Friday July 29, 2011
Archuleta thrills fans with his honeyed charm
By FIONA HO
It was a sweet treat filled with sugary serenades for fans of David Archuleta at his recent concert in Kuala Lumpur.
IN person, David Archuleta brims with childlike candour, giggling profusely when we asked him about girls. Apparently, the 21-year-old singer from Utah, the United States, has never been kissed.
Kicking back on a couch at Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, he confessed that he isn’t a mushy person, blushing as he did.
“Fans have tried to kiss me,” he said coyly. “But they usually don’t succeed. I have quick reflexes. It’s okay if my grandma or my mum and sister kiss me on the cheek, but otherwise, it’s just weird.”
He insisted that a kiss isn’t just a kiss. “I feel that it’s very important and it’s not something you should just give away. I know sometimes people go like: ‘Oh, you’re cute, I’m gonna kiss you’, but for me, sharing a kiss means you care for someone, that you feel affection for them. I don’t wanna be giving it away like candy.”
Archuleta added he has never been in a relationship. “I haven’t found that someone special yet and I’m still saving my first kiss for whoever that is.”
His single, My Kind Of Perfect, he said, epitomises his quest for the right girl.
“It’s my perfect love song,” he shared with a twinkle in his eyes. “It’s for a future girl who I don’t know yet. I wrote that song while thinking about who is she going to be? Or have I already met her?”
He hasn’t let fame mess with his head either. “I don’t wanna go on a date and just hook up with girls for fun. I don’t like that. I think it’s very important to respect girls and really get to know the person you’ll marry and spend the rest of your life with.”
The affable pop singer channelled his hopeful longing at his concert in Stadium Negara, Kuala Lumpur, the following night, bringing on that honeyed charm that so effectively lulled nearly 2,500 fans.
He looked completely immersed in a visceral calm as he sang the maple syrup-drenched verses of My Kind Of Perfect while playing the piano. “It’s my love song,” he told fans, his face shining with mirthful belief.
Maybe I’ve known you all my life / Is she the one? Is it today? / Will I turn the corner / see my future in a beautiful face, maybe, he sang.
Indeed, it was a sweet treat filled with sugary serenades for fans of the pop singer that night. No more was he the shy little boy we conversed with earlier.
Onstage, young Archuleta possessed the pomp and readiness of a much older performer, radiating surety and confidence all through the one-hour plus affair.
“Performing on stage, seeing all my fans and feeling their energy is the greatest feeling ever,” said Archuleta, who was met with joyous, ear-splitting screams the moment he stepped on stage.
Archuleta, who emerged the runner-up on the hit reality series, American Idol, in 2008 kicked off the set with the catchy Stomping The Roses, brandishing the energetic opening with youthful enthusiasm.
Clearly, the boy knew what he was doing and he was doing it well. Fans clung onto every word as he took them through The Other Side Of Down, Love Don’t Hate and Something Bout Love.
If anything, the absence of fireworks and fancy costume changes meant that Archuleta had only one thing to rely on – his voice. He’d used it well, too, flaunting his signature vocal prowess on emotive, baby-smooth numbers that make you just want to smile.
He went on with the radio-friendly A Little Too Not Over You before breaking into an evocative cover of Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World.
Speaking of which, Archuleta was certainly big on covers that night, asserting his gentle appeal on popular all-time favourites like Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy and Brian Adams’ Heaven, which made the show feel somewhat like a prolonged, live-sized version of American Idol at times – minus the entertaining tirades from its ex-judge Simon Cowell.
Still, the mood was mostly chipper and light-hearted throughout, buoyed by breezy sing-a-longs like Elevator and his rendition of Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles. When the Ben E. King classic, Stand By Me, came to play, almost everyone in the crowd, as though jolted by instinct, began clapping in synchrony.
Archuleta may not have the rocking edge of Adam Lambert or the girlish sassiness of Carrie Underwood, but the baby-faced singer certainly has the talent and charisma to pull off his own show.
He ended the night with his hit single Crush, looking thoroughly ecstatic as he poured his heart out.