly managed, and maybe they don’t understand the full gamut of what being an entertainer is.

Well, what part of that isn’t the truth? What wouldn’t we give for someone like David to be “properly managed”!  We all saw his raw talent on Idol, and yet, he basically persevered because of his own inner strength.  Who in that cabal of “mentors” over at 19 is prepared to nurture someone with the enormous talent of a David Archuleta?  Say what you will about the machiavellian nature of the Berry Gordys of the music industry in times gone by, at least they genuinely cared about the talent and the music.

So, if there is a great wish for David that I have for him, it’s that he preserves his SOUL in these soulless manufacturing times.  It’s very easy to get caught up in the hoopla and hype and assembly-line work ethic of pop music.  But, I for one – no matter how impatient I get – am a bit relieved that he is taking his time putting out this latest album.  The last thing we need is a rushed job and some piece of fluff that won’t stand the test of time.

But, can David get the right nurturing and growth out there?  When all around him are the fast-producing hit-making machines threatening to crush our souls Terminator-style, will David rise as the “savior of the musical world?”