When David Archuleta performed in Utah for the first time after he finished second in the 2008 season of "American Idol," the concert sold out.
When he performed in Utah this past March, the concert sold out.
So this November, tour organizers scheduled two concerts for Archuleta's home state. The 18-year-old Murray pop singer will perform selections from his recently released "Christmas From the Heart."
"To call Los Angeles home -- I could never do that," Archuleta said in a Tribune interview. "I like Utah too much."
Archuleta is spending plenty of time in L.A. these days, writing songs for his second pop album, which his label hopes will be released in 2010. But Archuleta said that as much as he loves his fans to hear his music, he wants to make his sophomore effort count.
"I just want my personality to come out," he said. "I want this music to have some character -- my character. I want my stories to be in here. I'm learning how to become a songwriter."
So far, besides Los Angeles, Archuleta has spent time in Nashville, working on his songwriting with a wide-ranging collection of collaborators, including Matt Squire (producer for Katy Perry, Taking Back Sunday, The Used), Victoria Horn (classical and opera producer), Daniel Bedingfield (brother of Natasha and writer of hit "Gotta Get Thru This") and Kina Grannis (guitarist and singer-songwriter).
In between, Archuleta is writing a memoir, tentatively titled Chords of Strength , a reference to the partial vocal paralysis he suffered in 2004 but has now fully recovered from.
"It's about what my life is, how I've gotten to this point today," he said. "It's my history of up to now. ... It's about trusting in myself and believing in myself."
Now that he is college-age, many people want to know if he is considering a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which he previously expressed interest in. "That's a personal decision between me and the Lord," he said. "I want to do what the Lord wants me to do."
For now, Archuleta is looking forward to reconnecting with Utah family, friends and fans. For his hometown concerts, he will perform holiday songs, as well as songs from his best-selling debut album "Crush," and possibly even show off some of his newfound guitar-playing skills.