By Anne M. Raso
(Photo): Courtesy Atlantic Records
We are so excited that Cody Simpson has concert dates scheduled all the way through September on his Welcome To Paradise Tour and also finally has his debut CD coming out in June...he is currently enjoying the success of his hit "So Listen" (featuring T-Pain) and suggest you try to keep up with this jetsetter (who has transplanted himself from Australia to Los Angeles for his career) at www.codysimpson.com. Cody tells us that he really reads your postings on his sites not to mention your tweets at him! You might be surprised to know that Cody is quite a good acoustic guitarist...but hey, you already know that if you have caught him in concert. We caught up with him on the phone recently and enjoyed catching up with this busy Aussie who even has his own cereal called Cody Crunch which are made our of all sorts of wholesome ingredients like dried apples, kamut and chocolate covered goji berries...and which has only 6 grams of sugar in it! Cody admitted to us that he can no longer walk down the street in big cities without security just because he seems to always get followed--but he admits that everyone who has approached him has been friendly!
Q: Nice to speak to you again. The last time I spoke to you was in the lobby of the Hotel Intercontinental in Time Square, if you recall.
Cody: Yes, I do.
Q: So since then I hear you have a sold out tour that just started the beginning of February...so, if you'd like to talk to me a little bit about them and what was special about this tour. That would be a great start.
Cody: I've been on tour for probably about a week or two now. The show I did last night was in Montreal and it was unbelievable. I mean, the shows have been incredible so far and the fans have been amazing. We've definitely stepped it up to another level this time on the tour...and as the choreography, I'm definitely expanding what I'm doing on stage. It is much more of a diverse exciting show and my fans are really enjoying it. I'm definitely showing everyone what I can do, and what I'm made of this time. So I'm excited. I'm sort of proving on this tour that I'm not playing around. It is definitely very real and very artistic--and it's a a good time. My fans have really, really enjoyed it so far. And it's been very successful. I'm excited I got my good friend, Jessica Jarrell, out here with me on tour. And we do a couple of things together in the show--so it is a good time.
Q: Okay, so now do you still do all those meet and greets, and photo ops after the shows?
Cody: No, not often.
Q: Do you have an idea of when the album is going to come out?
Cody: It is hard for me to predict that because I'm going to be working on it. I'm going to be finishing up in March, so hopefully around June the album will be coming out. I'm spending a lot of time this month (March) recording in LA.
Q: What is your sister Allie up to? I know she is an actress/singer?
Cody: Alli has been working a lot with Pastry (the sneaker company owned by the Simmons sisters) recently. So she is doing a lot of work in terms of the campaign with them. She also has got a website debuting in a couple week's time that is just www.allisimpson.com. She's doing this whole blog about fashion and style. And she's going to be a little icon in that kind of world. She is also working on a movie up in Utah later on this year. called The Twelve Dogs Of Christmas.
Q: I noticed that Pastry is one of the sponsors of your tour--will there be some sort of Cody Simpson sneaker coming out?
Cody: No...for right now the focus this year is definitely on this tour. And I'm going to be touring a lot towards the end of the year as well...like, after the album comes out...and I think the last couple years of hard work has all been leading up this. Getting out my first full length album is kind of my focus for this year.
Q: Do you get to go back to Australia much? It seems like itís only once or twice a year for you.
Cody: I go back twice a year to Australia. I'm also going to be going over to Europe in the next few months too, so I'm doing a lot of international kind of visits before the album comes out.
Q: Now I know thereís a special promotion going on with the Claire's stores, who are another one of your sponsors and kids can win VIP passes to your show.
Cody: Well, so far there has just been one meet and greet with Claire's. I was there in Montreal and had a meet and greet at the store opening.
Q: Is there special Cody merchandise at the Claire's stores?
Cody: There is a jewelry and a whole lot of other stuff that is different than the merchandise that you can buy I my shows.
Q: Okay, sounds good. Now your real home base now is Los Angeles right?
Q: And just for fans who are curious about what your room is like...can you kind of tell us like what color it is? What the furniture is like? If you have any collections or things on bookshelves on display?
Cody: My bedroom? I have a lot of like black. My bed's headboard is made of black leather. And I have a lot red, white and blue like the Australia. Let's call it Australian Americana furniture.
Q: I do not know what that would be, LOL!
Cody: I like the whole red, white and blue kind of style. It's kind of simply and yet it looks kind of professionally done. It is both black and white and red, white and blue....I've got like my surfboard in there and my guitar and stuff.
Q: Do you write songs in your room?
Cody: Yes, I sit there and write songs and sort of work out what I am feeling emotionally.
Q: Do you live near a beach in California?
Cody: No, I am not that close to the beach. It is about 20 minutes away. Hopefully, when I get a little older I want to move close to the beach. I want to live right on the beach. That'd be nice.
Q: I guess some people approach you about doing a regular TV series. Or taking on a role in a movie. Are you interested in doing any of that? Or are there any firm plans for those things?
Cody: I've been approached by a lot of different people to do a lot of different TV things. I mean, I was going to be doing a Disney series but I think it is out for right now. I was approached to do a lot of different kinds of movies and TV things and stuff but that is not really what I want to do at the moment you know. My music and my album is really what I'm focusing on and what I love to do the most...and I want to make sure that I establish a respected music career and a name in the music industry before I really do anything else. I think that's what I'll be focusing on for a while in the future, you know. Music is what I came here (to the U.S.) for and I'm going to stick to that.
Q: Now you know that I have to ask what your most embarrassing moment was.
Cody: When I'm on stage, I usually wear tailored pants and one time they actually split along the side. And it was just extremely embarrassing but I just kept dancing and it was funny, you know.
Q: Did the wardrobe person run out and grab you? And give you another pair of pants and you changed behind a curtain or something.
Cody: Well, it happened when I was filming this TV show...it happened nearly half way through during the show, where I actually go and I do a change anyway. It was funny but it happens to everyone (who's a performer)
Q: Do you set new goals for yourself all the time? Like what do you want to do right now. Obviously, I would say your album is your focus.
Cody: Yeah. Iím always dreaming big. Like whenever I achieve something, I always step into that next level, and then the next level, and than the next level. I try to always set goals for myself, like big ones. I mean, I always have dreamed very big, and I work as hard as I can until I reach those. I just want to be very successful musically and we'll see how it goes. I'm taking it one day at a time with this tour...and with the album I want to be able to go out and play the Staple Center and do the whole thing. I mean I definitely want to have a very successful couple years. I'm working hard!
Q: You definitely you work very, very hard. And lastly, do you find you get recognized a lot more. Like if you try to go shopping in New York. Do you get bothered a lot?
Cody: Yeah, I mean I canít really do too much of that just walking around on the street of cities anymore. I tried to go out in LA once recently and it didn't really work out. It is hard to go to a mall or somewhere very public.
Q: Well, it gives you an excuse to have more parties in your house.
Cody: Yeah, I know.
Q: You know how most parents don't want their kids to have parties in the house? You HAVE to have it that way.
Cody: Yeah, I'll be like, "Where else can I have it then?" (Laughs.)
Q: Now is there anything we didnít cover? Are you doing some big special show for charity? Or appearing on a famous TV show or anything like that?
Cody: I don't think so--not in the near future. I'm sure there are a couple things I probably don't know about yet (that they have lined up for me). Yeah, I think we covered it.
Q: And I will see you when the tour comes back through New York. And thanks again for doing this interview.
Cody: Thank you.