What You Don't Know About KJ Apa's Music Career

Anyone who's seen Netflix's "Riverdale" will recognize KJ Apa as Archie Andrews, the red-headed protagonist with a heart of gold. On the show, Archie is at the center of a love triangle with Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart), but his IRL romantic relationship is more straightforward. In May, the actor confirmed his girlfriend, Clara Berry, was pregnant after she dropped an Instagram post that showed off her growing stomach. "She's pregnant btw," the proud papa-to-be commented (as if we had any doubts). His co-star Vanessa Morgan — who plays Toni Topaz and welcomed her own bundle of joy in 2020 – commented, "Rivers' soon to be bestie." Aw!

Apa and Berry have had a whirlwind romance ever since they were first linked together back in 2020, and as of September, the two are officially parents. For Apa, part of that connection with his partner may be due to the fact he and Berry share similar passions. The two sing a duet on "Beautiful Things," which is a track on Apa's recent album "Clocks." In honor of Berry's due date, Apa gave his baby mama a shout-out in his September album promotion, where he thanked her for "taking my love for you to another dimension this week." Speaking of "Clocks," there's plenty that even die-hard "Riverdale" fans don't know about Apa's music career, starting with the fact he's always dreamed of being a famous musician.

KJ Apa believes he's more talented than his Riverdale character

KJ Apa loves music so much that "Riverdale" writers made it a core part of his on-screen personality. On the show, Archie Andrews frequently strums his guitar and even competes in his high school talent show, although Apa is a bit dismissive of his counterpart's talent. "I don't know how to say it, but we're not at the same level, you know what I mean?" he said in a 2017 interview with The Last Magazine. "Somehow I have to say that not in a cocky way, but he's a beginner. Also, the songs that he writes, I don't think I would listen to them."

To be fair, the character of Archie has a lot on his plate, between taking care of his dad, dating Veronica, and uncovering criminals. Similarly, Apa's acting career keeps him busy, although he didn't always envision it would be that way. "I never saw myself being an actor. I always saw myself being more of a musician. I wanted to actually play music or play rugby," he told FLAUNT in 2018. In fact, Apa feels "most comfortable" with a guitar in hand, after teaching himself to play the instrument when he was 12 years old, as he told Cosmopolitan in 2017. "When I auditioned for 'Riverdale' and did a screen test, I decided to take my guitar in there because I knew it would calm me down," he said.

KJ Apa has newfound confidence in himself as a musician

These days, KJ Apa's role as a father has increased his confidence in his musical ability. The actor — who was once "terrified" to sing in front of people — now feels that all his questions have been answered, as he told NME. He dropped his album "Clocks" in September, and made an effort to include those who have impacted his life, such as girlfriend Clara Berry, and his mother, who co-wrote the lyrics for the song "Beautiful Things." 

"She's not very musical — the musical side [of me] comes fully from my dad," Apa told the outlet. "But from this experience I learned that she knows how syllables fit into certain bars. ...It was just very easy for us to collaborate." As Apa told fans on Instagram, the music on the album "represents a piece of myself — my past, my future and my present. ...This is the place where I feel the most free. To me, letting go of these songs feels like letting you read my diary."

The shift to music isn't surprising, considering Apa has been teasing a full-time music career for the past few years. In 2020, he spoke to Sydney's Daily Telegraph (via NZ Herald), where he shared news of an album in the works. "I have always been super-passionate about music, that is my first love," Apa said.