Written By: Dionne Evans 10 Questions With Australian Heartthrob Cody Simpson
The Expert: Cody Simpson
Cody Simpson, the 18-year-old Australian pop singer and teen “heartthrob, ” gained attention in 2009 when he started posting videos of himself singing on YouTube. He was an almost instant success, though he doesn’t feel he’s reached the height of his success quite just yet, and his YouTube videos each have millions of views. He released his debut single in 2010 and was signed by Atlantic Records. That same year, Simpson moved to Los Angeles to work on his career. His work paid off, and in late 2011 his EP “Coast to Coast” made the Billboard 200. “Free, ” his first independent album, is set to release this year and Simpson will go on tour this summer, but says it will be more of a “mellow rock show with just myself and the band jamming out.” However, he also says, “Sometimes we get carried away and mess around too much, but that’s all the fun of the gig! It’s casual, and I like to chat to the crowd and share positive messages. Live shows shouldn’t be confined to protools and format. It’s live. We improvise and have a sick time doing it!” When he’s not working, Simpson enjoys going the beach, which is something he’s loved ever since growing up in Queensland, Australia. If he could change one thing about his chaotic life, it would be not having enough time to see his friends and family and not getting enough time at the beach. Though he’s been compared to a certain young Canadian pop icon, Simpson sees himself influenced more by the likes of John Mayer and Bob Marley. He doesn’t much care about what people think of him, but wants to earn a positive reputation.
Q: How old were you when you realized you could sing?
Cody Simpson: Ever since I can remember, I’ve been singing and scattin’ around the house and everywhere I go — just an everyday feel good thing for me that now I’ve applied to my guitar playing and found something cool in the mixture.
Q: Did you immediately have dreams of taking your talent and making it into a career?
CS: I always imagined it as something I’d like to have one day pursued, but never did I think the opportunity would have arisen so early in my life. I took grasp of it and am riding the wave!
Q: What did you think of your almost instant success?
CS: I don’t necessarily think it’s been instant, because I don’t think I’ve reached success yet. I’m still on the road to musical establishment and improvement and always will be I believe. I have a long ways to go, but am enjoying the present moment as we go!
10 Questions With Australian Heartthrob Cody Simpson
Q: How have you handled being a kid and having a successful career?
CS: I’ve felt pretty normal throughout it all. I never experienced high school, but I still hang with my mates when I can, obviously not as often as the norm, but I get a surf and party in when I can!
Q: You were relocated to LA in 2010. What was your initial reaction to LA and of Southern California?
CS: It wasn’t too drastic of an adjustment. Many parts of SoCal that I spend a lot of time in such as Malibu remind me of home, so I’m enjoying myself a lot.
Q: What do you love most about LA now?
CS: I love the opportunities it has brought to me and the cool musical people I’ve met being here. I’m here for a reason and I’m starting to understand what that reason is. I try to bring a little Aussie flavor to it all and I think it makes people feel a little less uptight and egotistical!
Q: What do you miss about Australia?
CS: I miss the surf, lifestyle and weather. I’ve been out of the water a lot lately because I’ve been on the road playing gigs. I miss my friends and family dearly.
Q: What kind of image/reputation do you want?
CS: I want whatever my audience wants to think. People should have the freedom to think whatever they want about me as long as it’s positive. It should always be positive no matter what.
Q: Do you get involved with local organizations/charities?
CS: It’s not local but I’ve been chatting with the United Nations. I just played their gig for their #HappySoundsLike campaign down at South By. I want to go to unprivileged islands and regions like Haiti and to hang and bring a bunch of instruments over for the kids and teach them guitar. We’re planning a trip. Music brings joy, and a guitar is a gift that keeps on giving. I’m hoping to start doing that this year. One day I’d like to be able to build music schools globally.
Q: You have acting experience. Is acting something you would like to pursue further?
CS: No, I don’t think so. If a cool opportunity comes my way, I’d be down to try it out, but aside from that, I’m 100 percent music consumed right now.
Native Knowledge: For his upcoming album, “Free, ” Simspon worked along with fellow musician and Los Angeles native Cisco Adler. Of Adler, Simpson says “His philosophy and perspective is inspiring. I’ve learned a lot about life hanging with him and working. He really let me thrive as a writer and a guitar player on this record and we had a really natural connection.”
Dionne, a graduate from Marymount Manhattan College with a BA in Communicaiton Arts, has been a professional writer for over 7 years. She loves everything food, beauty, and travel related. Though currently a freelance writer, she has experience working for national magazines FITTNESS and New You. To see her portfolio, visit dionneevans.contently.com