Music & Nightlife

Archuleta climbs on hit-making train

David Archuleta was a star on one of the most popular television shows in the country, and yet he is still getting used to the fact that many people hang on everything he says and does.

For example: Last week, E! News reported that the 17-year-old singer is working on songs for his debut album with producers Antonina Armato and Tim James, who co-wrote and co-produced eight of the tracks on Miley Cyrus' latest album, “Breakout.”

When asked by the Observer about this nugget, he replied – with his trademark “aw-shucks” awkwardness – “How did you know?”

The media isn't going to get any less interested in Archuleta – who was runner-up on the seventh season of “Idol” to 25-year-old rocker David Cook – anytime soon. Archuleta is juggling preparations for the album with a rigorous schedule of traveling the U.S. and Canada as part of the “American Idols Live Tour,” which stops at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sunday.

As for those talks with folks behind Cyrus' hits, he's excited.

“I was (thinking), ‘Miley Cyrus – isn't she Radio Disney?'” Archuleta says of his initial reaction. “But these songs are different. I liked how (producers Armato and James) were very experimental. They are pretty diverse people who've worked with everyone from Mariah Carey to (Australian hard rock trio) Sick Puppies. I might work with them in L.A. when I have another day off.”

He says he wants his diverse tastes to be represented on his debut album.

“I want to be able to relate to people through the music. I'd like songs that are enjoyable and fun to listen to in the car, and also songs that are emotional and sensitive,” he explains. “I want to find the right balance between those two things. I think Jordin (Sparks) did a great job of that with her album.”

He's taking a crack at songwriting and collects ideas, but “for some reason, I can't get a whole song out of me.” He'd also like the album to tap his Latin roots (his mother is from Honduras), although that may have to wait.

“I really would love to, but I don't know if there's time,” he says. “I'd love to do at least a Spanish song. It would be cool to do something in the future, especially for my mom and that whole side of the family – that's what I've grown up with.

“If we don't have the time we wish we had to focus on styles and be nitpicky, hopefully in the future when I have more time, it will be more ‘David-sounding.'” Then he pauses, before adding: “Hopefully. If this album does well.”