More than an 'Idol' — David Archuleta says new album is more about his personality

Published: Friday, Oct. 8 2010 7:00 a.m. MDT

Declared by Billboard magazine's 2010 readers poll as the best "American Idol" contestant ever, David Archuleta released his sophomore CD, "The Other Side of Down," on Oct. 5.

During an exclusive interview with the Deseret News and El Observador de Utah, the 2008 runner-up "Idol" said he is excited about the release of this album because "I think it is more related to me than anything else. It is not a bunch of generic sound. It is more about my personality."

Archuleta explains that there is a big difference between his new album and the ones in the past. Although he is only 19, his newfound maturity led him to co-write all but two of the songs on the album.

"I hope this album helps people understand who I am and where I am coming from as an artist and as a person. My new album is about moving forward in life, making progress in accomplishing your goals."

The Murray, Utah, native has accomplished more than he could have ever imagined by working hard for the past 12 months. Last year, he released a seasonal album, "Christmas From the Heart," which was a great success.

Archuleta started writing his new album last fall but got busy with his Christmas album and a holiday tour. His work was again interrupted with the publication of his book, "Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance," which debuted on the New York Times Best Seller list. The book is an autobiography chronicling the lessons he learned in his young life, so far, and encourages young people to follow their dreams.

And, on Thursday, it was announced that Archuleta will be the guest star at the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert this year.

The choir made the announcement on KSL-Newsradio’s Doug Wright show. The concert series begins with a preview Dec. 16, followed by evening concerts Dec. 17 and 18 and a Sunday morning “mini-concert” Dec. 19.

But Archuleta is not all about music and fame. At the beginning of the year, he took time to visit, with his mother, her native country of Honduras with stops in Guatemala, too. Invited by Enterprise Mentors International, a nonprofit organization that develops humanitarian programs in both countries, Archuleta witnessed the group's impact firsthand. During his visit, he was able to share his talent with young locals and relatives he had never met before. The children were thrilled, as they otherwise may not have ever had the opportunity to hear him sing.

"It was a wonderful experience to have Archuleta with us. He brought light, hope and happiness to many throughout the visit," said Mark Petersen, CEO and president of Enterprise Mentors International.

Archuleta's grandfather Wilfredo Mayorga says that he is very proud of his grandson, not only for his success, but because "he is a one in a kind. He is always thinking in doing what is right and is a very friendly and loving person. His visit to Honduras brought him closer to part of his roots, and he was delighted."

Archuleta will be performing tonight during the 20th anniversary celebration of Enterprise Mentors.

One of the songs from his new album, "Elevator," was inspired by a dream he had. He said that in his dream, he saw a big building with many floors and an elevator that was going up and down, stopping on different floors, and he did not know on which floor he should get off.

"I think this song is reflecting some of the stages of my life. How there are so many different decisions, so many different things that can happen to you in your life; some of them do not make any sense at the time. Your life is an endless ride. Sometimes, it takes you up, sometimes it takes you down, but the most important is that you are alive and always looking to go forward."

His favorite song from the album is "The Other Side of Down" because it is somehow a summary of his life.

So I put one foot front of the other,

No no nothing's gonna break my stride,

I keep climbing, gonna keep fighting until I make it to the other side of down

"It does not matter, your past. We all have made mistakes, but the most important thing is where we stand today to see our future. This is the kind of message that I want to tell the world," he said.

Archuleta says the album is an opportunity for his fans to get to know more about him ... "who I am, they need to know this about me, about my life and how my life has been affected by my decisions, how I view things and why I am who I am."

"I just thought what worked for me is just being who I am. There is a little more quirkiness to this album and more meaningful messages to the songs."

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