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With budding maturity, David Archuleta captures two years’ worth of introspection and reflection in The Other Side of Down. His latest pop album is the culmination of dozens of songwriting sessions, long days spent in the studio and nights in the air.
It is a follow-up to David’s 2008 self-titled platinum debut, which saw him work with established songwriters Iike JC Chasez, Jimmy Harry and Eman Kiriakou.
Not only that, it is a reintroduction to the Season 7 American Idol runner-up with the angelic voice whom 30 million television viewers fell in love with, and whose masterful performance of John Lennon’s Imagine captivated audiences world-wide.
Now however, an older, wiser David has emerged, but with faith still on his side and an eternally optimistic wide-eyed outlook. Hence, his latest album’s title. “For me, it’s about moving forward and making progress,” David explains. “I’m heading towards ‘the other side of down’, which is ‘up’.”
Born David James Archuleta on December 28, 1990, in Miami, Florida to Jeff, a jazz musician from Utah and Lupe, a salsa dancer and singer from Honduras, David was exposed to diverse music genres growing up in Utah, from Latin music on his mother’s side to jazz music from his father’s collection. He was particularly fond of and inspired by gospel, pop, R&B and “soulful” music, as well as Broadway musicals.
Barely after Idol, David saw massive success straight out the gate with his first lead single Crush, a catchy pop tune about unrequited teenage love written by Emanuel Kiriakou, David Hodges and Jess Cates, which charted at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since sold two million downloads.
His sophomore album, a record entitled Christmas From The Heart, reflects his love for the holiday season and debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Holiday Albums in late 2009.
“For me, Christmas music has always been such a big time in my life,” David recounts.* A year later saw him singing with the prestigious Mormon Tabernacle Choir at their Christmas extravaganza, which earned him rave reviews.
Fast forward to the present, and you see many sides to David Archuleta. There’s the youthful David, affectionately known as Archie, who often lets loose mid-interview giggles on TV and radio.
And there’s the insatiably curious David, who does not have all the answers but is resolved to keep searching for them. This is best encapsulated in the single Something ‘Bout Love off the current album, a S*A*M and Sluggo collaboration, about the perils and joys of being in love.
Then you have David the inspiration and role model, who looks deep inside and up above for guidance and who is deeply passionate about helping others, supporting numerous charities such as Rising Star Outreach, Invisible Children, Children’s Miracle Network and Stand Up To Cancer. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he delved into his Latino roots by lending his voice to the recording of Somos El Mundo, a Spanish version of We Are The World.
Feeling a greater sense of purpose is nothing new to this singer, who overcame vocal cord paralysis that afflicted him at age 13 while competing on CBS’s Star Search. The trying experience was chronicled in David’s 2010 New York Times best-selling autobiography Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, And The Power of Perseverance and resonates in the overall message of The Other Side of Down.
“Instead of acting like everything in life is so hard and confusing, look at it this way: the only way you can go from here is up,” he says. “It’s our decisions and how we handle things, even when they get rough. If we keep holding on, looking at things positively and working hard, we can improve our lives, help ourselves, and even help the greater good.”
To that end, David has toured extensively across the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia to perform for fans. His current eclectic musical inspirations run the pop-rock gamut, from acoustic guitar-driven singer-songwriters like Jason Mraz to the electronic sounds of female innovators like Imogen Heap and A Fine Frenzy. “It’s amazing how one song can change someone’s life,” says David. “It’s been done for me so many times and I want to give to my fans the same thing those artists have given me.”