“..this was my first time coming back performing with the title “David Archuleta” and having to embrace that..”
A few months ago a fan who has had a son return from a mission said, “The David who left will not be back.”
This comment has stuck in my brain ever since I had heard it. Back then I really didn’t know what to think. Did it mean that he would be so different that I wouldn’t understand who he had become? There was never a doubt in my mind that David would not continue his singing career. I had a few concerns about his readjustment to living back in the US. After a few weeks, I was excited to see that he was back writing music and hanging out with musicians in the studio. They were happy to be working with him on new material. He was beginning to act like the “old David” that I knew from 2012.
And then he got silent. Not too much coming from him on twitter. No vlog besides the short ones just when he came back home. Fans began to get restless and the rumor mill buzzed with everything from he’s going to college to he is dating like crazy, as he looks for his kind of perfect. Many “sightings” began to pop up on twitter, some with pictures, showing him with friends around Utah. Something that never has happened before was that people tweeted pictures from Sunday services, some posed with a fan after services, some without his knowledge. Fans were desperate for news and ravenously consumed any information that may give a clue to what David was working on. Then we got word that Called To Serve would be live-streamed. Finally, we got to see what David was doing on his mission, first hand. Because he had asked for privacy while he was in Chile, it was a relief to see him talk about his mission publicly. I think it was a relief to him too.
David posted a vlog to fans where he talked about what he was doing. Exasperated by things he had read online about his lack of communication with fans, he said he had been busy working on writing music. I saw an assertive man telling us how he wasn’t going to do things just to please others. He was going to run his career his way. If he had anything to share, he’d be in touch. This was a huge change in how he communicated before he left for Chile. This time there was no doubt. He was not going to be pressured to produce music or anything else, until he was satisfied with the result.
Eventually, more news surfaced showing that David had visited Shay Carl the YouTube celebrity. I’d never heard of him but I did read where he might be of help showing David how to become more social media savvy. It might have paid off some, because we had the Face To Face chats which were live-streamed for all to view on demand. Though LDS youth were the target, I know fans enjoyed watching him speak, even in two languages. These videos show David’s genuine love for his faith and fellow man. He was as real and open as I have ever seen him.
I am beginning to get what “The David who left will not be back” meant.
David has become more open about who he is, a mature man who knows what he wants in his life. Not just a singer, but a humanitarian, who sings. The Military Tribute Tour was a chance for him and the other men who entertained with him, to thank the troops by using his God-given talent. He even said he had to embrace the title “David Archuleta” as he sang for them. So, I have come to the realization that in some way, David had to go on his mission to find himself. To be comfortable with expressing what he needs in his life. He left as a young man who needed to get away from all the celebrity and what that meant in his life. He came back a mature man who knows what he wants and is willing to embrace the celebrity on his own terms. Mission accomplished!