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In his first interview since David Archuleta and Jive Records parted ways in February, the 20-year-old singer told The Tribune that it was a mutual decision that he move on from Jive.

He recorded three albums of the label: his self-titled 2007 debut, which reached as high as No. 2 on the Billboard charts and spawned the hit single "Crush"; his 2009 album, "Christmas From the Heart"; and 2010's "The Other Side of Down," which Billboard magazine reported in February has sold only 67,000 copies, compared to 765,000 for his first album.

Leaving Jive Records was a freeing experience, said Archuleta. "Since 'American Idol' I never had the time to think about what decisions need to be made," he said. "I thought [leaving] was a great opportunity. A great new door had opened."

Archuleta said that he has talked to other record labels since then, but has resisted the urge to sign with any of them. "The goal this year is to take the time I need to know what I want to become." Too often in the past, he said, producers would give him songs that didn't fit his vision or voice. "I want to make my voice come through more," Archuleta said. "I want to do songs that are more vocally driven, so I can be emotional."

Archuleta said he is spending his time with family and friends — though he said "No" when asked if he had a significant other — and writing songs on the piano as he figures out when his path will take him. He still wants to pursue pop, but didn't want to be a "classical pop singer." He has been listening a lot to Adele and The Civil Wars, the latter a country-folk duo that includes former writing partner Joy Williams.

Immediately after the Stadium of Fire, Archuleta will embark on a short tour of Asia, where interest in him has not abated. For stateside fans, they can expect Archuleta's 2010 Christmas-time performances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to be released on CD and DVD Sept. 6 by Deseret Book. Singing with the Choir was a dream come true, he said. "It was a pretty overwhelming experience. It was one of the most amazing experiences I'll ever have in my life. I was honored."

In the end, his faith helped guide him, he said, and he knows his fans are anxious to hear from him, with his Stadium of Fire concert being his first in Utah since his performances with the Choir. "I've been taking time," he said. "I really appreciate the patience the fans have shown."