Category Archives: Chords of Strength
When I think of the debates over whether to “share” David’s performances as Elder Archuleta – and some Archies accommodate our desire! – I always think back to the story David shared in Chords of Strength, the one about how his parents had to sit him down and convince him that the world deserved to hear his Voice!
My parents, who I believe saw the local talent show as a great opportunity for me to grow personally, sat me down and gave me an honest, motivating speech that I still hold close today. It was one of those talks that I remember vividly, the kind that shape you as a kid, and in my case, as a singer. They were by no means trying to push or pressure me into doing anything that I didn’t want to do, and instead were trying to help me see that just maybe I would share some joy with others through this opportunity if I would be willing to share my talent with them. They gently told me that this show would be a perfect chance for me to make other people feel good, which, as they explained, is what talent is meant for. They reminded me that my gift was not something to keep to myself, and that in fact, “even the Bible teaches us that we are not supposed to hide our light under a bushel; that we are instead supposed to let our light shine bright”… They basically stripped it down for me by telling me that I was blessed with a gift from God and that it could be a really nice thing to share this gift with the world… The day of the show, I was a total wreck. (Chords of Strength, page 39)
Whatever their flaws and issues, I’m still grateful that his mom and dad ensured that the rest of us would bask in their son’s talent. David of course had a wholesale panic attack, but prayer calmed him down. I have to respect that prayer is still calming him down, though I hope he still remembers his parents’ (and biblical) lesson about “hiding under a bushel.”
As David prepares to make an appearance at a BYU Bookstore signing today, I’m inclined to re-read his one and only book, Chords of Strength, this weekend.
While I look back on what David accomplished during his three years as a major-label-signed recording artist, I’ve often wondered why he was being pulled in so many different directions.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m one of the reasons his label/management folk was pushing David into these different projects. No matter what he put out, they could depend on the devoted Archies, such as myself, to buy any and everything related to David. Of course, there’s a question if that fanbase is shrinking, but I blame the lack of promo for not reaching David’s worldwide audience more than anything else.
The thing is: David is all of 20 years old, and while it’s great that he wrote a book and delivered a heartfelt and moving Christmas album, in all honesty, those things could have waited to come out much later in David’s career. After all, as a young 20-something, his is an unfinished life story.
So why push him to write a memoir (in one of David’s interviews, he revealed he didn’t do enough to warrant an autobiography, and being the grounded and realistic person he is, I have to agree that he’s right), and why push him to work on a Christmas album (again, I love that I will always have Christmas from the Heart, but that album ate away at a three-album contract, and I would have loved to hear David’s progression on a third pop album)?
It’s my reflecting on all these projects that I have come to realize how David was pulled in different directions instead of being geared to work on his musical craft – whether that entailed more studio work, more stage presence choreography, more opening acts at the concerts of established pop stars, or more musical collaborations.
It’s no wonder David is in laid-back mode of late, simply enjoying life not on the fast track and not tied to a major label that had yet to show their own beliefs in David’s genuine talent. They simply banked on his good looks and instant fame coming off Idol.
Whatever David is up to of late – even if that might include looking into niche music groups, like Christian music (*keeping my fingers crossed that he’s not limiting his career in this manner* – I mean, Justin Bieber is “Christian,” and that hasn’t stopped his mainstream success) – I hope he’s able to craft a more well thought-out plan to allow his major, unique talents to thrive into a successful music career.
His is still an unfinished life.
How did I completely forget this was going on today?! Where are my SDers to remind me of these things? haha!
This book signing video has been making the rounds…
Gee, I can only hope whoever is managing David this time around is going to up the ante when his album drops.
I’m so proud of David for being so dang appealing on his very successful book tour and for now being, from what I understand, the youngest author to debut on the New York Times bestselling nonfiction list, with Chords of Strength coming in strong at #15.
David’s tweet was obviously one of deep gratitude to his fans, and so he should be. We Archies rock! His book success can be attributed as much to his fans as to any management working diligently.
And, quite frankly, I still think they could be doing more. A few local Fox TV interviews are all well and good, but that doesn’t go far enough, as a national or syndicated show appearance might. And I have not overlooked that only one urban area bookstore – Borders in Manhattan – was included on his book tour stop (the New York City-centric in me hesitates to count Minneapolis and its popular Mall of America). Just imagine how much higher Chords of Strength would have debuted on the New York Times bestseller list if he also included tour stops at other metropolitan area bookstores, say in Philadelphia or D.C. (considering he was doing a gig there) or Atlanta or Miami or L.A. or San Francisco!
It’s nice that whoever managed his book tour assumed smartly that he would have tons of suburban girls (and moms and everyone else in between) showing up to get a signed copy from David, but his handlers would be truly underestimating David’s appeal if they don’t broaden his audience. I saw how diverse his New York City audience was. David has the “IT” factor in spades! Why limit his crowds to small population sites like Idaho?
David comes to the table with so many fine qualities: good looks, winning smile, kind heart, disciplined work ethic, and a helluva Voice! The rest is packaging, and if Archies can do the ground work and get our beloved off to a wonderful start, I expect nothing but the best in the way he is managed from now on.