The long-awaited musical episode of Riverdale premieres on The CW this week on Wednesday, April 18, bringing us the gang's high school production of the onetime Broadway musical Carrie. Writers have revealed that the kids performing the musical is expected to advance Riverdale's plot as it approaches the end of a crazy Season 2, but fans have a bigger question before the musical episode airs: Does KJ Apa actually sing? The Riverdale lead has a surprising background in music that doesn't exactly match up with his character's singing abilities.
While Cheryl Blossom takes center stage in the musical's title role, Archie will appear in the school musical as popular girl Sue's boyfriend and Carrie's crush Tommy. According to Variety, the episode is expected to feature 11 songs from the original musical, which may include Tommy's own number from the stage show, "Heaven." In the Riverdale universe, it was quickly established that Archie is a talented singer, and every song that he and the other characters have performed so far are now available on iTunes and Spotify. So, while it's no surprise that Archie has such a large role in the school musical, his musical endeavors have made viewers wonder if Apa has dabbled in music IRL.
While he rarely sings as himself outside of the show, Apa does have a past as a musician. At the age of 14, he released his album The Third Room, which consisted of his solo performances on the electric guitar. Even though he's keeping busy on the Riverdale set, Apa occasionally treats his fans to Instagram videos of himself playing the guitar, clearly differentiating himself from Archie's teen crooner musical style.
So, not only did Apa achieve the unattainable and release an album in his early teens, the album was just him playing the guitar. Well, now I'm totally expecting his full-fledged career as a guitarist when Riverdale wraps someday.
Speaking to Teen Vogue in October 2017, Apa called Archie's music softer compared to his own musical preferences of performers such as Van Halen and Third Eye Blind:
I listen to a bit of everything, but mostly classic rock and punk rock. I’m into harder stuff than Archie is... Singing is really uncomfortable for me. It was definitely dipping out of my comfort zone.
He may feel nervous about his frequent singing on Riverdale, but I think we can all agree that Apa's nerves definitely don't show. His cast seems to believe that his musical talent is also the strongest of the group, as co-star Lili Reinhart told Extra ahead of the show's musical episode:
KJ is definitely the most talented musician. I'm not sure who else can play instruments, but I know that he plays guitar and it's incredible.
Apparently, he even took a shine to dancing when the cast filmed scenes for the Carrie musical. Camila Mendes told Bustle:
KJ is a great dancer. When we go out, KJ dances, he’s great. But this is a different kind of dancing. This is musical theater dancing and jazz hands. KJ fully embraced it.
If anything, this upcoming Riverdale episode, "A Night to Remember," seems to have asked Apa to exercise his least used talent as a major part in school musical. Entertainment Weekly hints that the episode will also help restore the bumpy relationship between Archie and his dad Fred. The storyline is also expected to bring the core four — Archie, Betty, Jughead, and Veronica — together again after Hiram Lodge disrupted their trust of each other. The episode seems like a whirlwind story, but then again, it wouldn't be a proper portrayal of high school without some fast-paced drama.
Riverdale's "A Night to Remember" premieres on Wednesday, April 18, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.