David Archuleta

David Archuleta lost to David Cook on “American Idol” in 2008.

Spending the holiday season in the East Valley has become a tradition for “American Idol” veteran David Archuleta. 

He’s played the Mesa Arts Center, but this year he’s headed to the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center on Black Friday with his Christmas show in tow. 

It supports the deluxe version of his album “Winter in the Air” it was released digitally on Nov. 14. The album features such hits as “Christmas Every Day,” which went Top 10 on the Billboard Holiday chart. 

“Christmas tours are my favorite tours to do,” Archuleta said. “It doesn’t get old. This year, I’m adding a few extra little songs here and there. Now, having two Christmas albums, I’m having a hard time choosing what to do.”

Christmas is one of Archuleta’s favorite times of the year. He recalled his favorite holiday memory when the family stopped giving presents to each other. They decided to gift the community instead. 

“We would go to the hospital during Christmas and dress up like the Jackson 5,” he said with a laugh. “My mom made wigs and we would go and perform. 

“Christmas always makes people happy. But some people, like the elderly, sometimes feel cooped up at home. It’s nice to give them some liveliness with Jackson 5 Christmas songs.”

Archuleta, who lives in Nashville, wraps up his tour just before Christmas and will return to his home state of Utah and go caroling with his family. 

“When we were little, my mom taught us Christmas carols in three-part harmonies,” Archuleta said. “We still remember them.”

Archuleta moved to Nashville about four and a half years ago and said it’s been inspirational. He can chat with others who are pursuing careers in music as well. 

“It’s a music town,” he said. “I was out getting amino acids after working out and I started chatting with the girl at the register. She knew who I was. She was a musician, too. 

“Everybody here is working on music. I run into people who are artists or producers. It’s kind of fun. Sometimes people ask me what I do and I tell them I’m a musician. Their response is, ‘Aren’t you going to study? What’s going to be your career?’ Music is my career. I don’t just show up on radio and TV for the heck of it.”

Archuleta works hard for all of this to happen. He’ll release more music in the first quarter of 2020 and he’s now lining up producers for the songs. 

His latest pop single is “Paralyzed” and his first new music since 2017’s “Postcards in the Sky.” 

“Paralyzed was a bit of a venting song,” Archuleta said. “I get frustrated watching myself hesitate so much and not let go of things from the past I know I should. A lot of those past things are fears, anger, resentment, and I see how they all form excuses in my mind of why I can’t move forward. I watch as missed opportunities fly by and I just do nothing because I freeze. It gets me so frustrated. This song is the battle with those paralyzing thoughts, and I intend to be the victor.”

One thing he’s nervous about is collaborating with others, but he knows he has to overcome this fear. 

“I do still have a hard time putting myself out there,” he said. “It’s the fear of rejection. It’s like asking someone out. What if they say no? I’ve reached out to people. Sometimes they do say yes. Being rejected is not that fun to deal with. I start withdrawing like I’m not good enough. 

“But I still try to keep going anyway. More people say yes than no. It’s all about finding the right thing and to keep trying.”