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David Hernandez: interview with an unforgettable voice

David Hernandez: interview with an unforgettable voice

This talented artist will captivate your heart with his sweet voice, literally. David Hernandez started very young, and was in the American Idol Top 12 in the seventh season of the FOX series in 2008. Since then, with his single “Beautiful”, he has only grown both musically and in his appearances and collaborations. Certain to see him higher and higher in the charts, let’s see how was our chat with him, talking about memories, his hobbies and his dreams for the future.

Photos by Bobby Quillard

Your passion for music was born at an early age, do you want to tell us something about it? How did you start then? 

I started singing when I was about six years old running around the house listening to my mom‘s vinyl records trying to imitate the singers. I grew up on singers like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Journey, and Whitney Houston to name a few. I knew that I wanted to be a singer as far back as I can remember. One day my grandfather took me to an audition for a musical called the Canterville Ghost. I sang “I Have Nothing” and landed the part. I think I knew from that point the stage was where I always wanted to be.

You were one of the top 12 finalists of the seventh season of FOX’s American Idol in 2008. Do you have special memories of that experience? 

I have so many memories of that experience. It was life changing. It was definitely boot camp for singers, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It taught me so much about being a professional and having a strong stage presence and being able to function with heavy workloads and little sleep. 

Photos by Bobby Quillard

Your most popular song “Beautiful” reached the Top 100 on the Billboard dance charts. Impressive! How did the idea for this song come out?

My agent actually played this song for me and told me that he thought my voice would sound wonderful on it. I had a hard time with it because it wasn’t something I wrote. But, at the end of the day it was something I connected to. I had no idea that it would be my biggest song yet. The irony is that when I went into the studio, I felt a little bit depressed. But after recording it, I came out of the studio feeling optimistic and ready to conquer.

Do you have any artists in particular who inspire your productions?

I mean, I grew up on 90s R&B music. So naturally, my writing style lends itself to that but also my singing style lends itself to soul. I feel like that sound is really coming back around. I’m inspired by so many things, but amazing singers are at the top of that list. 

You’ve sung on popular talk shows like The Ellen Show, The Today Show, MTV’s TRL, EXTRA, Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, and many more. You also sang at the Declare Yourself Inaugural Ball for Barack Obama in 2009. Any funny memories? 

I feel like the earlier shows I appeared on were all such a blur because after I got off Idol, I was on a massive press tour. But the Ellen show was amazing. She was so funny, and she approached the topic of my scandal in such a respectable and professional way. I’ll never forget her kindness and empathy. I also remember singing at the inaugural ball for Barack Obama and how momentous that was. It’s nice to be embedded in a part of that history. 

What is your relationship with social media, especially at a career level? And what are the changes it has brought to the musicians, in your opinion? 

I have such a love-hate with social media. There are some days where I just stay off of it altogether. I do realize it is a part of my work but, I think my mental health is way more important than that. What you see is not always what you get on social media and everyone always puts their best foot forward. So, I try not to compare myself. But it can be a slippery slope. When I first was on American Idol, social media wasn’t really a thing. We weren’t allowed to use what was available at the time. I think nowadays, it really helps independent artists and musicians to promote their own music and appearances etc. Which I think is a really helpful tool.

We see that you are passionate about sports and gym. Do you have a daily routine to keep fit? Also, about nutrition?

I have a personal trainer and a nutritionist. I started to learn how to cook about a year ago and it has really transformed my eating habits and diet. I work out with my personal trainer and 2 to 3 times a week and then the other days I just hit the gym hard on my own.

Photos by Bobby Quillard

Is there any advice you would give to young singers?

Believe in yourself first and foremost and never stop. Try to stay firmly rooted in who you are as a person and as an artist because people are always trying to change you. Don’t take no for an answer. 


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