Us Weekly's music editor, Ian Drew, talks with David Archuleta about his heartfelt holiday album!
American Idol alum David Archuleta loves Christmas -- so much so that he decided to follow up his self-titled debut album with Christmas From the Heart.
The Season 7 runner-up, 18, talks to Usmagazine.com about the motivation behind his sophomore CD, what inspired him to write a brand-new Christmas song and his recommendations for your holiday party playlist!
Why did you decide to record a Christmas album?
For me, Christmas music has always been such a big time in my life. Ever since I was little, I was just into Christmas music. We used to go around Christmas caroling with Santa hats on, and I did that whole thing, and it was really fun... That's always been my time to sing. Now it's like, 'Whoa! The songs that I've been singing every year since I was a little kid -- now I get to make an album?'
What has the experience been like?
I never imagined that I would be able to really do a Christmas album like this, to this extent, where I have my own arrangements of these songs that I've been singing. It’s just so cool. And it's like, 'Wow, no one else sings it this way except for me, and it's on an album and it's released.' It's just really amazing to see that from where I would sing acapella when I was little at retirement homes and hospitals and neighbor's houses to now being able to put them on an album.
How did you choose the songs?
Some of them were songs that I've sung or I used to sing. So that's what's cool. And [the producers] went to Prague for some of these arrangements to have a Prague orchestra, and it was just so cool. It's just exciting to have some of the songs like "Angels We Have Heard on High," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and "O Holy Night." Just those songs -- that's what I grew up singing.
What inspired "Melodies of Christmas," the song you wrote yourself?
It sums up what I feel Christmas music can do for people. It talks about how all the different melodies of Christmas bring back memories. When people hear Christmas songs, it reminds them of things. It reminds me of having dinner with my family, just celebrating opening presents and this family trip that we had during the holidays.
Which songs from your Christmas album are a must for any holiday party playlist?
The Trans-Siberian orchestra song. I love that one. It's so big and powerful.
How do you spend Christmas?
We actually used to put on some Christmas shows with me and my brothers and sisters and cousins, and we used to just go out and bike at retirement homes and hospitals and just put on shows for people who might feel kind of left out and forgotten about because they're in the hospital or places where they might be alone. For the actual holiday, usually we'll go to my grandpa's, but we went to Las Vegas last year. We went to get away because I had not been home all year, and I'd just been so busy with so many different things. It was finally my break to be back with my family. It's so important to spend time with the people you care about.
What are your favorite Christmas albums to give as gifts?
Mariah Carey is great. She's an amazing singer and has such a big voice. My mom listened to Celine Dion a lot when I was little. I always heard Natalie Cole's "The First Noel," too. She'd sing that a lot. Natalie Cole was a big influence!