David Archuleta – #30Voices30Days

by | Jun 28, 2024

David Archuleta - #30Voices30Days Cover

David Archuleta has been wowing audiences since his days on American Idol in 2008. While he didn’t get crowned as his season’s Idol, he did later go on to win a GLAAD Award and in his career and personal life has truly come out on top. 

Archuleta was runner up on season 7 of American Idol, but with an amazing voice like his saw great success following the show. He has released 8 albums, made the Billboard Hot 100 chart and amassed a following of over 1 million fans on TikTok. He made his theatrical stage debut when he starred as Joseph in the acclaimed Andrew Lloyd Weber/Tim Rice musical, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. In 2024 he won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist.

While Archuleta’s career as a singer and musical theater actor might be what he is most well known for, it’s his life off stage that is even more impressive. Archuleta grew up in the Mormon church and for years hid a very important part of himself, to appease his religious community, and more importantly, his family. In 2021 he took a risk, deciding to come out to his family, and walk away from his religion. While he initially worried his family would not support him, his mom quickly proved him wrong, stating “if you’re going to hell, I’m going to hell too.” The experience inspired his newest song, Hell Together.  

Archuleta sat down with Gurus Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Derek Warburton, to talk about truth, passion and authenticity for the magazine’s #30voices30days program, which celebrates PRIDE for the entire month of June. 

David Archuleta - #30Voices30Days Sweater Look

Who is the true David Archuleta?

“Someone who is continuously discovering who they are and who values when people are authentically and vulnerably themselves. Showing my true joys, worries, wonderments – I love to have that kind of energy and I gravitate to people with that energy. When you can be with people who don’t have anything to hide, it’s a beautiful thing. As someone who once felt I had to hide a piece of myself, it’s been a process to learn how to be my true self, and I am still learning and making mistakes along the way.” 

What is your passion?

“While I am not the most social and outgoing person, I truly love connecting with people. Lately I have been doing that by attending music festivals. Growing up in a religious family, but having to step away to be my authentic self, the festival scene gives the sense of community that my religion once gave me.”

“I went to the Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas recently and as you walk in, a banner hangs overhead stating, ‘All Are Welcome Here,’ and I thought it was a really beautiful thing because it’s genuine and you know they truly mean it. At an event like that you can dress however you want and be whoever you want to be. It’s PLUR (peace, love, unity and respect) culture, and it’s a new thing I am discovering – my new church. Leaving the church I thought I might lose that sense of community, but I found it again.”

“While I don’t have religion any longer, I still have connection to a higher power. I still wake up giving thanks for being here. My happiness is showing now, and my family and friends can see it.” 

When do you feel the most authentic?

“When I am alone or when I’m dancing. When there is music that gets me dancing, it helps me release the guard I tend to put up. Movement in dance is just like movement in voice when I am singing a song, it has the same emotional release. And when I am alone, I can just be with myself, not worry about what anyone thinks about me and be present in the moment.” 

Why is it important for your voice to be heard?

“I always try to mean what I say. I didn’t think I had much of a story, but once I started sharing it with my friends, I realized I am in a place where I can make an impact by talking about my background and experiences in life. Hopefully it can encourage other people on the same path I was on, trying to figure out who they truly are, not just who they are expected to be. By getting to know myself and love myself, and not judge myself, I feel I can help others bring forward that part of themselves. I hope I can be an example that it can be scary to be your true self, but it’s worth it to enjoy life to the fullest.”

After a professional whirlwind and a personal rollercoaster, David Archuleta has come out strong as can be with a solid head on his shoulders feeling grounded. He has reached a point where he can be his authentic self and use his voice to help others do the same.

As Derek and David talked about, when you can stop worrying about trying to fit in and you choose to surround yourself with like-minded people, it goes from “me” to “we” and the pressure is off everyone – and love can be given more freely and accepted more freely. 

For more on David Archuleta visit DavidArchuleta.com.


Photo Credits: Nick Spanos

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