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DAVID ARCHULETA

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Behind Broken ~ David Archuleta

Posted by djafan on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

bro18

Hey everyone

it’s David here

I’m here

right now

currently

I mean

I guess I won’t be

here

once you see this

actually.

(self-effacing laughter)

With that very David-like intro comes the story and motivation behind the original song “Broken,” written by David Archuleta with Jon Hunt for the album BEGIN. In an age of narcissism comes a rejection of all that: an outward-focused man of humility. “I wanted to make a goal to do some original stuff and write music that was real to me and just my own voice, my own sound.”

This is who he is and how he sounds when he feels the song and why we are still here.  Actually.

Posted in @DavidArchie, @kariontour, Art, Balance, career longevity, ChildFund, David Archuleta, Invisible Children, Jon Hunt, Rising Star Outreach | Tagged: , , , , | 55 Comments »

David Archuleta’s Heart Falls Out ~ A Review

Posted by MT on Saturday, April 6, 2013

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Let me start by admitting that I know as close to nothing as you can get about the technical terms in music. I just know what I like and this song falls into the category of, David songs I really love. It makes me want to take a course in music just so I could talk about it in the proper terms. But since there’s no time for that, I’ll say it as simply as I can and hope you get what I mean because as far as I’m concerned, this song deserves special mention. It is beautiful and sweet and light and airy. It gives me chills and makes me want to dance.

From the first notes, “Heart Falls Out” makes me smile. It begins with a fuller sound rather than with the simpler, acoustic type beginnings in some of David’s songs. I love the way they used synthesized sounds, adding techno effects and  drums that almost feel like a heart beat. Somehow, that drum beat forms a connection to my own heartbeat and makes the music feel like it moves through me.

The first notes he sings are just ‘ohhhhhh, ohhhh noooo.” Oh, boy! When he’s just making sounds, with no words, it feels like it’s pure emotion. Right there, he has me hooked and the rest of the song just keep pulling me along. As he begins singing the lyrics, you  hear his beautiful, pure, clear voice, then the auto tuned part kicks in and seems to duet with him.

I was actually a little surprised at first by the auto-tuning effects on his voice. Some may not like it but I personally love it. I think the mix of auto-tune with his normal voice gives a wonderful mix of textures to the vocals. I think it actually makes his natural, organic voice stand out more and I seem to react stronger to his voice in those places where it appears in the song, like at 2:03 and 2:15-2:25.  (Would you just listen to the rich velvety tone of his voice! Gahhh, gorgeous!)

The rhythm: Maybe it’s because I’m a dancer at heart that the rhythm appeals to me so much. This song has such a beautifully smooth, silky sound, a slightly faster tempo, and an almost sensuous dance rhythm to it. Even when I’m sitting in a chair or sitting in the car listening, I can imagine how I would move to it on the dance floor. The feeling is heady, almost intoxicating. I want to just breath in the music. *sigh*

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One more thing I need to make note of is the background vocal track. I’ve always been a fan of his background vocals because they seem less “rehearsed,” more raw and emotional, and I think this is where David truly shines. I am a big fan of the riffs and runs David adds to live performances and the background vocals sound like the same thing. They feel spontaneous and real. If I could change one thing on this song, it would be during the last 1:30 of song. The volume on the background vocal is too low for me and I find myself straining to hear it. I would love to hear what it would sound like if the volume on that part was turned up enough to sound like a duet because those vocals are what capture my attention and reach out to me.

The combination of all these things, along with so many others that I don’t have the expertise to even try to describe, makes this an outstanding song for me. If I have time to listen to anything these days when I’ve been so busy, it’s this song. It’s been on repeat since it downloaded from iTunes.

I love this song. And when I say I love this song, I really mean it. Love, Love Love. It’s a keeper and will probably remain at the top of my playlist for a very long time. Kudos to David, LadyV, and the producers for doing an amazing job on this song.

By the way, if anyone reading this has any control over the contents of the vault this came out of and find more like it, please feel free to share.  :)

* * * * * *

MT is a Staff Writer for The Voice

 

Posted in @DavidArchie, @LadyVmusic, Appreciation, Art, David Archuleta, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , | 95 Comments »

David Archuleta ~ That’s What Makes You Beautiful

Posted by bebereader on Friday, March 22, 2013

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When I first saw David on American Idol back in 2008 I was immediately drawn to him because of his angelic singing voice. But there was something else that drew me in, something powerful yet  hard to define at the time.  He was so captivating for a boy of 17. And very endearing.  It was refreshing to see a young person with manners and so much integrity. His character, good nature, million dollar smile, infectious laugh and the way he showed grace under pressure together with the sound of his voice all contributed to my never missing a night of Season 7.

More than five years have passed since his Idol audition. I watched as he grew and changed. His personality unfolded before our eyes. He blossomed into a handsome young man whose inner beauty shines through. Edith nailed it when she said, “I’ve admired you not only for your singing but for your person.”

By now, his voice and his beauty play equal parts in why I’m his fan for life. Each enhances the other. He is just as beautiful as his voice and I’ve grown to respect him for all that he is and all that he is yet to become.

Video montage by Marcella and photo collage by Bebereader from the LDS Living photo shoot.

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, Editorial | Tagged: , , , | 55 Comments »

David Archuleta and the Blues

Posted by djafan on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ByRebecca-DeltaFairMusicFestivalMemphis-September12th37

Credit ByRebecca-DeltaFair-Memphis

 Gone on a Mission Blues

I got that David Archuleta

Gone on a mission blues.

I got that David Archuleta

He been gone on a mission blues.

And if he don’t get back here soon,

I’ll just keep doin what I do.

I wake up in the morning with his voice inside my head,

I play his music all day long and then I FALL back into bed.

I got that David Archuleta

Gone on a mission blues.

Got that David Archuleta

He been gone too long on a mission blues, yeah.

And if he don’t get back here soon,

I’ll just keep doin what I do.

Most every Saturday night I’m in The Voice Unplugged Cafe

I watch whatever Abrra plays cause it don’t MATTER anyway.

I got that David Archuleta

Gone on a mission blues.

I got that David Archuleta

Gone on a mission blues.

And if he don’t get back here soon,

I’ll just keep doin what I do.

I’m saving all my money till he gets back home again.

Cuz if he don’t come where I am, I’ll just HAVE to go to him.

I got that David Archuleta

Gone on a mission blues.

I got that David Archuleta

He been gone too long on a mission blues.

And if he don’t get back here soon,

I’ll just keep right on doin what I mostly do.

◊◊◊

I guess I was singing the blues in my sleep the other night, because when I woke up those lyrics sprang fully formed in my head. I got up and wrote the words down like I was taking dictation. Maybe it’s because I’m missing him or because I was walking in Memphis this past weekend. The last time I saw Beale Street was at night, but this time, in broad daylight, it felt different. No loud music from every establishment we passed, just the occasional musician singing and strumming quietly on his guitar. Gone were the bright lights and the swarming crowds jostling you on the sidewalks. We could actually see the sidewalk now, the famous Beale Streets Brass Note Walk of Fame and read the names of the great ones of the Blues: BB King, Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips, Jerry Lee Lewis, Memphis Slim and on and on. I took a picture of the street that day photo(6)

and was surprised by a huge statue of Elvis I had overlooked before in the dark.

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Looking up at it, I remembered David at the Delta Fest in Memphis, saying “Thank you very much,” after each song until he laughed at himself for doing it. There is a spirit to Memphis and a spirit to the Blues that feels like nothing else. The music claws deep into your soul, unearthing feelings that are raw and real.

I want David to sing the blues sometimes. He has the gift and a passion to bring what is dark into the light. Think of “Falling” and “Broken,” both written by him. And there is pain even amidst the joy in the songs he wrote for The Other Side of Down and those he chose for Begin. As an artist he is an old soul of tremendous empathy and unfathomable depths.

“Musically, he was like an old man in a boy’s skin.” ― Eric Clapton on Steve Winwood, age 15.

“For me there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall.”― Eric Clapton

Credit Abrra

In this next vid, check out 2:17 and 2:27-2:37

Credit Abermudes

“Crazy. I dabbled in things like Howlin’ Wolf, Cream and Led Zeppelin, but when I heard Son House and Robert Johnson, it blew my mind. It was something I’d been missing my whole life. That music made me discard everything else and just get down to the soul and honesty of the blues.”

― Jack White

And here is the whole performance on video.

◊◊◊

Most blues artists play the guitar but not all. Whether on guitar, or like Ray Charles on piano, the blues is limited only by the soul that can hold it, like Son House, in just his hands. Here is Ray Charles on piano with the incomparable BB King on guitar performing, “Sinner’s Prayer.”’

 

Posted in Art, artistic freedom, David Archuleta, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , , , | 68 Comments »

The David Archuleta Music Scholarship Campaign 2013 is Here!

Posted by djafan on Monday, March 11, 2013

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Dear friends at The Voice
We are starting our 2013 campaign for The David Archuleta Music Scholarship and would greatly appreciate if you would post this on Monday, March 11. There is a video at the end to embed as well.

Thanks!!

Robin

TDAMS Committee

http://www.thedavidarchuletamusicscholarship.org/index.html

DAVID FANS UNITE!!!

dams1

Oh my heck! It’s that time of year again!

 It’s time to honor David by giving to

 THE DAVID ARCHULETA MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP!!!

We’re kicking off this year’s campaign

TODAY, Monday, March 11th!!!

David left us a piece of his heart so his fans have been using

his HEARTPRINT to pay forward his goodness in so many different ways.

This scholarship in his name is just one of the ways that

fans have worked together…using David’s inspiration…

to reach out to others while honoring him.

While he is gone, he can be assured that his fans are enriching

their lives while giving to others.

We look forward to many more fans participating this year by giving

back to him for all he has done for his fans and others around the world.

We can’t thank you enough for supporting this scholarship,

as it is a fitting tribute to David and means a great deal to him.

DAVID FANS UNITE!!!

Posted in @DavidArchie, Appreciation, Art, David Archuleta | Tagged: , , , | 31 Comments »

More Than Technique ~ David Archuleta

Posted by MT on Saturday, February 16, 2013

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We all know that David Archuleta is “The Voice.” That’s why we all became so enamored of this wonderful artist from the beginning. David is one of those rare individuals whose voice can reach out and touch your soul through song. I’m not sure why it happens or how he’s able to accomplish such a task.  I just know it happens, at least for me.

From his early days on Star Search to the present, there has never been any doubt about his abilities. We’ve all read one article after another about his technique and his natural ability to make a song his own.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s an original of his own creation, one that was written for him and sung by him, or a cover of another artist’s song.  Once David sings it no other will ever compare, at least not for us. It’s a never-ending riddle for me as to why that is.

Why does no other artist give a song the power that David seems to imbue within its lyrics and melody? I’ve often tried to describe where I feel it comes from and to this day have not found the right words. I’ve said that he has “an echo chamber in his chest.” How else could he give such fullness to his voice? I’ve said that “he has music in his DNA” and it just oozes from every pore. I’ve thought perhaps it’s because of the shape or size of his mouth that he’s able to pronounce and sing words so beautifully. Or perhaps it’s a result of the vocal paralysis and resultant recovery that his tone has such richness.  But none of these explain why his voice reaches me, touches me, in the way that it does.

There’s something far more than technique, no matter how perfect, that makes David’s voice so special.  In the video below, Climb Every Mountain from Salt Lake City on the MKOC Tour, David gives a performance that, when I am able to make my self pay attention to that aspect of the song, appears to be technically perfect. But what makes this performance so special is something more than that.

Credit: jtmlm1234

While I’m quite sure he has practiced this song to make it as powerful as he can while performing it, there is no evidence that it is “rehearsed” during the performance. There is no spot that I feel is contrived to add power, no place that feels forced. It feels like it’s just being written as he’s singing it. It feels like his own words and his own feelings being released from his mind and heart at the very moment the lyrics are sung.

I have, years ago, dabbled in song writing. As you’ve all seen, I love writing poetry. Rhyme comes naturally to my mind somehow. I once wrote a poem that created its own melody in my head as I wrote and then read it. The result? A song. It took only minutes but was something so personal and powerful to me that when I sang it out loud only moments after writing it, it made me cry.

I tell you this because that’s how I feel when David sings a song like “Climb Every Mountain.” It feels like the song wasn’t written until that very moment and is something very personal and powerful to him. It feels like it’s being created from the very depths of his being and sung for the very first time, in the “here and now,” from the very first note until the last. Perhaps that’s the key.

David was gifted with the amazing ability to perform a song day after day, show after show, as if it’s the very first time, as if it’s an original written straight from his heart in that moment, as if he is speaking his thoughts through song. Once he begins, the technique, which is probably as close to perfect as one can get, is no longer noticed. It’s all about feelings. And what I feel as he begins to sing is his heart pouring out onto his audience on a beautiful wave of sound and genuine emotion.

He has the rare ability to connect very personally and powerfully to the music and lyrics of a song. The second part of that very rare gift is the ability to pass that on to his audience. The result is that, rather than just hearing it, the listener “experiences” the song in the exact same way David feels it. And he knows it.  No wonder he’s so very careful what he sings.

It may very well be why his wonderful heart is mentioned so often. It’s the tenderness, the sweetness, the innocence, and the love in his heart that comes through to us in his voice. Each time we listen, we are given one sweet moment of all that is beautiful in this world.

“Climb Every Mountain” is my example. Do you have a song you feel this way about?”

Posted in Art, David Archuleta | Tagged: , , , | 64 Comments »

A Common Theme Among David Archuleta Fans?

Posted by MT on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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In a recent conversation (yes, it involved David :))  I was asked if I played an instrument or sang. I answered the question in as few words as possible (for me) and then moved on to another topic. But later that night, it really got me thinking about what things we David fans may have in common.

Quite often in chat, topics other than David are discussed. (I know! Unbelievable, but true?) One night, it started with a  comment about white boots and ended up with me confessing to singing the song “These Boots Are Made For Walking” by Nancy Sinatra in an elementary school talent contest. Yes, it elicited much laughter but resulted in discovering that several of us had owned those “cool white boots.” (You know who you are!) We were definitely “In With the In Crowd” back in the day. ;)

I confessed to dancing in first and second grade for those talent shows. From third to sixth grade, I sang and danced. (No trophies for singing though. I guess I should have stuck to dancing.)

I loved singing and dancing with all my heart back then. (I still do.) Just like David’s parents, if my mother wanted to keep me amused for a while, all she had to do was put on something that involved music. A movie musical was best. I would sing at the top of my lungs and dance around the living room. My Fair Lady and The Sound Of Music were two of my favorites but I would even sing the songs from The Wizard Of Oz and dance with Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tinman, and The Cowardly Lion.

I discovered as I got older that, although I enjoyed singing, I didn’t have a very good voice. But dancing was something I could do and really enjoyed. Once I started, I kept finding new ways to incorporate dance into my life. It didn’t matter what kind of dancing it was; Square Dancing, Cajun dancing, Jitter Bug, Cha Cha, Waltz, Two-Step, Line Dancing, West Coast Swing, East Coast Swing, free style. You name it … I’d try it.

There has always been something in music that reached out to me and brought me joy.  Dancing was my way of expressing that joy. There is something in the graceful rhythmic movement that helps to release something inside me that words could never express.  Just  like singing, the true beauty of expression in dance comes from the soul.

I hadn’t really thought about all the different styles of dance I had tried over the years until was asked that question. It made me realize how much dancing is a part of me, just like singing is a part of David. The thoughts and memories stirred in me by that one question made me understand a little better how David must feel. Maybe understanding/feeling the passion he has for his art is part of what drew me to him in the first place.

Although I could never hope to dance nearly as beautiful as David sings, I can understand having such a deep love of something that lets you express yourself in a way that nothing else can.  He’s very fortunate that he is extremely good at what he loves. What greater joy could there be than making your living, spending you life, doing something you have such passion for?

One last thought: We seem to be discovering more and more often that we have many things in common. I wonder if there is a common thread among fans that draws them to David, a reason why some people “get it” and some don’t? Musical backgrounds maybe? Or perhaps it’s even more broad than that. After all, a passion for creativity and expression come in many forms.

So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to do a little poll to see if it’s possibly a shared passion for expression that might help us to understand and connect to David and each other in a way that others may not. I’d also love for you to expand on your answer in comments and let us know what it is . If you don’t want to comment that’s okay. But I do hope you’ll mark an answer in the poll.

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, fandom | Tagged: , | 95 Comments »

Of David Archuleta, Brands, and Five Amazing “Piano Guys”

Posted by bluesky4home on Sunday, December 30, 2012

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When I see something wonderful that talented people are doing, I always get excited and I wonder, “How is this going to fit into what DA will need, or be doing, or have available, etc. when he comes home?”

Why? Because: I believe.

I believe that things that bless others will also bless him. I believe that because there are so many changes happening within the music industry and how “brands” are created, produced and marketed, that a new paradigm is emerging that will bless his life as well as the lives of others. I believe DA is young, savvy, focused and inspired. I do not say that it will all be roses, smooth sailing, or that everything will magically fall into place, but I do believe absolutely that new horizons of opportunity will be available to him. And when he is blessed, so are we.

My case in point for today: ThePianoGuys.

I had been hearing about Jon Schmidt, a creative composer/pianist, for a long time and have gone to two of his concerts. He is well known in our area and offers concerts each year. When I first saw him on You Tube, I saw this title above the vid: ThePianoGuys. I thought that was a little strange, since he was the only person in the videos. Later, I saw several vids where he was performing duets with Steven Sharp Nelson, a wonderful cellist. I loved the music but was still a bit confused by the title. Being that I am a bit slow, it was not until this last summer when I attended a concert close to home that I caught the full vision of what they, ThePianoGuys were all about.

From their Official Channel:

Five guys from different walks of life with different skill sets, from different places — each had built their own careers: a piano store owner/videographer (Paul Anderson), a music producer (Al van der Beek), a videographer/editor (Tel Stewart), a pianist (Jon Schmidt), and a cellist (Steven Sharp Nelson). But all with the same ambition: to inspire the world with the talents given them. Each met through seemingly-happenstance, but divinely-influenced circumstances. Combined, they had the tools, the passion, and the drive necessary to independently build one of the most successful music video production companies in the world. They are famous for taking their instruments (especially grand pianos) and video equipment to unbelievable places. But above all, ThePianoGuys love what they do — and it shows. At the end of the day, they are ordinary guys that love their families and that thank God for the opportunity they have to do what they love.

It was then that I finally realized that ThePianoGuys was a collaborative effort: when you go to their website, the three that seldom appear as performers on video are given top billing and space. All are equal to the importance of the creation of their “brand”. What is most exciting to me is that their very successful brand was chosen, produced and offered to the public on their own terms, not those of someone else. No record company told them what they could or could not be. No marketing body handed them a pre-fabricated identity, relegating them by color, size, or sound to fit neatly into one of the few molded shapes allowed in a modern music cafeteria tray. They became famous through YouTube, posting their first video in March of 2010.  Two years and 39 videos later, many produced a week apart, they now have a total of 205,419,123 views and 1,178,305 subscribers to their channel.

In December 2011, they released their first album and their second album, released in 2012 reached number one on the Billboard New Age Albums chart.

So… without further ado, here is an example of what can be accomplished when people follow their passion and remain true to themselves.

One of my favs, sure to make you smile:

One of my passions, sure to inspire:

One of their newest, sure to make you believe in dreams:

The other day I caught this comment on YouTube under one of their videos:

“wow that was awesome ps you guys should make a David Archuleta song”

Now, from time to time they do record their arrangements/videos with a singer. And I have a pretty good idea who I think would sound best. You might want to save some time on your calendar for a certain returned missionary in 2014 Piano Guys. Can you say “Broken”?

Post script: “The Piano Guys” last concert in SLC was produced and recorded for PBS and they just recently got signed by a label: Sony Masterworks. On first hearing this I worried. But then I saw the company they were in…

Placido Domingo, Jascha Heifetz, Vittorio Grigolo, Wynton Marsallis, Yo-Yo Ma, etc. …and I guess I am willing to believe that it is a “good place”.

Conclusion: Talented people are leading fulfilling lives sharing their passion and abilities on their own terms. Can David Archuleta be successful doing this? Things beyond our knowing are aligning for him and others like him.

Without question: Yes. I believe.

The following is a synopsis from PR Newswire introducing all Five Guys in a rare performance together on video:

Ironically, The Piano Guys, who got their name from a piano store in St. George, Utah, are a quintet featuring only two musicians – only one being a pianist. Store owner Paul Anderson devised a Facebook promotional page and a YouTube channel featuring well-established, self-described “New Age Classical” pianist Jon Schmidt , who teamed up musically with Steven Sharp Nelson , an innovative cellist. Together, Schmidt and Nelson form the musical core of The Piano Guys, with Anderson – who has since closed the store – joining forces with genius co-videographer Tel Stewart in creating The Piano Guys’ videos. Al van der Beek , the fifth “Guy,” heads up the group’s studio operations, and also assists in co-writing and arranging, as well as percussion and vocal texturing. As seen in their One Direction video, in performance, all five of The Piano Guys frequently appear together.

Posted in Art, artistic freedom, Balance, Music industry changes | Tagged: , , | 130 Comments »

David Archuleta’s Everybody Hurts Video ~ A Review

Posted by djafan on Thursday, September 6, 2012

At the risk of looking a dead gift horse in the mouth while simultaneously beating him, here is my eleventh hour review of the “Everybody Hurts” video.

I did not comment on the video when it was released. I watched it once with sound, once without sound, and then logged off my computer. Days later I returned to see many praising it, but not all. Among the dissenters was HG’s honest review and Silverfox’s on this site. I gathered from other comments that there was some controversy brewing over the matter but I didn’t go there. I make it a rule to stay away from drama that is not of my own making, for if I create it, I can hardly avoid it. For that reason, I try not to create it. But feigned indifference, my stance of choice on all but the most pressing issues, will not do. I don’t know why it won’t do but it just won’t. I don’t know why the video affected me so strongly but it did. Maybe by writing down my thoughts it will become clearer, at least to me.

I know they were pressed for time. I suspect David probably had very little to do with the making of the video other than laying down the vocals and allowing himself to be filmed doing so. He probably then left, trusting that others would do it justice and, with more important things on his mind, not much caring how it turned out. The music was the thing that mattered, a parting gift for his fans and he worked so hard and put so much love into it.

What does one video matter? It matters because to a fan of David, nothing will ever be good enough for him unless it reaches his level of excellence. In the song, “Everybody Hurts,” he descended emotionally far below anything portrayed on that video. Lyrically the song echoes the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” Where in the video was this truth made plain by the lines, “when you feel like giving up…when you feel like letting go…don’t throw your hand!”? Not in a father giving his daughter away in marriage with much joy in store, or childhood friends parting but still keeping in touch by phone and text. And surely the mother in combat was not about to throw her hand or let go of life, so long as she could make it back to her child.

In an afterthought while writing this, I wondered how a video like MJ’s “Stranger in Moscow” would work with David’s cover of “Everybody Hurts.” It was edited hastily and in places is choppy. Since he was singing another song, I removed the frames containing Michael which necessitated some repetition of images and I added something of David. It is only meant to be a rough draft to illustrate the difference between sentimentality and seriously good work. Good enough even, for David.

Posted in Art, Begin., David Archuleta | Tagged: , , | 104 Comments »

The Compartmentalist vs David Archuleta

Posted by djafan on Saturday, September 1, 2012

Below is an excerpt from an article in the September edition of The New Yorker, by Lizzie Widdicombe entitled, “Teen Titan – The Man Who Made Justin Bieber.”  Click on the above link for a fascinating read, the story of how a star was born and the Machiavellian machinations that delivered him into a world of fame, power, and wealth.  Well written and informative, it is an education in how things work in the very competitive music industry where marketing is all and art is superfluous.  At one point she quotes Universal Music Group CEO, Lucian Grainge, who recently signed a distribution deal with Braun… “We’re not in the art business.”

 One afternoon, I sat in on a meeting Braun had in his living room with a potential client, a nineteen-year-old singer named Tori Kelly, and her parents. At eleven, Kelly had appeared on the TV series “America’s Most Talented Kid,” and she’d had a deal with the Geffen label. But her career had stalled.

Braun leaned back on the couch, his hands crossed behind his head. “So what do you guys want to do?” he asked in an antsy tone. “I think you’re a real artist with a real voice. I want to understand what you want so I can help you out.”

Kelly’s mom, wearing pink Capri pants, explained that Kelly had just self-released an album, which was charting on iTunes. Kelly named a few pop acts that she’d like to open for: Beyoncé, Alicia Keyes, Justin Timberlake. “Justin”-meaning Bieber-“would be great.” She said that she’d like to perform with a band and with choreography, “if it fits.”

Braun interrupted: “You’ve been doing this for a while now. What do you think the holdup has been?”

Kelly said, in a small voice, “I think the people we have worked with, they don’t see the full picture. They don’t know what to do with me.”

After a minute, Kelly picked up one of Braun’s guitars and performed a song-the chorus went, “Lavish me with your love.” It sounded a bit like acoustic Lauryn Hill. Braun listened attentively. It was nothing like the R. & B. and dance-oriented pop on his roster.

When Kelly finished, Braun asked, “Are you a fan of Jewel?”

She said, politely, “I’m not super-familiar . . .”

Braun jumped in. “Let me give you the background,” he said. “Jewel tried to get signed, it didn’t work out. She drove to California, and she lived in her car. She was homeless, she played coffee shops. She wrote really amazing songs. Then she sold millions of records.” He explained that in the late nineties, during the height of Jewel’s fame, the charts were dominated by elaborate pop acts like the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync. “But the biggest female star on the planet was someone who came in with a guitar, real quiet, and people would sit there and just be blown away by these singer-songwriter songs.” He went on, “That is the lane for you. There is a time for that again.”

Kelly was wary. Her father said, “So, like, a Jewel-meets-Fiona Apple-meets-Beyoncé?”

Braun said, “Jewel-meets-Tori Kelly. The Beyoncé thing comes later.” He said that the strategy was a marketing approach, not a musical one. “People compartmentalize things. Kobe needs to be like Jordan. Justin Bieber needs to be like Justin Timberlake. You want to dictate to the public who you want them to compare you to. If I was to market you, I’d want them to call you the next Jewel. Because if another Jewel came out, in today’s music market, people would go crazy. That’s what they’re missing.”

Kelly asked, meekly, “How about just the next Tori Kelly?” ?

One of the things that has always impeded the public’s acceptance of David Archuleta is his refusal to be compartmentalized, to be placed inside a convenient box.  He is the whole package who refuses to be packaged.  People want the familiar, the no-brainer, the known entity.  During AI, he made the  media uncomfortable, which was a microcosm of the disconnect felt by many viewers.  Who is this guy?  To whom can we liken him, thereby giving ourselves permission to like him?  I don’t blame Scooter Braun for knowing the public so completely and doing his job so well.  The blame lies squarely at the feet of a complacent public’s refusal to admit that, like many of the scantily clad empresses on stage, most of the emperors that strut before them are also wearing no clothes.

Teen Magazine 2012, Singapore

Posted in Art, David Archuleta, The New Yorker, The Voice | Tagged: , , , , , | 59 Comments »

 
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