Platinum-selling pop star David Archuleta doesn’t like attention, but he deserves yours.
At 6 years old, Archuleta, who grew up on a steady diet of musicals like Les Misérables and
Evita, developed a love for singing as a way to find solace in the comfort of his backyard. Before
long, family, friends and neighbors started to notice, and at 9 years old, coaxed by the promise
of free quesadillas, he was singing for crowds at a local restaurant. And in 2007, when the
then-16-year-old (now 26), appeared on American Idol, the world started noticing. Receiving 44
percent of nearly 100 million votes, the shy, fresh-faced vocal prodigy was runner-up on the hit
show’s seventh season, finishing behind David Cook.
“I didn’t really want to pursue fame and stardom,” Archuleta, a devout Mormon, recalls. “But I
felt like it was something I needed to do to fulfill one of the assignments I’d been given in my
A record deal with Sony/Jive Records, arena tours, a No. 2 single (“Crush”) on the Billboard Hot
100, acclaim from the likes Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna, and international
fame followed. But even after running the gamut from Top 40 pop to holiday music on six
studio albums and 21 singles, released over the past decade, including a two-year break from
music to embark on life-changing missionary work in Chile for The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-Day Saints, the TV personality, bestselling author and former Star Search Junior Vocal
Champion and one of American Idol ’s youngest breakout wunderkinds was still just finding his
“I think American Idol, the whole process, from the momentum on afterwards, I never took
time to slow down and think about who I was,” the singer says. “People wanted me to work in
an adult world without growing up. … When I went on my mission, it was the first time that I
took time to say, ‘Who am I? What do I want?’
“When I got back, I started doing music again, and that’s when I started working on this
He’s talking about a series of three four-song EPs that, due out over the course of this year (and
later as a full-length LP with additional songs), starting with the May 19 th release of Orion ,
combine to make a heartfelt artistic statement. Unburdened by the pressures and
focus-group-think of industry handlers, yet set to pop tones sure to pleasantly surprise old fans
and attract new followers to his already robust global fan base, it’s the first album the singer’s
co-written and recorded as an adult.
“The music is all about saying, ‘Wait a second, why am I doing this in the first place?’ ”
Archuleta says, explaining where his head was at when he relocated to Nashville to start writing
songs with Music City luminaries like Jeremy Bose, Trent Dabbs, Katie Herzig, producer Jamie
Kenney and others.
“It was therapeutic working with them,” Archuleta recalls. “I wrote these stories [my career so
far]. … That was a great experience and I learned a ton, and now I’m here and I’m like, ‘Wow! I
get to create music, but this time I have my own reason to do it.”
“I connect to my songs more now than I ever have,” he goes on to say. “Before, my team had
goals to fulfill; they didn’t really care about my story, they were just like, ‘Make sure you have
enough love songs that we can release, because that’s what people want to buy.’ I’ve never
been about romance and breakups and high school love and all that. I’ve always been about
life, and self-introspection.”
“I think I’ll take a second change,” Archuleta sings with a familiar bell-clear powerhouse croon
on lead-off single “Numb,” an airy pop tune with a refreshing calypso feel that shows some of
the Utah-by-way-of-Miami native’s Latin roots. The track premiered via Billboard last
“This is like a new beginning,” Archuleta explains excitedly, saying he’s never felt so intrinsically
fulfilled and electrified by his own music. “It’s not just taking another chance with music, it’s
taking another chance on myself. … I need to be who I am or else I’ll go numb again.”
Like with “Numb,” the theme of the anthemic “Invincible” turns the phrase its title suggests.
“[It’s] about not having to be invincible,” Archuleta says. “I’ve felt too many times that I need to
be perfect, I need to be invincible, I can’t show any weakness. But really, that’s what creates
the battle with myself. … [Then I have to tell myself], ‘It’s OK, you can let go. Let the armor
down. Put the sword away.’ ”
That idea carries on through Orion ’s “Up All Night.” It’s a dance-pop gem Archuleta wrote about
a rural Tennessee fishing trip he took with a family he befriended. Coming during a rough patch
he was having in Nashville, the trip gave the singer some much-needed perspective at a time
when he was imposing a paralyzing amount of pressure on himself to prove himself.
“They just cared about each other,” Archuleta says of the family. “Whoever I was, they just
loved me and accepted me, and made me feel like a was a part of the family. … I felt whole
again, I feel rejuvenated, and I went home and I couldn’t sleep that night. And all that
happened was I went fishing with this family. I was like, ‘I have to get this feeling out of me.’ So
I went over to the keyboard and [“Up All Night”] is what came out.”
“Say Me,” a string-section-boasting ballad co-written with Bose and Dabbs, is another
rumination on the singer’s battle for self-discovery. “I need you to say me,” the lyric goes.
“That can be interpreted as a love song,” Archuleta admits. “I need you to say you, basically —
believe in yourself. … There’s a difference between being prideful and cocky and believing in
After a decade under the discerning eyes of American Idol judges, TV viewers, record label
know-it-alls and music critics trying to shape and define his identity, Archuleta has discovered
he’s the only one who can find himself, and, with confidence winning out over self-doubt, that’s
what he’s done on Orion.
“These songs are about the struggle of finding your own voice and how hard it can be
sometimes to believe in yourself. … I’m David. I’m the kid who always sat in his backyard,
alone, singing to the cats. I don’t have to be cool, I just have to be David.”
The Jack Singer Concert Hall in Arts Commons is described as one of the most beautiful and acoustically acclaimed venues in North America. Home of Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, BD&P World Music, and TD Jazz, audiences are treated to some of the world's finest musical events. The hall also welcomes a spectrum of events each season from TED talks and National Geographic speakers, to wedding dinners on the stage and rock stars on tour.
Ideal for: Weddings, performances, meetings, graduation ceremonies, and corporate events
Capacity: 1797 – Theatre-style seating 150 – Formal dinner seating 200 – Cocktail reception
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Accessibility: Theatre seating includes wheelchair accessible Seats
Named after Mr. Jack Singer ($1.5M contribution from his sons, Alan and Stephen Singer), the concert hall is also the home of the Carthy Organ donated by the Carthy Foundation in the amount of $750,000 in memory of Mrs. Margaret Mannix. Suspended high above the stage is a laminated, 185,000-pound (90-ton) spruce-wood acoustical canopy that can be raised or lowered to tune the hall according to the specific needs of each performer.
Over its 32 year life, Jack Singer Concert Hall has undergone many upgrades to ensure that it remains a state-of-the-art performance hall, including a new million dollar sound system with state-of-the-art hearing assistance in 2004, a complete replacement of all its analog sound boards in 2014, and the future replacement of all of its seats to be completed by fall 2017.
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