In Need of Uplifting Music: Six Years Later

David-Archuleta-Face-Pictures

Six years later, and Soul Davidian is still here. Or rather, I am still here. Not always 100%, sometimes checking in on occasion. I still haven’t had it in me to shut this place down.  I still have hope, crazy, irrational hope, that David Archuleta will one day return to his former heights and even transcend it.

His Voice is too amazing, his talent too stratospheric to just give up. But more importantly, his vision, his artistry, and his belief that music can change the world… all of that is too necessary.

I’m here reflecting.  The academic year is winding down. This last full week of classes is overshadowed by another city, Baltimore this time, burning in the heat of collective rage over yet another police killing of an unarmed black man – Freddie Gray – a 25-year old whose spine was crushed, severed. My back hurts just writing that sentence.

baltimore_protest_hands_up

I can’t escape the irony that the academic year began in the shadow of another city, Ferguson, burning in the heat of collective rage over the police killing of an unarmed black man – Michael Brown – an 18-year-old whose shot body was left in the streets for four hours.

I’m filled with contradictions. My biological clock is ticking, and still I’m ambivalent about bringing a black baby into this punishing world.

But we still have to survive. We still must thrive. We have thrived through our art, through our music.

When folks wring their hands, worrying about whether David can fit into this current music industry, whether or not he can sell out a theater or stadium, I just care that he can make a record filled with songs that can transcend me from this world of darkness into one of light. I care that he can make me cry again, soothing my soul like a “Balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick world.”

Damn, when I think of the genius behind those words, uttered, moaned and crooned by some ancestral slave who bore the lash, the master’s penis, or the depraved hands of some slave trader or slave catcher, I remember our people can survive anything.

Our music told us so!

It is that same music that set David on fire, that reached him in his homogenous little world of Salt Lake City via media, and inspired him to become “Soul David,” not appropriating our culture but learning, crafting, and coming into his own Voice.

So, if David wants to take his time and figure out how best to use his Voice, I’m willing to give him that time. He doesn’t need to come out with crap music to beat a deadline. Not when we need real music and a real Voice to make the notes transcend through time and space in this time of darkness.

I love him for his realness and for his recognition that music can heal.

Indeed, Music can save us.

We’re all in need of salvation now, and the Voice could be that balm.

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Posted on April 28, 2015, in Soul David. Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Beautifully said Hg. I too will wait for new music and hope it will inspire the world through his voice and presence. I am already inspired by him !

  2. agree beautifully said… here I wait.

  3. WOW, Hg, such a thought provoking article, beautiful sentiment.
    The uniqueness in David’s voice is like no other. Sure there is lots of artists that sing great and I for one don’t think that David is the only one that can inspire and make a difference through music (btw, all kinds of music can be inspiring, imo), but, imo, he definitely belongs up there with the cream of the crop.
    I just hope that he understands that he has diverse fan base and will bring his music to all of us.

  4. Thank you for this HG. I cannot pretend to know what it is like to be African American or raise an African American child in this country, but with honest commentary like you have written here, I can hope to gain a tiny bit of understanding. I would hope people would not give up and continue to fight for their families. It is heartbreaking to read that you are unsure about bringing a child into this world. I would hope you would do so if you think it is the right thing because this world needs more good people to keep fighting. I hope that makes sense.

    The outrage I feel when I see defenseless men of color gunned down, I just don’t know. The disgust I feel when I hear black parents say that they have to have “the talk” with their male children especially, namely how to react when they are pulled over unjustly by white police, I don’t know how to channel that. As I said, I can’t begin to even know how African Americans deal.

    I understand the build up of rage that results in what we are seeing in Baltimore. But if I am completely honest, I cannot see how any thinking person believes the destruction is the answer. That is based on my life experience and I don’t have a right to judge what another person’s life experience leads them to think.

    Finally, I do love what you have to say about David and healing and soothing the spirit. I am no longer quite there regarding David but I certainly do see how he connects with all different types of people and I do not argue that he has a light about him that makes him stand out in a crowd.

  5. Anne, you said: “I would hope you would do so if you think it is the right thing because this world needs more good people to keep fighting. I hope that makes sense.”

    It’s not easy having such thoughts. On the other hand, our enemies want nothing more than our complete annihilation, so having children is the best way to counter that death wish.

    You also said: “But if I am completely honest, I cannot see how any thinking person believes the destruction is the answer.”

    Here’s the thing that no one is talking about – certainly not our corporatized media like CNN, Fox News, you know, the same folks that are owned by the same forces that give us Justin Biebers while squeezing out the voices of the David Archuletas.

    Cities like Baltimore have been going through a slow, decaying destruction. I know this because, last summer, I had a chance to take Amtrak across different parts of our country. Our cities are DYING! Period. Point Blank. Full Stop.

    Adding a little fire to these cities is only hastening the act. How are these cities dying?

    1. Economic devastation, resulting from high unemployment due to the relocation of industrial jobs overseas.
    2. War on drugs and other poverty-related crimes, which have sprung up in the aftermath of said relocation of industry.
    3. Disappearance of whole sectors of men into the prison system (and increasingly more women, who have become desperate to hang on to the few available men left, which have led them to get swept into crime-related activities that lead to their own incarceration).
    4. Increasing militarization of our police force, which has led to the current state of affairs.

    That it takes a bit of rage and a bit of fire to cause us to wake up and pay attention, I would say that doesn’t make these riots pointless. Sure, “destruction is not the answer,” but it’s a giant exclamation point announcing to the rest of us that a deep, creeping cancer has been growing in this country in the last few decades. We’re still treating cancer with band-aids and not fighting it rigorously with radiation.

    For those of you who think you are safe because you’re not living near a low-income area that’s ready to burst in flames at the next senseless brutal killing by police, don’t sit too comfortably. Fire tends to spread (and so does cancer).

  6. Hg, one thing that makes me cringe is that these types of destructive demonstrations put a bad light on the community. My heart goes out to the good people that have to deal with poverty, discrimination and having to raise children under these conditions.

  7. In a complete frivolous directions, tickets are going fast for David’s Layton concert. I know that David will have no problem selling to communities that are his peeps and that’s good, but would love for an unexpected venue to pop up, say a more liberal state (lol) and see that venue sell out. Now that would be AWESOME!!!!

    • cq, I am beginning to think either (a) he only wants to perform within his comfort zone or (b) offers are not coming from places that have a small LDS population. I hope neither are true and it’s only a matter of time before other concerts are announced.

  8. CQ, ask yourself why our news media chose to ignore peaceful protests (happening as I write this) to cover violent protests. Ask why the police force decided to let high schoolers (let me repeat: HIGH-SCHOOLERS!!) get out of control. What kind of law enforcement breaks a man’s back then lets a bunch of teenagers rip up a city?

    This back -and- forth of acting tough, then acting weak against some 15-year-olds is the craziest thing. If a mother can go get her son off the street (as one video shows), then our tough cops can’t keep the peace?

    We can blame some members of the community all we want, but South Carolina didn’t act like this when Walter Scott was shot in the back.

    Why is that? Hmmm, I dunno. Maybe because THAT city admitted their mistake, arrested the offending officer, and those in charge immediately reached out to the local community?

    Funny how Baltimore didn’t even try!

  9. Hg, I am so sorry, I chimed into something that I shouldn’t have said anything. I feel your anger and frustration and I can sympathize with everything said and totally agree.

    • CQ, no need to apologize. I was just explaining and clarifying since our unreliable news sources don’t always give enough contexts as to why violence may occur.

  10. goodkarmaseeker

    Thank you for your perspective HG. I so much appreciate your sharing it.
    We need to know each others hearts, souls, joys and struggles and realize that we all share them. What harms and hurts one, harms and hurts all of us. What brings us joy and fulfillment, lifts us all up and makes us all better.

    What we have recognized in David’s voice and soul singing is that connection.

  11. HelloGorgeous – the points you raised about the riots are exactly some of the things I was thinking about last night when I was watching some of the coverage. Sure, the destruction is not a pleasant thing to watch and I feel for the people whose business were destroyed. But, the riots were the thing that got the coverage, not the peaceful protests. Riots bring needed attention from the media that peaceful protests just cannot bring and if the attention of the world is not brought to what is happening to black men in this country, it will continue to be swept under the rug and black men will continue to be gunned down by cops and nothing will change. Sometimes it takes fire to cauterize a wound. And that’s sad because we should just be able to point out to people what is happening and they would see that it is wrong and change on their own because it’s the right thing to do. I’m not African American so I can never truly understand how black people are feeling about the gunning down of their men by the hundreds, but what I can imagine feels very bad to me and I know it must be a thousand times worse to them. The fact that I’m not black and yet I watch it happening and it makes me furious, I don’t see how they live with the anger that’s inside. It’s completely understandable to me that they have to explode sometimes.

  12. I appreciate your comments HG. The only way I can learn is to hear and understand what you are saying since you have a different life experience than I have. I grew up very poor in a very bad area but I did not have the extra experience of being African American in those circumstances. I know I had an easier road due to my ethnicity. Not easy, but certainly easier.

    I have been concerned with several good points you brought up. One concern is the loss of a generation of men to incarceration. A thought process, due to circumstances that some see as uncontrollable, (and rightly so in many cases) that crime is the only answer. As I freely admit, I have no idea what I would do had I been in the shoes of some other person. I don’t condone criminal activity, but maybe I would see no other way also. Still don’t see how destruction helps, but you gave me food for though for sure.

    You also brought up militarization of our police and I saw something about that recently. Firefighters are part of my family so I see things a bit different. Some of the militarization is in response to the security threats that have become a real part of urban life, terrorism is a reality. But I do see how citizens, especially in some urban areas, can see this as a threat and I do see how some law enforcers can see it as entitlement to provoke and use more force. I think burnout is a huge factor no one talks about. It’s way to easy, when one is dealing with crime and disrespect every day, to become too violent and disrespectful too. I wonder if rotation of front line responders should happen. Sabbaticals? I have no answers and too many questions myself.

    cq, honestly I don’t think you need to be sorry for an honest post. We can all learn from each other and I am enjoying the perspectives that are being put forth in a respectful way. We may make errors, I certainly do. But I freely admit I am learning a great deal and I really appreciate HG’s being willing to share her feelings and thoughts here today. I am eager to learn from others and widen my view of things. We can only do that by sharing with one another in an honest fashion, I think.

  13. “I love him for his realness and for his recognition that music can heal.

    Indeed, Music can save us.

    We’re all in need of salvation now, and the Voice could be that balm.”

    Just reread this part of HG’s post and it’s been a while since I thought of David this way. I need to chew of this for a while. Thank you

  14. David’s Aladdin tweet “…bee yourself” had a lot people talking about whether he was watching Disney movies, or about his frequent messages to be true to yourself, etc. But what intrigued me about the clip was the ending where he asked the princess to take a leap of faith off of the balcony onto his magic carpet, saying, “Do you trust me?” Perhaps his fans have a magic carpet ride in store for them sooner or later.

  15. Hg, really liking the new SD look and comment section, 🙂 Thanks for all you do.

  16. HG, this is a thoughtful and eye-opening article. I particularly like how you pointed to specific causes of the destruction of so many cities. IMO, the wealth disparity/economic devastation has caused all of this destruction and (gulp) a violent revolution may be the only way out. I just wish the violence was not turned on the neighborhoods of the already suffering. Where is a leader to help direct the revolution? Even the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, don’t seem to have the effect they once did.

    Not that I truly understand. But it hurts my heart anyway. Oh, one thing I do understand is that biological clock. I was sure I didn’t want kids until mine went off and babies became OMG SO CUTE. In the end we chose not to have children–I believe you must use faith and not logic to choose to become parents.

  17. I know it doesn’t mean much to a lot of you here, but just thought I’d share, sold out does make me smile, even if it’s in Utah. Here’s hoping that we see this happening when or if he venture out to more liberal states, for lack of a better description.
    I guess an album will be coming out this year. I know Hg, that you think he should take his time to get it right, but the way I see it, even if the album he puts out this year, isn’t “the one” it might make him money to support his future projects and make that one magical album, song that we all have been wanting from David.

    Sep 19 Kenley Ampitheater Layton, UT Sold Out RSVP
    Nov 06 Tuacahn Ampitheatre Saint George, UT Sold Out RSVP
    Nov 07 Tuacahn Saint George, UT Sold Out

    🙂

    • I agree with you cq about loving the new SD look and comments section. Nice update hg. 🙂 peter- love the video you posted. Clark is on AI tonight. 🙂

      • So just out of curiosity- is David living in Nashville now or does he still live in Utah? Does he still go to BYU? I read that his family moved to another location in Utah recently. Just wondering. 🙂 Off to work.

      • Strange song choice, though: I think Clark will be singing that “baby lock them doors” song?

    • Love this video, thanks peter.

  18. HG, love the new website layout! also, thanks for sharing your insight on the recent activities in Bmore. I grew up there and it’s been disheartening (to say the least) to see the chaos. Re. David, he’s still my #1. I’m in no big rush to hear new music from him; I just hope he’s living his life.

    On another note, if anyone want’s to see a good movie, check out “I Hate Christian Laettner”. For those who don’t remember him, Laet was a very talented and popular (yet hated) basketball player for Duke Univ back in the early 90’s. The movie is now on Netflix and YouTube; it covers issues re. race, homophobia, bullying, privilege, 1990’s icons, etc., in a humorous way while telling his story. Now 45 yrs old, Laet tells his side of the story and he explains how during his 20’s, sometimes he just didn’t always know the right things to say and do in life and how some hated him for what they perceived him to be. I hope 20 yrs from now David gets an opportunity to open up and tell his story in a similar manner.

  19. Did my routine perusing through all David’s fansites and came across a few interesting comments on FOD. It piqued my interest, but, although, my thought would be welcome over at that site, I felt it was more of a SD comment. The conversation was in regards to JB’s next album being rumored as being inspirational songs (lol, not a fan) and of course, in essence, it was said how could he be credible because of his personal behavior. It got me thinking do all inspirational songs come for artist that walk the walks and talks the talk and does inspirational song have to come from artist that are conservative and clean cut? Of course, being David fans, yes, it came down to David’s inspirational music would be credible because he walks the walk and talks the talk, I’m not disagreeing with that thought one bit, but still I believe that inspirational music comes from all different artists, any thoughts??

    • Although inspirational music can come from anyone and anywhere in my opinion, I think it’s difficult to accept from someone with Bieb’s track record. Of course, anyone can change and he is very young and can learn and grow so I don’t want to paint him into a corner just yet. Time will tell, just as time will tell if David wants to stay in his corner of safety or break out into the world so to speak.

      It would be too difficult for me to accept anything inspirational from JB if he continues to act out the way he has done. It is frankly easier to believe the intentions and sincerity of David singing inspirational music since there is no doubt he walks the walk..

      • lol, yep I’m right there with you about the Bieb’s…don’t know what heck inspirational music he could put out and like you said anyone can change, but I still not a fan no matter what he puts out…now I wouldn’t say that couldn’t change, heck, I change my mind all the time. The Biebs is what got me thinking, but I really was talking more about other artists, say, maybe that might indulge in what some would think is not “inspirational” living, say, like the Beatles, not that they were bad, but buy some standards, not to squeaky clean either. Lol, really, I’m just rambling. I totally agree with you about David, absolutely.

  20. Really appreciate your post HG and everyone’s comments. Everything is so relevant to what I am thinking about.

    Love the new format and hope to see a lot of Green entries!

  21. HG never stop posting your heartfelt, thoughtful, insightful comments/blogs. You need to do some opinion posts in NYTimes, etc.so that a larger group can read whatever you write on current events.

  22. Collegemom, I do that too.

  23. The new website theme is quite nice but the font is painfully tiny! Tinier than any other website I read daily. Any chance you could make it larger for us more mature readers?

  24. I have been remiss in not thanking you, HG, for the lovely new look here. Whatever you did, it really makes a nice presentation and is very welcoming looking.

  25. Just some personal thoughts on the “biological clock” HG mentioned. One good thing about being an adoptive parent for us, is that we got the joy of raising children and are anticipating close, wonderful family relationships in our old age, but we don’t feel that we’ve contributed to bringing children into a harsh world. We’re doing our best to make a difference in their lives, in a way that struggling birth parents might not be able to do.

    • While on the subject of inspirational, adopting is such an inspirational act by giving a loving home to a child that otherwise might never have that experience, cchalo, you are an inspiration.

      • Wow. What a strange AI show tonight. It looks like the music producer Scott and judges threw Clark under the bus as he wanted to perform the songs they way “he” wanted to. Interesting. They had nothing but praise for the other contestants and none of them were that good. They obviously do not want Clark to win. Hope Clark stays in the show and wins it just annoy tptb at AI. lol.

      • Thank you, cq. My kids are an inspiration to me.

      • In that case, I will not watch the clips. This is why I hate Idol. The judges’ comments are usually very random but become amazingly consistent and unanimous the minute the producers decide to throw someone under the bus.

  26. hope- I agree! I think they want rayvon to win. clark will be another phillip phillips. I respect his determination to stay true to himself. I do not like his kind of music but like he said, i’m sure there are people who do. that being said, when it comes to music I can be very shallow, I do prefer the cuteness and sexiness of rayvon vs. the serious artistry of clark.

    • I think tptb at AI clearly want either Jax or Nick to win. I still think Rayvon will still go next despite the manipulations. I know that is how AI “operates” but very turned off to see it in action last night. I do think that Clark could have made better song choices last night for himself but they clearly put him down for not following “their” instructions. lol. Good for Clark as now I really want him to win. I don’t like that Scott at all. What a phony that guy is-Just like the music artist he produces- Taylor Swift.

      • Lol, I agree about Scott. Having the idols fly on his private jet didn’t make me like him any better.

  27. I like Nick. IMHO he has improved every week. I also like Clark, although I wasn’t a fan of his performance last night. Rayvon has been inconsistent and off-key but, he is a “looker” which the young voters seem to like. Jax just doesn’t do a thing for me. ITA about Scott. He continually acts pompous! Like he’s too good for the show. If AI comes back for another season, I hope he doesn’t!

  28. Reflecting about all that David has done, publicly, since his return, has for the most part been about his church (I know his own free will) and we fans that are fans of David the music artists, not David the religious advocate, are for the most part, still waiting for that David to return to his career (like he said he would do) are suppose to not ever get frustrated and never, ever voice your frustration, so to me, so unfair.
    David talks about totally be manipulated by the mean music industry, but yet, from where I see it, I also see that happening from his church, for the last year. Of course, for the last couple of weeks, he does seem like he is concentrating on his career, lol, don’t know, but I guess, him not having too many public church events going on, makes it seem like that is happening.

    • cq, I wish David could see that “using” and mainipulating the music industry to a certain extent could also help him to achieve his goals and get to a wider audience. It’s not all bad. So many artists use their celebrity for a great amount of good. An example I like is Lady Gaga. Say what you will about her but she created a fanbase and invited the so called misfits of society to join in and be accepted. So many remarks from fans who felt empowered through her support to believe in themselves and not be afraid to be different.

      I always felt David could use his innate goodness as an example for people to follow. Not that he doesn’t do it now, but it is strictly through the church recently. If he had achieved even a portion of the “fame” Bieber has, imagine how much he could have led by example and used the fame for good works and purposes. Yes, all the usual disclaimers apply, only if he wanted it, in his own time, etc.

      As to frustration, I got tired of reading another site because anyone who dared to say anything that was not 100% positive got called out for being a bad fan. Then the usual chorus would jump in to state their undying love and loyalty to David.

      • Anne – I can almost tell you what a post is going to say before I read it at that site. “We just have to wait a little while longer, but David is so worth waiting for” “I’m not going anywhere” “The best is yet to come” “As soon as David releases new music his fans will come back” All those along with the usual David is the best and David is amazing. I’m sure there are other frequently used bromides that I’m not remembering right now. Sometimes you see all of them thrown into one comment. I rarely read anything new or stimulating over there. If you want to stir things up just mildly suggest that maybe David can’t walk on water.

      • Hitandrun, that’s funny, but very true. I think they feel they need to constantly come to David’s defense and really a lot of the times, what a commenter is saying is frustration and giving a different point of view.

      • Lol…walk on water. The sites def have different personalities. If someone shows their frustration at The Voice, they will have a kind and loving intervention for them. At FOD, well, you know. Here, in between visits from the positivity police, we can vent, and most people are like Pooh and the characters in the Hundred Acre Wood. The Eeyores are tolerated and included in the conversation, and they’re not told that they don’t belong.

      • Love the Pooh analogy 🙂

  29. tried to post Joy WIlliams new music video that came out today but couldn’t thought it was good, artistic not to mention it took guts to do. wonder if David will see it.

  30. This one?

  31. cq don’t think she is? besides not all that sure that nudity even done in an artistic manner would be accepted? not sure about that but that is what it seems to me.

  32. Nicely done. Visually and otherwise awesome piano playing. And this reminded me of another young man singing and playing piano at the end of a pier. Thanks Peter.

    I think I understand that cool videos and music can be well done without making a spectacle of yourself. But I can still really appreciate “spectacle” sometimes, too lol. : o

    Have a good evening all.

  33. One thing that bums me a bit is that due to David’s devout religious beliefs he is limited as far as his creativity with his artistry and by no way do I mean trashy stuff.

    • HUH??????????????

      • Smanda, lol, I assume you don’t agree with my opinion and you think that even with his deep religious convictions, his artistry has no limitation, hey, I totally can respect that opinion.

    • I’ve never really cared for the song either, but the Spanish version is really pretty with David’s voice.

  34. Thanks peter for the fun video, he sure seems like a real fun person to watch. Never threw big bad industry under the bus when things weren’t going good for him, I like that.

    Also, thank you Kimk, for the Spanish version of Glorious. As I’ve said before, not a big fan of the song, but heck, always love to hear David sing in Spanish.

  35. Anne wonder if this was recorded in Chile? from what I can tell I don’t speak the language but his pronunciation and accent are fabulous.. I agree!

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