His two-year hiatus seemed so long for his fans but American singer David Archuleta’s comeback is worth the wait.
The “American Idol” runner-up found new meaning in life when he embarked on a two-year journey as Mormon missionary in 2012, leaving his rising music career behind. He returns in Manila with his newest album “Postcards in the Sky” and for a concert tonight at the KIA Theatre.
“It (the mission) has changed my life so much. I will be forever grateful for that. It’s the greatest thing in my life so far,” David Archuleta said in an interview.
Before leaving, he has had hits in “Crush” and “A Little Too Not Over You.” While many did not understand his decision, David knew it was God calling him to do so.
“A lot of people said ‘You’re such an idiot for doing that. Why are you taking a break? When you’re in the business you have to keep the momentum going. You have to be constantly engaged or the people will forget you.’ That was hard and that scared me when I was trying to decide whether to go. I told my management and they told me ‘No.’ They told me why it was such a dumb idea.
“But I think God sometimes asks us to do things that seem dumb to everyone else. He makes sense of things that don’t make sense to the rest of the world.”
Having found success in entertainment at an early age, David, who is now 26, realized that having a flourishing music career and millions of followers are not what he was looking for. David admitted he still felt empty amid his achievements back then.
What matters the most for him now is God, his faith, his family, his loved ones and the fans.
“Once I see ‘American Idol’ happens, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I get 100 letters every day.’ I can’t even catch up to it anymore. Millions of people were voting for you, watching you, buying your music, people are coming to your concerts. I thought that was what success was.
“But I realized that I was getting depressed by the end of that year. I remember feeling so empty, so lost. People were saying ‘You are on cloud nine. People love you.’ I was trying to convince myself that what they were telling is true. And I just didn’t know why I didn’t feel successful if I am getting all the success according to what everyone was telling me.
“You can find success being up onstage and having fans but you don’t rely on that for your success. You rely on your own choices. I feel that success comes from, whether it’s a million people or just one person, how are you, what’s your character, are you a good person, are you working hard, are you learning new things? I think that’s where success comes from,” he said.
Post-hiatus, David admitted going through some struggles. He overcame it by just being himself, without having to conform to the industry’s high demands and standards.
His journey as a missionary helped him find himself and his true value as a person that also led him to the artist that he is now.
“I was feeling like if I’m gonna back to where I was before, compared to what I have been now, I don’t think I want to do that anymore. But when I found that I could have new meaning, that I could actually sing something that meant to me, instead of just playing the record label game or shut up and look pretty and sing the songs we want you to sing, I was like ‘Wait a second, I can’t relate to this song at all.’ They would literally tell me ‘We want you to be a white Chris Brown. We want you to be a Justin Bieber.’
“They would always say that, like they always want me to be someone else instead of being me.’ I thought I lost a lot of my own value. Because when you compare yourself to other people, other things or artists, am I good enough compared to them? You don’t have to be like someone else to be good enough. You just have to find who you are and let that shine. Let that come out,” he said.
His new songs say a lot about his views in life. David’s favorite song is “Invincible” because it reminds him of his past struggles trying to be perfect.
“It’s something that I have dealt with a lot, fighting this constantly with me, with myself. We’re talking about those voices. The first line was ‘I started a war, I’ve been here before fighting me, myself and I.’ It’s this battle I have that I always need to be perfect. There are so many times where I didn’t do something because if I didn’t do it right, then why even bother, like I’m gonna fail. But you don’t have to be perfect to keep trying things. Try something new. You don’t have to be perfect to find joy in what you do in your life. That’s what I constantly remind myself, take a breath, look at how you are overthinking everything and you don’t have to be invincible,” he said.
David added: “Being invincible is realizing that the strength doesn’t come from you. I think I feel strongest when I feel being supported by something bigger than me. Trusting that God is there. When you’re up by yourself onstage and you feel this power, you feel the strength. Somebody up there knows who I am and watching me and guiding me and wants me to be happy.”
David advises aspiring singers to show their real selves. Behind the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry are some celebrities who feel lost and depressed, thus, David encourages everyone to not lose their identity.
“Dare to be you. Dare to be who you are. A lot of musicians lose themselves trying to play a character. They get lost. They get depressed. It may take more work but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I think you can be successful by being who you are.” (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)
Tags: "A Little Too Not Over You”, American Idol, Crush, David Archuleta, Did you miss David Archuleta?, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, With report from Jojo P. Panaligan, “Invincible”, “Postcards in the Sky”