Tousled blonde hair, baby face and blue eyes are the trademark features of current up-and-coming teen idol, Cody Simpson. Cody (originally from Australia, now living in Los Angeles) has won the hearts of many teen girls all over the world – just over three million to be exact judging from a combination of his Facebook and Twitter following. He’s been compared to Justin Bieber due to his crazy growth of popularity on Youtube, but all Cody wants to be known for is being himself rather than a clone of the Biebs.
Cody says he always had a dream of making a career out of music, but he was just never sure about when it would occur. The question is, how did he end up becoming so famous on Youtube? He did a cover performance of Jason DeRulo’s “I’m Yours” which he had a friend film off a video camera. Cody liked the video and thought to upload it online. Soon after being uploaded, the views for the video started to increase and many people wanted to know who the boy with the guitar was in the video. After uploading three more cover videos, Cody was contacted by Grammy-nominated producer, Shawn Campbell and it all took off from there.
I caught up with the pop star (straight after class) over a conference call to talk about how he got started, being compared to Justin Bieber and about his up-coming North American tour, Welcome To Paradise.
What was it like when Shawn Campbell contacted you?
He started contacting us [over Youtube] and we [my family and I] did not really think much of it – we left it for some time to make sure it was legitimate. One night I told my mom we should look him up on the internet to see if this guy is, like, real. So I googled him and I was like, “Mom, come check this out”. I [googled him and] noticed that he was a legit music producer and so we got on Skype with him and I played him a few songs.
Your debut single “Iyiyi” was with Flo Rider – how was that and working with him?
I really liked the song! He was rapping verses on it and stuff. I told him we should collaborate, do it together and make a video – he loved the idea of collaborating (M: both Cody and Flo Rider had recorded the exact same song!) – I can never forget that!
Your songs “On My Mind” and “Perfect” were playlisted on Radio Disney and charted at number one instantly – this saw you suddenly receive tons of recognition and gain many fans… How was that?
It was really cool and it saw me go all over the world [to perform] – I went to Japan, back home to Australia and I went up to Canada. Thousands of people know every single word and it is really really cool!
You get compared to Justin Bieber a lot – what is that like?
Justin is very, very talented and very successful. I was in the studio with him yesterday and working on a few things. I must admit that he’s very nice, but I’m a different artist and make sure that my music and my sound is. Obviously he has been a great support and encouragement towards me – we wrote some songs together recently, and we’ll be collaborating definitely – but I’m looking to establish my own image and my own sound.
How would you describe your music and the genre?
I’ve been working on my album recently – to come out in the middle of next year – and I think it is very much, like a fun vibe involving the guitar… I think it’s a cross between, like Justin Timberlake, Jack Johnson and… Like dance music. I’m excited and I think a lot of people are going to hear the sound when I release these songs.
Who will you be working with on this album?
I’ve been working on a couple of tracks with David Guetta and Justin Bieber on a few things. I just [have] a bunch of great collaborations coming up. It’s very cool
You just announced your “Welcome To Paradise” tour. This is your first headlining tour, right?
Yeah, I think my first tour was with Greyson [Chance] and we performed in great venues. We did some free shows around the country; thousands and thousands of people came out to malls and stuff. This is my first real headline tour.
Where do you gain the inspiration from for your songs? They’re mainly about young love and girls you seem to like.
Experiences that I have had, I guess? I’m a teenage boy and I’m not going to write about much else except… Girls because not much else is on my mind at the moment [laughs].
Speaking of being a teen, when you are away from the studio and you are hanging out with your sister Alli (@TheAlliSimpson) or just friends family – what do you do to try to be a normal kid?
People always ask me what do I usually do in my free time. You know, I don’t get too much free time but I’m here in LA now and I’ll be chilling with family – I want to make the most of it y’know. If I’m with friends I’ll play video games or catch up on the surf – one of my favourite things to do… It’s pretty much my lifestyle really. I just try to be a regular kid – hang out with girls [laughs] and do normal stuff.
You’ve done a number of television appearances including “So Random” on The Disney Channel and “Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures” on Nickelodeon – would you be interested in acting later on in your career?
Yeah, definitely! Obviously I’m working on my album so my main focus is that at the moment. Once I’ve established who I am musically as an artist, then it would be cool to branch out into acting. I’ve been approached for movie and TV roles but I want to focus on [the] music right now, and once I’ve got that right then acting would be a cool way to go!
Do you have any celebrity crushes?
Most of my celebrity crushes are much older than me [laughs]. Actually, one of them is already married… Jessica Alba [laughs]. Eva Longoria is also taken. But, it doesn’t stop me from crushing on them real hard!
You have a lot of fans in South Africa – do you have a message for your Simpsonizers in SA?
Yeah! I just want to say thank you for being patient and thank you for waiting so long for me to come over there to South Africa, but I will be there [hopefully] pretty soon… Hopefully we’ll make some plans to come to SA. I’m really excited and can’t wait for you guys to hear the new music and everything we have got planned for 2012 and 2013. Stay tuned. I appreciate the love and support! Thank you!
December 15, 2015