David Archuleta is finally free: 'It was so healing'

'I feel like I understand God's love better than I ever did because I know how to love myself'

Audacy and CHANNEL Q host, Corey Crockett, checked in with everyone's "crush," David Archuleta, for a very transparent and candid conversation about his path to self-discovery and fulfillment, his relationship with religion, and how he is now expressing himself freely in his music.

LISTEN NOW: David Archuleta | Audacy Check In

Admitting that he's definitely been out in the spotlight lately, David said "I feel like I definitely been more out there than I have in a long time. Like I feel like the last time I was out this much was right after American Idol, so I guess people are just like wow 'let's hear about your journey' and so I'm like 'okay I'll tell you about my journey' and it's got me talking a lot more."

The American Idol season 7 runner-up just released his latest single "Afraid To Love," and he's shared how freeing it's been to release songs like this one.

David says he made this song to make people want to get up and dance. "I wanted something that you could hear at a dance club or to get you jamming late at night in your house," he shared. "I’ve been learning to accept myself as I am and to not be afraid anymore of what people think of me. Letting go of any hate and declaring to everyone I’m not going to fear what people think of me for loving whoever I love."

Thinking about the transition from the time he put out "Crush," he believes he is in a "different direction, different path" than he was before. He revealed he was very religious at the time and took a break from music to be a Mormon Missionary in South America for two years, but it was his religious affiliation that he felt held him back from embracing his true self for so long.

"When I came out two years ago it took awhile for me to be okay with that... for me that was the last thing I wanted to do," he shared. "I believed I was going to ruin my life... and lose my salvation."

He said that "since I've come out and I like tried to still 'oh I'm going to try to balance these both' and I've just kind of gone in a different direction now like away from the church, the church world and now I'm just like 'well now what do I do?'"

David revealed that while denying himself of expressing who he truly was he spent a lot of time unhappy and that showed through his music. "I've spent so much time writing about being frustrated, being anxious, feeling depressed, feeling like the split in my mind, and I didn't really know what was going on because like inside of me I think I knew like I was struggling with something but I didn't know it was like my sexuality because I was like 'whoa it can't be my sexuality because I'm not sexually active,'" he said, adding that "I never really got to understand what was going on inside of me"

But between the time since he's released "Crush" till now, David is focused on "what's it like allowing myself to enjoy life in the way that I was always afraid to," he continued, "I just felt like 'oh shoot like I have to hide this in order to be good, in order to be accepted,' and learning how to rewrite the narrative in my head to say actually you don't have to be afraid of yourself... I think that comes across in the music cause now I'm writing about how freeing it feels."

Revealing he felt like he had to hate himself he says "learning how to love all parts of me, including that part of me, it was so healing."

While David says "I don't affiliate myself with a religion," he still believes in a higher power. "I still connect to something that I would consider as God but it's not the same construct that I was raised to believe."

"I feel so happy and if there is a God, again, I feel like I understand God's love better than I ever did because I know how to love myself and how can you love other people and other things if you don't know how to love yourself?" he asked.

David is stamping "I'm here and I'm queer," and takes pride in knowing that him overcoming his darkest fears about himself has helped so many other people. "It felt really good to know that just by truly being who I am I'm helping other people have the courage to do the same thing," he said.

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Listen to the full interview between the two above and stay tuned for more conversations with your favorite artists right here on Audacy.

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