Christmas music has always been a unique genre. While many of us love to rock out to our favorite classics, sometimes it’s nice to get a new, fresh sound for some Christmas tunes to jam out to. On Nov. 2, David Archuleta’s “Winter in the Air” was released – an album jammed packed with classics and some really awesome new songs.
David Archuleta is well known for being the second place winner of season seven of “American Idol”. He is also currently touring across America for his “Winter in the Air” tour, and on Dec. 18, will be making his Fairfield debut at the Warehouse at FTC.
Prior to this performance, I had the privilege of interviewing Archuleta and he discussed a great deal about the different kinds of songs he would be putting out for this new album. In particular, his new hit song, “Everyday is Christmas”, is a bouncy and fun listen to get into the holiday spirits.
“I wanted to challenge myself and write a song that was happy, fun and kind of bouncy, like “All I want for Christmas is You” and “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree”,” said Archuleta. “I tend to usually gravitate towards more slow, serious stuff, but this is different. “Rockin around the Christmas Tree” is one of my favorite songs and how cool would it be to have a Christmas song like that? A classic sounding Christmas song. That’s what we did– writing a song about loving Christmas so much, I wish it could be Christmas everyday.”
Archuleta also wrote two other new, original songs. “I wanted one of each kind of Christmas song. The first one was happy, fun, bouncy– ”Christmas Everyday”. Then the second one, I wanted the more spiritual– kind of the reason for the season. It’s kind of my testimony of Christ and his birth. What it would’ve been like to be there and witness the shepherds gathering from affair and seeing the baby sleeping and how I would feel. The song is called “He is Born” I think that one is my favorite on the album,” said Archuleta. “Then the third one, I wanted to write a song describing winter because one of my favorite things about Christmas time, at least in the U.S., there is just like this stillness when you got outside and it’s just so peaceful, and I love that. I wrote “Winter in the Air” and I named the album after that. It’s almost like a romantic song about sharing that moment, taking someone through a winter wonderland.”
The rest of the songs on Archuleta’s 12-part album include many of the classics listeners know and love.
“I wanted to have a little bit of fun because I’ve done a Christmas album before and I really emphasized trying to keep it a sacred, revenant Christmas album– it was called “Christmas from the Heart” and I wanted it to be from the heart,” said Archuleta. “For this one, I wanted to have some of that scaredness as well so I put “Mary Did You Know?” on there and another one called “In the Bleak Midwinter” that people don’t know as much but I think it’s the best way of capturing that sacredness and that stillness during Christmas, but then I wanted the fun. So I put “Holly Jolly Christmas” on there– that’s one of my favorites, and “White Christmas” as well. Just so that it could have that– you’re driving down the street, you see the lights, and you just want to see something happy.”
“Winter in the Air” is Archuleta’s second Christmas album in the last nine years. One of the biggest things Archuleta believes is the major difference between this new album and “Christmas from the Heart” is the sound of each album. “I mentioned how “Christmas from the Heart” the first Christmas album was a lot more reverent. It was a lot of orchestration and a lot of symphonic arrangements of Christmas songs. It was just the kind of music that was easy listening. Everything was pretty easy to listen to, you could just listen on the couch by the fireplace and it’s just pretty mellow,” said Archuleta. “Where as this one, I have a lot of those as well, but at the same time I have the ones that you could not just sit by the fireplace and listen to but also get up and dance around. Like “Christmas Everyday” just to get people’s spirits perked up a bit. Have a little more perkiness to it.”
Archuleta always knew he would do another Christmas album after “Christmas from the Heart”. “When I was doing my first Christmas album I already knew I wanted to do another because there’s so many Christmas songs and I can’t do them in just one album. Christmas shows are my favorite kind to do. There’s just something special about them, and people know all the songs,” said Archuleta. “You could do a show full of these songs and you don’t have to be a super die hard fan to know each song and sing along to them, because people usually know Christmas songs. I think having more songs to add to Christmas shows is another thing I was looking forward to. Songs that I could add my own twist to and people could listen to afterwards on a CD.”
Why Archuleta thinks his album is unique compared to other albums is the same as what makes other Christmas albums unique– the voice singing. “What always makes something unique, especially with Christmas music a lot of people go traditional with the sound because I think that’s what people love,” said Archuleta. “I think what makes it interesting is hearing a familiar voice– it’s not just Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby. For example, Gwen Stefani. Gwen Stefani has these traditional Christmas songs, but her voice makes it interesting. I guess it’s my touch– my tone, my voice, to these Christmas songs.”
Archuleta also wanted to create special, spiritual and unique moments for his listeners when they hear his original songs. “I want people to feel the purpose of Christmas. I want them to connect to something deeper and remind them what matters most,” said Archuleta. “I really tried to emphasize that. Sometimes I’m like how can I make this be a moment where people can think and reflect. How can I make this a moment where someone remembers something really important to them, so maybe that’s what makes this album a little more unique.”
The singer-songwriter is excited to be performing Christmas music for audiences everywhere with his upcoming Christmas tour, especially the Northeast because it feels the most like Christmas to him with the cold weather. “I want the audiences to know this is some wonderful arrangements of some great Christmas songs everyone knows and loves, and I worked with some great producers in Nashville as well as my hometown in Utah,” said Archuleta. “We worked hard to make these arrangements enjoyable and fun, but also touching and give people a lift in life. I just want people to come, enjoy, have a good time, hum a long to those songs and leaving saying ‘I’m ready for Christmas now.’”
Outside of his new Christmas album and tour, this past May marked a milestone for Archuleta being that it’s been 10 years since he appeared on Idol. Since then, Archuleta’s reflected on how that has changed him life. “I feel like I’ve learned that I am an artist, a musician,” said Archuleta. Before Idol, Archuleta often felt as if he was faking it or wasn’t sure if he was any good at it. But now, it feels like home,” said Archuleta. “Being able to go on a stage and I’m in my element. I can sing this song, share this story, and help you feel good. It’s a great sense of accomplishment. As as for the fans, they give you a real sense of accomplishment because they continue following and staying interested in what you do. I think that’s a boast of encouragement.”
Archuleta plans to also have future performances from his album last year– “Postcards in the Sky”. Archuleta is also working on more music for 2019. “My goal is actually to have some more happy music because the last album I did “Postcards in the Sky” was a lot more reflective, it was a lot more thinking and introspection. This one will still have that because I tend to think a lot and be in my head a lot. But I want it to be happy, I want it to put people in a good mood.”
Overall, Archuleta is thrilled to be sharing his “holly-jolly” performance with audience members everywhere as they come together for a night of fun-filled Christmas music. If you’re really in the holiday spirits, definitely come to his show this Dec. 18– tickets can be purchased at the Warehouse at FTC website.