Australian recording artist Cody Simpson, best known for hits such as “On My Mind” and “IYIYI” featuring rapper Flo Rida, has a new single, “So Listen,” set to be released this week and hit tunes on the soundtrack to Hop, available on DVD + Blu-Ray March 23.
Simpson, 15, became a YouTube sensation with his own rendition of popular hits such as “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake, and “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5. In the summer of 2009, his talents quickly caught the attention of Shawn Campbell, the Grammy-nominated producer who has worked with Jay-Z and other artists. Less than a year later, Simpson signed with Atlantic Records. The young, rising pop star has already made appearances on high-profile TV shows such as ABC’s Live! With Kelly, NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ Saturday Early Show, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Simpson’s latest album, Coast to Coast, peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 charts.
In our exclusive interview with the Aussie teen sensation, Simpson talks to fans about topics such as life on tour, fan interaction at concerts, inspirations behind his songs, how life has changed for him after being discovered on YouTube, and how he and his family members deal with the newfound fame.
Cody answers questions from Uinterview users and fans of Hop on Facebook!
- Q: What is your favorite part about going on tour? - Juliana Marler
- A: Every night is always incredible. Honestly, my favorite part is going in front of my fans every single night and seeing them smiling, waving their hands and crying, singing along to the songs. It's an incredible experience that you really can't explain to someone unless they've kind of experienced it for themselves; it's such a unique thing. I love it very much. The worst part is getting sick, having to still kind of get out there every night and do the best show you can.
- Q: If you could take up another instrument, which would it be? - Lesley
- A: I'm currently teaching myself the piano.
- Q: Do you ever remember fans? Or the girls you bring on stage? - Leanne De Vries
- A: I do, I do. Every once in a while there's a fan that really sticks in my head.
- Q: Tell us about the inspiration for your songs. Where does it come from? - sabrina angel
- A: Usually they come from experiences that I've had myself. I like to make sure everything I'm singing about is coming from the heart, you know? There's a lot more to singing and a lot more to being a singer than just singing a song, you know?
- Q: Most families tend to fight a lot, especially with young kids. How does your family stay calm and focused with all the attention you're getting now? - Alysha Labelle
- A: My family is very chill, very relaxed. Everyone kind of stays out of the whole business thing. I think that they're around all the time and I think it's important to have such an encouraging and supportive family. We're all here for each other and I'm very grateful to have that.
- Q: What is it like to watch the very first YouTube video that you did now that you've had so much success? - romina filippelli
- A: I do that sometimes. I mean, sometimes I'll go back and I'll watch what I did a couple years ago and be like, 'Look at how much I've improved.' Obviously I'm just going to think, 'Ah, I'm not very good, I could've done it so much better.' But you know, [those videos] got me to where I am now.
- Q: What's the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you and did you enjoy it? - Brooklyn Cohen
- A: Every show, pretty much, something crazy goes down. I always find it hard answering this question because I've had so many experiences. My fans in general are just very dedicated and spend so much time making scrapbooks and posters and such. They'll tell me they've been working on this scrapbook, which is this huge thing, for months. It's absolutely crazy how much work they put in. Out of everything I've done so far, it's for them. I write a lot of my songs about them, definitely a lot of inspiration for what I do.
- Q: What's it like working with Big Time Rush? - Jenna Vander Veen
- A: It's gonna be cool. They've invited me to be a special guest on their tour this summer. We're gonna perform in front of a lot of people, some big crowds and some great opportunities. I've got nothing but great things to say about them. They're a great support for me. I'm very excited for this summer.
- Q: Now that you have a puppy, does that affect your life and do you take him on tour with you? - Sophie Kirkman
- A: We try to take him everywhere we go, which is difficult sometimes. He's another member of the family and we treat him that way. We haven't had a dog in a little while; my little brother loves him.
- Q: Can you just tell us a little bit for the wider American audience that might not know as much about you, how you got your start before YouTube and then how you went from You Tube to being the star that you are now? - Uinterview User
- A: A lot of family and friends would always come over and I'd play the guitar, sitting around barbecues and stuff. I was only six years old at the time, but it was always something that I wanted to get involved in. I was like, 'Oh, I wish I could sing those country songs,' and all that stuff. It was just something that I wanted to be involved in ever since I was younger. My grandparents bought me my first guitar and I just kind of fell in love with it all. Ever since then, people always ask me, "Were there ever any artists that inspired you to sing or keep on going with it,' but no, it's simply my love for it. It's very simple as that. Then I posted this duet with my friend, and someone caught it on video and put it online. Then I created an account and put it up online myself and everyone was like, 'Who's this kid, sitting there playing guitar?' And they asked me, a lot of people, hundreds of people asked me to post more videos or whatever. I got excited myself — if I had 100 views, 200 views or whatever. It just kept rising and it was just like, 'What's going on? This is crazy how fast things are happening.' Before I knew it there was a bunch of record men looking to meet up. This producer flew me to the States and it kind of just started from there. I took a bunch of meetings, and it happened from there really.
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