For many musical artists, the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020 was quite the struggle as everything from tours to recording sessions were indefinitely paused.
But David Archuleta, who rose to fame following his second place finish on American Idol season 7, thrived in the solace.
“I loved it. I felt like it was a ton of reflection,” the self-described introvert told The Times. “I live alone so I thought it was going to be lonely, but I live next to a walking path that I went and walked on like 2 to 3 times a day. It just gave me a lot of reflection time that I felt like I needed.”
Archuleta’s countless strolls resulted in him deciding to do a number of things over the past year. He found the courage to reveal that he identifies as LGBTQ+, released new music for his diehard fanbase, and penned his debut children’s book.
Additionally, the 30-year-old is gearing up to hit the road on his “OK, Alright Tour,” which was postponed from 2020 and will make a stop at Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave. on Saturday, March 12, at 8 p.m. (doors are at 6 p.m.).
When asked how it feels to still be doing what he loves over a decade after appearing on the national singing competition, which saw Archuleta’s powerful vocals receive consistent praise from judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, he said it’s an honor to have people stand by him all these years.
“It feels really good. It makes me feel like maybe what I do wasn’t just a phase, a hype moment, an adrenaline rush for people. Maybe I really do have something consistent to offer people with singing and performing,” he said. “It’s been fun.”
At this point in his career, Archuleta has released numerous EPs and albums, including 2020’s Therapy Sessions. Attendees at the Sellersville show will hear songs spanning from his post-Idol smash hit “Crush” to his newest single “Movin’,” which he recently released in an unprecedented way.
Admittedly indecisive, Archuleta dropped two versions of the track – a pop-sounding “day mix” and a moodier mix that he said gave him “a night, roller skating disco kind of vibe.” Music videos were filmed for both, with Archuleta trying his hand at something very much outside of his comfort zone – choreography.
“I’m not a dancer, but I’ve been taking classes,” he shared.
While fans of all ages have been enjoying the new music, those with young ones can now get their hands on Archuleta’s debut children’s book My Little Prayer, released in October. The book centers around the lyrics of his 2016 song of the same name that came to him in a dream.
Archuleta reflected on how, in the dream, he was praying and communicating through music with God, who he said urged him to wake up and jot down the song. After this track saw much success with listeners, Archuleta’s manager suggested he turn it into a children’s book.
“I’ve never been so excited about something because I love kids, my mom is a nanny. I love God and I love helping people build a relationship with him, and prayer I feel is the beginning to that,” he said. “In the book, I wanted kids to know that you’re not always going to get what you’re asking for in prayer. Sometimes, you think prayer is a request list you send up to the heavens. But it’s really learning how to be OK when things don’t turn out how you hoped they would.”
The moral of My Little Prayer – that life can turn out to be better than what you initially asked for – is something Archuleta has experienced firsthand. For some years now, Archuleta struggled with what he described as his “attractions,” and acknowledging the fact that he’s a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Because his religion – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons – is strictly against anything but a man marrying a woman and having children, Archuleta attempted to bury his interest in men out of fear he’d have to abandon his faith, a vital part of his life.
Archuleta’s prayers to God involved him pleading to just be “normal.” However, he eventually understood that he doesn’t have to choose between his religion and being his true self.
“Why do I need to choose one or the other? They’re both important,” he said. “I realized I don’t have to become something different. I just have to become more fully who I am, and that’s acknowledging every aspect of who I am.”
It was on a random Saturday in June that Archuleta unexpectedly shared a lengthy “coming out” post on Instagram. Though he was terrified of what people would say, especially his large conservative following, Archuleta was met with overarching love and support. He received hundreds of messages from individuals in similar situations who thanked him.
“I felt a big sense of relief shortly after that, and I feel like I’ve been in a really good place since, even though it’s still been this strange place to live in,” he said. “It meant so much to me to know I wasn’t alone in having to figure this out, figure out this balance. My hope is to help other people know they’re not alone.”
For tickets and more information on the Sellersville Theater show, visit davidarchuleta.com/home/tour. My Little Prayer is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com