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The Real Reason KJ Apa Doesn't Like To Sing On Riverdale

There are a few things you can count on going into every new season of Riverdale: There will be some kind of horrifying mystery, Bughead and Varchie will likely swap partners once or twice, and there will always be a musical episode. Since the first season, when Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) teamed up with Riverdale's resident rock goddess Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) to produce some music, the show has featured its characters breaking into song more than normal. The amount of musical episodes and interludes is especially odd for a show that's supposed to be a twisted high school murder-mystery-slash-soap-opera.

You might get the impression that, as the show's star, Apa is thrilled to be taking on so many musical numbers. But you would be wrong. Although Apa once told Sydney's Daily Telegraph (via The New Zealand Herald) that he "never really wanted to be an actor" and that music is his "first love," he has expressed his discomfort with singing during Riverdale's many musical numbers.

So, despite his love of music, why exactly does KJ Apa dislike bursting into song on Riverdale so much?

Singing just isn't KJ Apa's jam

It took a handful of Riverdale musical episodes and biopic where the actor played a singer-songwriter for KJ Apa to open up about his issues with singing for the cameras. While doing press for I Still Believe, in which Apa plays Christian musician Jeremy Camp, the actor spoke to MTV about his qualms.

In the interview, he explained that while he does have plenty of musical talents, singing just isn't one of them. However, because of the perception people have of him as a musician, Apa often gets forced into roles that require him to sing. He shared with MTV, "Riverdale is a perfect example of 'I'm a musician' [...] But am I particularly enjoying the musical aspects of the project that I'm doing? Not really. I have to do it." The actor went on to say that "people just... keep forcing [him] to sing in all these projects," which is outside his zone of comfort and enjoyment. 

It's clear that Apa would prefer to channel his musical talents into other areas, particularly the instrument he's been playing since childhood.

KJ Apa has been playing guitar since a young age

There's a good reason people keep trying to get KJ Apa to sing in movies and on TV. Long before he made a splash as Archie Andrews, the New Zealander was a professional musician. When he was just 14, Apa released an album called The Third Room. By now, you shouldn't be surprised to learn that the album is entirely instrumental and without any vocals. The music features Apa showing off the guitar skills he'd been cultivating for years (via Teen Vogue).

More recently, Apa started a band called Legend (originally called The Good Time Boys) with fellow Riverdale actor Rob Raco, who portrayed Joaquin DeSantos before the character's untimely demise during season 3. Apa plays guitar for the quartet, who have yet to release any music but who have done a few live gigs to great response. As for when you can expect the debut Legend CD to drop, Apa cautioned fans who expect him to rush an album out to capitalize on his Riverdale success. In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, he stated, "Here's the thing — everyone asks about the band, but we don't have music ready to put out into the world yet. We've recorded some music, who knows if it's any good, but I love it."

KJ Apa isn't the only one who doesn't love Riverdale's musical moments

Although he doesn't come right out and say it, in wishing for fewer opportunities for Archie to burst into song, it would also make sense that Apa is wishing for a reduction in the number of musical episodes of Riverdale in general. Sadly for the show's producers, he's not the only one hoping for less song and dance.

In its four-season run, Riverdale has featured more than its fair share of musical moments — including three episodes that feature the students tackling songs from the musicals Heathers, Carrie, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. While musical episodes aren't novel to Riverdale, in most other TV shows, we'll get one or two musical episodes during the entire run of the series. Riverdale's commitment to doing one or two a season hasn't gone unnoticed by fans.

An r/Riverdale Reddit thread aptly titled "Musical Episodes (Are ANNOYING)" features dozens of fed-up fans of the show expressing their frustration. One user wrote, "Anytime Archie pulls out his guitar, or the Pussycats go on stage, I fast-forward the f*** away." Meanwhile, Hannah Shaw-Williams at ScreenRant points out that overloading Riverdale with musical episodes pushes a show already prone to ridiculous moments way over the top and forces the plot to take a backseat, which leads to unsatisfying episodes with not a lot going on story-wise.

We hope for KJ Apa's sake that when the inevitable season 5 musical episode comes along, the writers give Archie laryngitis that week.