You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 5:25 a.m.

David Archuleta speaks about being thankful, concert with A2SO

By Roger LeLievre

In 2007, 16-year-old David Archuleta became one of the youngest contestants to compete on the TV talent competition “American Idol,” winding up as runner-up to David Cook after receiving 44 percent of over 97 million votes. David Archuleta’s self-titled album was released in late 2008, he’s toured the country with the “Idol” cast and, in September, won the Year in Music's Rising Male Star Award at the American Latino Media Arts Awards. Besides his new “Christmas From the Heart” CD — a collection of holiday favorites such as “Silent Night” and “Ave Maria” — he’s writing songs for a new pop CD to be released next year. He spoke by phone to writer Roger LeLievre recently in advance of his Friday night concert at Hill Auditorium with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.

Q: Where are you this morning? A: I’m in Southern California, eating some cereal. … It’s Kashi, and I’ve mixed it in with some golden flax.

Q: How you are feeling about performing with a full symphony? Is this a first for you? A: I’m excited. I’ve been able to perform with a symphony before, but never Christmas music and never a whole entire show like this. … It’s so amazing to see how so many people come together and make a song. It really makes such a huge difference and makes it so much greater. It’s really neat.

Q: How do you prepare? You’re there, the orchestra is here. A: There isn’t a whole lot of time to rehearse it. The songs I already know, and I will have a little bit of time to go through them with the orchestra. I’m really excited to hear the arrangements. (The songs) are going to be coming to life performed with a live orchestra and that’s really exciting for me and I am really happy to be able to be able to get to do it.

Q: How has life been since ‘Idol?’ Are things less of a whirl, or more? A: It hasn’t really stopped. ‘American Idol’ was just a year ago, so much has happened since then. I can’t believe I went through that and all the extremes I had, from the beginning of those auditions where I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to now, having released an album last year and now the Christmas album and Christmas tour. It’s like, wow — I did not think I would have moved this much since last year. It’s just crazy. I didn’t think I would be going on tour this year and performing and getting to work on music and a Christmas album over the summer, which is kind of funny, working on a Christmas album in the summer. It’s made Christmas last a lot longer this year. It’s just go, go, go but it’s nice. I’m productive with myself and that’s a good feeling.

Q: Tell me more about the Christmas CD. A: This is my Christmas gift to all the fans. I wanted to keep it really heartfelt and share what I feel is important about Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday first of all, and Christ’s birth is really important to me, and just that whole thing of celebrating that and celebrating his life is really special. … It’s really neat to see the (Christmas album) come out now. I spent all summer working on this, I know what goes on with the details, and later it’s out on CD and people are listening to it. It’s so cool to think about that — they’re listening to what I’ve been working on all summer. I want people to leave with that whole spirit of Christmas and keep that with them after the show.

Listen to David Archuleta "Christmas From The Heart"

Q: Do you still tour with the ‘Idol’ folks? A: I’ve been doing my own stuff, pretty much. We did the ‘American Idol’ tour last year, after that I’ve just done my own thing. I did a couple of shows with (winner) David Cook, there was one real cool show we did in Manila in the Philippines. It was great being able to perform with David Cook and go to the Philippines for the first time.

Q: What’s next for you when the tour is done? Do you have another pop CD in the works? A: Yeah, that’s actually why I’m in L.A. right now. I’ve been writing a lot and traveling around, working in different places and working with different writers. It’s been a challenge trying to work on my own songwriting. It’s something I’ve always wanted to get better at doing and do more of. … When you’re part of a song’s creation, your personality comes into it and you have all that more of a connection to it. It’s just been great.

Q: Do you have a release date in mind? A: No (he laughs). Right now the main focus is the Christmas tour.

Q: Will you be just playing Christmas music at the Ann Arbor concert? A: I’ll have a few of the pop songs I’ll be adding to the show but it will mainly be about the Christmas music.

Q: It must be hard, touring over Thanksgiving. Is your family coming with you? A: They’re not. I’ll have my band, crew and tour manager.

Q: Since it’s a Thanksgiving show, what are you thankful for this time of year? A: I just have to be thankful for everything I’ve been able to experience. I owe that to God because I really feel like he’s been able to let me do all this. I am so thankful for that. I wouldn’t be here without him. … Another thing is family, for sure. Family and friends are so important, and they’re the ones who keep you sane. They let you know there is someone there for you and people care for you.

Roger LeLievre is a free-lance writer who covers music for



Wed, Nov 25, 2009 : 11:57 a.m. David sang a brilliant performance of Ave Maria last night at SLC Utah. This is just a sample of what David's performance will be like Nov 27. Mind you this is not with a full orchestra, one can only imagine what it will sound like with a full orchestra on Friday :D Bring lots of tissues...


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 4:58 p.m.

Thanks for the nice interview. Coming to the concert and bringing my 4 kids, ages 13, 11, 9, and 4 yrs, and hubby! We're looking forward to this concert as a great way to kick off the holiday season!! Super excited for the kids to see the orchestra perform and watch the interaction of all the instruments, and super excited to hear David Archuleta perform with the symphony orchestra!!


Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 10:39 a.m.

Thanks for the great interview. A bunch of us are driving down from Canada for this special once-in-a-lifetime show -- love the Christmas From the Heart CD and hearing those songs live with the symphony orchestra will be incredible. Can't wait!

Lauren B

Tue, Nov 24, 2009 : 9:56 a.m.

He seems like a really great guy-I've been loving all the postings I've seen about his involvement with Tickets-for-Charity-what a great way to give back to both charities and fans! This show will be amazing, just like his Christmas From The Heart Album. Thanks David!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 12:02 p.m.

OMGOSH! This performance is gonna be EPIC! LUV his Christmas From the Heart album!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 11:25 a.m.

Thanks for the's always fun to hear what David is doing and his thoughts. I can't wait to see David on his holiday tour when he comes to the northeast. I've been listening to David's "Christmas from the Heart" album just about every day -- it's amazing. David's voice with the orchestra is going to be amazing...wish I could be there with the full orchestra...but I love all David's concerts as they are so much fun. I have attended all his tour shows (AI, his solo shows last winter, his summer tour shows) I'm looking forward to his solo tour coming up! David just has an amazing voice and I think he is such a talented singer/songwriter.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 7:30 p.m.

Thanks for the interview with David Archuleta! He is an amazing talent!! I will be seeing him at his Salt Lake concert on 11/24/09. Unfortunately, he won't be performing with a symphony orchestra like he will be with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. David's voice is spectacular and will sound amazing with a symphony orchestra backing him up. If you haven't purchased his new Christmas cd "Christmas From The Heart", be sure to do so. It is magnificent!!!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 11:56 a.m.

Nice interview! I wish I lived near Ann Arbor so I could go to this concert. David's Christmas album is gorgeous. Those mono clips barely hint at what's there. If you get a chance, check out the stereo clips at the GoHastings website. But no clips will let you fully hear the inventive arrangements and David's pop and soul touches. I know some people that are driving and flying in for this concert. And a lot of people are bringing their whole family to one of David's Christmas concerts. Don't miss this one - David's fans in the rest of the country all wish they could attend this one.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 11:04 a.m.

Thanks for this great interview. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend any show during his Christmas tour but I can't wait to see videos and pictures shared by fans. David is a remarkable young man; amazing talent and beautiful personality; he has it all! David Archuleta is simply the best!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 7:42 a.m.

OMGosh, thanks for the interview with David, can't wait to hear him perform with the Symphony Orchestra :D