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David Archuleta opens up about new music, writer’s block and why he loves eastern Idaho

Arts & Entertainment

The top 5 American Idol contestants were revealed Sunday night on ABC and in two weeks, a new winner will be crowned the champion.

Eleven years ago, Utah native David Archuleta finished second on the seventh season of the hit show. Since then, he’s released several albums, served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, performed at venues across the country and collaborated with best-selling artists. Archuleta is now living in Nashville where he writes or co-writes all of his songs. reporter Nate Eaton recently spoke with Archuleta in Salt Lake City about his success and what’s next.

NATE EATON, EASTIDAHONEWS.COM: You just wrapped up a tour. How was it?

DAVID ARCHULETA: It was awesome. I loved it. I did a couple of shows in Idaho – Idaho Falls and Boise.

EATON: Sold out shows, by the way. What is it about touring that fulfills you?

ARCHULETA: I love getting to watch people’s reaction to the music in person. I work hard to make sure the music is as best as I can. But to be able to watch people experience it is really cool. You see them having a fun time but sometimes, if it’s a deeper song, you see the wheels in people’s heads start turning and them processing it. I think it’s awesome. I hope it’s doing something good for them.

EATON: You not only perform, but you also write, don’t you?

ARCHULETA: I do. Everything that I release now I co-write, at least. I usually like to get a couple of other people involved because I feel I have a hard time finishing things. I can get like a verse and a chorus and a melody and then I’m like, ‘I can’t finish this.’ I feel like something great can come when you put a bunch of heads together because new things are created that you wouldn’t have had on your own.

EATON: What do you do when you get writer’s block? Is there an escape you have to recharge and get your brain moving again?

ARCHULETA: I don’t think I handle it very well. I’ll play a game or I’ll call one of my sisters just to get the frustration out. Or I like to go on a walk. I might get something to eat just to kind of get my mind off of what I’m overthinking. Usually my writer’s block comes from overthinking something so if I can stop thinking so much about it, if I come back with a fresh mind, then I see it was not so bad.

EATON: Do you have any new music coming out soon?

ARCHULETA: I do. the last thing I did was a Christmas album but I’ll be releasing a little more Christmas stuff this year. Before that I’ll be releasing some new pop songs which I’m really excited about. I hope people like it and it’s been fun doing it. It’s been fun making new music and trying to still have a message but make it more fresh, more current.

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EATON: You’ve been home from your mission four or five years now, right?

ARCHULETA: I’ve been back for five years now. It’s weird cause it doesn’t feel like it’s been five years. It feels like it’s been three and a half years but five years – time flies for sure. I’m hoping to go back sometime. I was going to go this year. I don’t know if I can but it’s one of my goals. I miss my Chileans. They’re with me.

EATON: What would you say to the young men and women out there watching who want to be where you are? They want to perform and want to write?

ARCHULETA: I would say practice, experiment, give yourself topics to write about even if it’s just random. Give yourself some exercises to stretch your mind, stretch your creativity and I would say collaborate with other people because you learn from them. You learn from their techniques, from their style and perform wherever you can. Upload content and upload covers just to get yourself comfortable engaging with an audience and connecting with people.

EATON: Because this is Idaho, I have to ask. How do you like your potatoes?

ARCHULETA: I like them in the little squares – the breakfast potatoes. I do like tater tots as well, I like hash browns. I like french fries. I like baked potatoes. We just had baked potatoes last night for dinner. I just like potatoes.

EATON: Anything else you want to add?

ARCHULETA: Idaho has always shown me a lot of love so thank you, my neighbors. I always call them my cousins because I grew up here in Utah and Idaho’s just next door. I so appreciate all the support – especially in eastern Idaho because they always show some major love and it always means so much to me.

EATON: Hopefully we’ll see you up there again soon.

ARCHULETA: Definitely. I’ll be up there soon.

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