David Archuleta: “I want to see if there are any other occupations I’d find interesting”

In an enlightening interview with Billboard, David Archuleta says all the right things, but it’s also easy to analyze what he said and read it as veiled evidence that his dad pushed him into a career that he’s good at but is not really invested in.

Asked by Billboard if he wants to go to college, David said, “I do. I’d love to still see what catches my eye. You know, music is something that I don’t think I’ll ever want to give up. But I’d like to see if there are any other occupations I’d find interesting. I still don’t really know. I haven’t paid attention much since music has been all around me, surrounding me everywhere. Especially now with this competition, it’s all I think about. I don’t have time to really concentrate on anything else.”

In other words, he wants to explore his own interests, admitting that music has dominated his life. He also admits that he doesn’t really have much of a connection to the music he performs. “When I was younger, I didn’t know what made me sing the song differently or how I sang it. I still don’t really understand fully, but the lyrics do mean a lot to me now, a lot more than before,” he said.

He was also asked about his “earliest musical memories,” and let’s just say they weren’t happy and show some hostility toward his overbearing father, Jeff Archuleta. Here’s an excerpt with 1.5 sentences removed for emphasis: “My earliest memories are my dad playing trumpet all the time … I didn’t like trumpet. I hated it because it was so loud and it just rang throughout the house. I’m a fan of jazz now, but back then I thought jazz was my dad playing trumpet as loud as he can. I covered my ears,” he said.

Does this mean anything? Perhaps not. But if his “earliest memories” of music are so negative and associate loud, blaring noise with his dad, maybe not much has changed.

Q&A: David Archuleta of ‘American Idol’ [Billboard]
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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.