THE FEATURE STORY
Exclusive Interview: David Archuleta welcomes the holiday season with new Christmas album “Winter In the Air”
“I had no idea I would have the chance to connect to millions of people before I even finished high school and millions more into my 20’s. I didn’t plan it!” Former American Idol David Archuleta explained, “But I’ve learned to stop asking why, keep my hands open, ready to receive what’s next and be grateful.”
What’s next is a new Christmas album entitled, Winter In the Air, which released November 2nd and is available now. What is to follow is a holiday tour across the nation beginning in Los Angelas on November 26, 2018.
In advance of the release of his new album, The Feature Story sat down with David for a very honest conversation. He opened his heart regarding his continued inspiration for music saying, “I want to lift people and get them to think that maybe there’s a greater purpose in them than they realized.”
Winter In the Air includes three original songs David either wrote or co-wrote, including lead single “Christmas In the Air“. Through seasonal songs, this album vulnerably shares the spirit of the holiday and echoes of Archuleta’s faith. Find out what he has to say about the songs, Christmas memories and spoiler alert, he is writing new music!
The Feature Story: You’ve been singing and making music for most of your life. What makes recording and releasing Christmas music special?
David Archuleta: Christmas music makes me happy. It brings back sweet memories and it does that for so many other people during the holidays. I love being a part of creating those memories for people.
TFS: What was the process or criteria for selecting the songs you sang on Winter In The Air?
DA: I wanted a mix of fun bouncy songs with more sacred music that captures the reason for the season. It’s easy for me to gravitate to more serious songs so I challenged myself to get more happy songs like “Holly Jolly Christmas” on the album.
TFS: Tell me about the original songs you co-wrote. What were some of the inspirations for you when creating songs like this?
DA: I wanted three types of Christmas songs: happy upbeat, story of Christ’s birth, and romantic. “Christmas Every Day” is my first single and I tried to give it an “All I Want For Christmas is You” or “Underneath the Tree” feel. Then for my sacred song “He Is Born” I wanted to imagine being there at the manger seeing the baby Jesus, and how it would feel. So it’s a bit of my testimony of my wonder and awe of that moment in time. Last, “Winter in the Air” I wanted to capture that amazing feeling of walking through a winter wonderland where it’s cold and crisp, peaceful, and snow brightens the landscape as you share that moment with someone you love.
TFS: I understand that “He is Born” is a deeper personal reflection of your faith and the meaning of Christmas to you. Can you tell me more about that track and what it means to you?
DA: Sure! I call that song my testimony on the album. I actually get emotional whenever I read back on the lyrics. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and everyone listening to songs like “Silent Night” or “O Holy Night” talking about Christ’s birth…remembering Him I feel is a prime reason we all feel the Spirit of Christmas. To get to write a song expressing that myself was immensely gratifying for me. The song’s message connects to a deep and personal part of me that’s the foundation of what I define as my purpose.
TFS: What are some of your favorite Christmas songs, classic or currently?
DA: I love the “First Noel”! It’s so simple and tells the story of Christmas in a simple and beautiful way. I love “O Holy Night” as well. For more fun light songs I love “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.
TFS: In the spirit of, what makes Christmas special for you?
DA: The memories, the carols and caroling, time with family, the food, the happier moods of everyone around and people with a greater desire to give and wish others well. I love it!
TFS: Do you have plans in the new year to release more music?
DA: I’m working on writing more pop music already. I always take it one step at a time, seeing where the writing process takes me. After I have a handful of songs I take a look at them and ask them where we all want to go, as if we were a counsel or something. Haha! See what they want to be and see what the underlying theme inside of me is. I don’t know what I’m thinking and feeling until it comes out and I see what was unleashed in writing.
TFS: Looking back on the 10 years since American Idol, how would you say your artistry has evolved or changed?
DA: I have been given freedom to be who I am. When I was first signed to a label they wanted me to be a white Chris Brown (that’s legit what I was told). I get he was really big and all, but I wasn’t him! I had a different purpose to serve and I feel like I am finding that. I want to lift people and get them to think that maybe there’s a greater purpose in them than they realized.
TFS: Likewise, what are among your favorite moments?
DA: I have loved the chance to have my voice be heard. Not just singing, but in my songwriting and stories. I’ve seen that I’m not the only one who feels awkward in his own skin and mind. Being honest about that struggle in learning to like myself the way I am with all my overthinking, anxiety, self-doubts in my music, has helped me see others feel the same way and connect to the same challenges. It’s great to be at a show and see the audience sing along to these songs and relate to them. The fact I even have an audience who wants to listen even 10 years after American Idol amazes me! It’s humbling.
TFS: What are you looking forward to in the years ahead?
DA: I’m looking forward to seeing what else I can offer to this world. To the people that come across me. I had no idea I would have the chance to connect to millions of people before I even finished high school, and millions more into my 20’s. I didn’t plan it! But I’ve learned to stop asking why, keep my hands open ready to receive what’s next and be grateful. I’ll keep making music as long as the inspiration is there and someone’s there to listen. If it ends I believe inspiration will always guide us to where we can best fulfill or purpose and it may not always be a professional singing career for me. But I’m trusting in the leading Hand from above. He’s taken care of me so far and I trust Him.