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David Archuleta at LOVELOUD last night in DC

Last night, the first LOVELOUD of an expanded three-city tour was held in Washington, D.C. Included in the lineup of the nearly sold-out concert was Utah’s own David Archuleta, who sang three of his new songs, including “Afraid to Love,” which was released in August, and “Up” and “I’m Yours,” released in June. He also sang his most popular hit, “Crush,” released in 2008, 2020 single, “OK, All Right,” and a cover of India Arie’s “I am Light”

Prior to the concert, Archuleta interviewed with “INTO” writer Faefyx Collington about his excitement returning to the LOVELOUD stage.

“So my first time attending LOVELOUD was actually before I came out. It was the very first one in Provo Utah, and, growing up in Utah in a conservative environment, at first I was really hesitant to go. I thought there was some hidden agenda, and they were going to try and take me away from my safe place and corrupt me or something,” he laughed. “Then, when I went, it taught me what LGBTQ+ people were really like, and why they were how they were.”

“Later, it would help me understand to see myself as a person even after years of trying to convince myself I wasn’t part of the LGBTQ+ community myself,” he continued. “So, to be a performer and be out was an emotional, vulnerable but freeing experience. Now I’m excited to celebrate that journey and road with others who may be on similar paths or coming to learn like how I did my first time going.”

He said that he was uncomfortable, at first, coming out.

“I heard so many times people say, ‘Just keep it to yourself. Why do you have to tell everybody? Don’t shove it in our faces.’ And so I didn’t want to do that and make people feel uncomfortable with me,” he said. “But I realized it never feels good to hide who you are just so other people will accept you and like you. It felt very lonesome, even when I was around a lot of people, because I felt I was being an imposter, a fraud, and a liar.”

He told himself over the years that he wasn’t actually lying if he was continuing to try to change himself to no longer be gay.

“When I realized I couldn’t, I was devastated. But then thought, “What if I just was honest?” That’s terrifying, but maybe I will find people going through the same thing if I were to be truthful. And I did, and it’s been beautiful,” he said.

In “Up,” his lyrics reflect what he was going through.

“I know I gotta let it go / And give up what I can’t control / Close the door / So I can open one more.”

Archuleta will also be singing at the LOVELOUD concert in Salt Lake City on November 3. Also on the stage will be LAUV, Mother Mother, Tegan and Sara, LOVELOUD founder Dan Reynold of Imagine Dragons, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Ms. Meredith, and host Kalen Allen.

As LOVELOUD 2023 was kicked off, founder Dan Reynolds called it a “transformative journey of love, acceptance, and celebration.”

“In 2017, when I founded the LOVELOUD Foundation, my vision was clear: to ignite vital conversations about unconditional love, understanding, support, and acceptance for our LGBTQ+ friends and family. Our mission is to openly talk, share stories, and shed light on the realities LGBTQ+ teens face daily. As we launch the LOVELOUD 2023 tour with this incredible lineup of talent, remember it’s more than just music; it’s about creating a safe space where everyone is seen, heard, and loved for who they are. Together, we show the world that love transcends boundaries and that we can make a difference. So, let’s raise our voices, share our stories, and continue this important mission towards change and acceptance,” he said.

As part of the trip to Washington, D.C., members of the LOVELOUD team and various artists on the lineup are set to visit Capitol Hill on Wednesday, October 18, in order to speak to congressional representatives about various LGBTQ+ legislation.

Reynolds also noted that the Delta Center donated the Salt Lake City venue for the cause.

Here is an audience video of Archuleta’s “Up.”

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