Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011: Year in Review

Remember this performance of David at last year’s New Year’s Eve Fox countdown show? Now, I knew it wasn’t that big of a deal since he appearedon Fox, not on ABC’s very-big-deal Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve Countdown.  Still, I remember how it gave me so much reason to hope, back when David had signed to WEG management.

Back then, if you remember, our biggest gripes were all about Jive’s lack of promotion for David’s sophomore album, The Other Side of Down, and David’s relegation to performances on skating shows. As die-hard fans, we relished in any TV appearance from David we could get, but we had to focus on the positives, rather than on the way that such performances indeed signaled his C-list status in the business (because A-listers only appear on programs that everybody watches).

And yet, my optimism for David’s career knew no bounds. Indeed, when others were bellyaching over the news this past February that Jive had “dropped” David, I did a happy dance because it was better to sever the chains from a company that did nothing for you, IMO.  Remember my “David is Free of Jive A$$ Records” post? It had received the most views this year… that is, until I posted “Follow Your Heart, David,” in which that post broke all previous records for the most views.  Everyone comes out of the woodwork whenever David does something NOT related to music. What gives?

So, looking back at my posts this past year, I have to say: No wonder I’m getting tired of the bellyaching, the frustrations, the angst.  That’s ALL that we have been doing for a whole year!

In January, we became frustrated once again when things got quiet in Archuworld after his New Year’s Eve performance.  In February, we wrung our hands over David’s future since he didn’t leave Jive for a new label.

In the ensuing months, we waited and waited and waited for news that David had new management and a new label.  But nothing prevailed.  Then he went on tours in Asia. 

Sometime in late August, someone broke into his twitter account to “leak” the news that he was going on a mission, and pretty much all hell broke loose after that point. 

And then we had a reprieve once he announced his plans for a “My Kind of Christmas” tour. There was absolutely no question for me: if David was going to perform in a city near me and during a time that I could make it, I will be there. 

It truly is an amazing thing to be surrounded by the peace and calm embodied in David’s Voice and his overall persona when seeing and hearing him live because I do know my attitude changed about everything pertaining to his career and to his life goals afterwards.

I was strangely calm when David finally announced his plans to go on a mission for his church and even cheered him on.  Considering my attitude earlier this year, I don’t think I would have felt this way had I not seen him this month. 

Still, I think even all our frustrations and bellyaching that came from following David so closely were worthwhile.  Just on a behind-the-scenes basis, we got exposed to the machinations of how the music business worked and what it means to have enormous talent and even good looks and personality, as David clearly does, and still not get a chance to really launch oneself if you don’t have the right backing.

Unfortunately, for David, he signed to a label that could only give him “one hit” and then relegate him to the background; he appeared on a show that was just as deeply invested in not promoting him (remember our frustrations when Idol wouldn’t even say his name when referring to past Idol winners and popular contestants?).  He was managed by a “team” that really couldn’t see past their own backyard (what was with all the events mostly located in Salt Lake City or nearby) or to some other “backwoods” location overseas (most of you may not know this, but a number of celebrities go to Asia to make a few quick bucks under the radar since U.S. audiences wouldn’t notice).

In short, David was really in a quagmire, which is what our frustrations reflected, and it didn’t help that certain fan blogs refused to openly discuss the reasons for this frustration and why I openly let those discussions happen here.

Is it any wonder, with no managerial assistance and a crisis of musical identity, that David opted out of the whole messy business to find spiritual meaning?  I have a feeling the  Mormon mission, as much as he was raised to expect to do one, is an “escape plan” as much as it’s a spiritual opportunity.

My only hope is that it builds David’s stamina and his confidence.  David is already getting there, but he needs more growth. And I have to absolutely say this: as much as we all love David’s humility, he must, MUST, develop a healthy ego if he wants to make it in music.

When the news of David parting ways with Jive was spread across the interwebs, some random guy commented: “What does it say about the music business that Justin Bieber is  a star and David Archuleta is no longer signed to a label?”

Oh, that says plenty about the music industry. But it also says something else: you don’t have to really have talent. You only need enough “swag” to convince others that you do!

Maybe David will develop a different kind of “swag” once he’s completed his Mission, but as long as it gives him the independence, freedom, and the ambition to remove any doubts that he deserves his success, then I will have no regrets in supporting this latest decision of his.

Wishing David and everyone a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous 2012. Happy New Year! :)

The Wisdom of Guessing David’s Heart

It’s been quite revelatory reading through comments here on Soul David in the wake of David announcing his plans to go on a formal mission for his LDS Church.

Sometimes, I wish we could be like the mainstream media, only accepting what is reported and drawing a simple conclusion: since David left his label and has not yet signed onto a new one, and since he has no singles playing on radio and no plans for a new album, now’s the perfect time to go on a Mormon Mission. And when you think about it, Okkam’s Razor and all that (i.e. “the simplest explanation is the right one”), what’s more likely to be true?

I guess I’m just wondering why, after first speculating about David and the direction he was taken on while signed to a major label, then speculating on whether or not his management was taking him in the right direction, we have now moved on to speculating about whether or not David’s church is leading him in the right direction.  And now some are even wondering if David’s heart will lead him in the right direction.

Can’t we as David’s fans just live and let live?  Can’t we accept that David knows what’s best for David? Can we even accept that David is in control and not anyone else – not his dad, not his “team,” not even his “church”?

Can we accept that David has “free choice” and that the persona he has crafted for us to adore is one that he nurtured and genuinely projected? Who can ever know what’s in anyone’s heart, and why should we speculate?

Most of my own speculation has to do with my own priorities in life and figuring out how (and if) I should maintain a blog when the main focus of the blog will be away for two years. Now, I haven’t made any decisions yet for the new year, but please know that I must make a decision.

Besides, I’ve already decided that David going on a mission is an opportunity for me to take stock of what David has meant to me and what his absence will do to my writing. I’ve actually taken it as positive sign. The new year will bring increased pressure to work on my forthcoming book, so the less there is to write about David, the more I can devote to other projects.

David leaving my orbit will also force me to take stock of the other real, concrete people in my life and other artists creating music out there. Oh, have no doubt: I will wait for David’s return and eagerly consume any new information that becomes available.

But in the mean time, I’ve got a life (and other writing) to tend to: David going away for a while will give us all breathing space and time to assess how we can live life fully and meaningfully without his presence.

Heck, any of us who have been in relationships know that a “break” (temporary or permanent) brings with it opportunities for growth and reflection, and usually you come out a whole new and transformed person as a result. I would hope we as David’s fans would embrace such opportunities. 

I guess what I’m saying is: if we’re going to start speculating about what’s in David’s heart, I think this is a real waste of time. It’s better to speculate about what’s in your own heart and what is its capacity in waiting for someone like David or in accepting the personal decisions he makes for himself.

I just think that’s healthier all around. I just know, during this holiday season, when I’ve been able to reconnect witih old friends and family, and even been able to share some of David’s music, that sometimes that’s all we’ve got going. I personally just don’t care to investigate David’s church and what their missionaries do because some things I consider “too much information.”

I can’t possibly be bothered with all the tenets of his religion and if he’s going to get married after his mission. Why should I care if he’s got a girlfriend picked out or if he doesn’t have any interest in romance or marriage or what have you? Why are we personally invested in either his religious life or his sexual one?

There’s being curious about your idol’s life and life goals, and then there’s just being nosy.

Why do we care about the TMI aspects of David’s life? Why do some of us feel like we’ve invested time and money and then perceive there is no payoff?

I have zero regrets about spending $195 (plus hotel and gas money) for a VIP ticket to see David in person at his “My Kind of Christmas” tour. I have no regrets spending four years chronicling his music and my own musings. I have no regrets spending money on all his singles, albums, his book, DVDs, and anything else David-related. I have no regrets blogging about him. 

David touched my soul, and he was worth every penny and time I put in. Yes, I’d like him to be a super star; his talent deserves it, but David himself needs to decide that for himself.  I as a fan can only give him the confidence to know that he will be supported if he dares to grab at the stars.

In the mean time, the new year is about prioritizing and re-prioritizing. David has made up his own mind about what will be his priorities. Are we ready to bravely do the same in our own lives?

Happy 21st Birthday, David!

It’s amazing to me that I’ve been following the same person since he was 17, and here he is at the ripe old age of… 21!!! Wow!

And to think this young man starred in a reality TV competition show, debuted a single in the Hot 100, delivered a gold album, authored a bestselling memoir, recorded a Christmas album, headlined several concerts, and then walked away from a major label.

And he did all that before he planned to serve on a mission as a good little Mormon boy. :)

What can I say? If David can do so much in such a short period of time, imagine how much more he has to offer – whether on a religious mission or when he returns full time to a music career.  He’s still so young, and in case anyone ever wonders about that, let me repeat: 21 is STILL YOUNG!

There is no “quitting” or “giving up” yet. He’s still proving himself, and I continue to be impressed with the way he digs deep and follows his inner Voice and then blows the rest of us away with the external one.

Happy Birthday, David! May you be blessed this special day, and I hope you have a great big birthday dinner (with all your favorite foods), and since you will “continue to drink water,” I plan on raising a glass to you personally as I celebrate your 21st birthday for you (although I doubt I will get drunk the way I did when I turned 21 myself – haha!).

Don’t forget to tweet #happy21stdavidarchie.

David’s “Wait” Music Video

Hello SDers! I’m kind of late to the party since I was quite preoccupied with family and friends on Christmas Day.

Here’s a not-quite-official posting of David’s new music video for “Wait.”

Visuals are interesting to me, but I wish the storyline was better developed.  Hopefully after David returns to music, he starts to get more involved with his music video concepts the way Michael Jackson did and the way Lady Gaga definitely does.

Happy Boxing Day to all David’s UK fans! :)

Merry Christmas!

So stunned were we by David’s announcement last week, we forgot to let his most moving performance of “O Holy Night” at Salt Lake City sink in.

May you find joy, peace, and love this Christmas as you let The Voice transport you to another plane: