Cody Simpson is back with a more mature sound and a new lease on his music life
From the shadows of the music industry comes a recharged Cody Simpson, ready to give the world a whole new sound.
We all can recall the time when every single middle schooler had Cody’s face plastered on their bedroom walls – a bright-eyed, surfer-boy-vibes blondie teeny bopper. But, the older, newer Cody has developed a more mature sound. He’s more open and carefree. Cody is making music on his own time, and pouring his true authentic self into every key, every note, and every beat.
Cody left the music world in which he felt was being manufactured into an image he could not fully breath in – his music was for everyone else but himself. This new chapter is all on his own terms. An active environmentalist, Cody finds inspiration from the rapid motions of the calming sea, and his music reflects the ever-changing world that we live in.
Cody Simpson and The Tide – Cody’s new project with Adrian Cota on drums and Shareef Addo on bass – creates music that will make you want to swim all day under the summer sun and then dance wildly under a full moon. With two new singles, “Don’t Let Me Go,” and “Underwater,” Cody Simpson and The Tide are making waves in all the right areas of the active mind. Cody returns calm and hungry to be seen as the true artist he is.
We had the chance to sit down with Cody at The Friend bar in LA about his process, his new music, and what’s next.
Denim Co-ord by Ports V
Shirt: Marcell Von Berlin, Jacket: Ports V
Describe yourself in three words.
Calm, perseverant, instinctual.
What’s been the hardest thing about the transition into your new sound?
Nothing truthfully, it’s been a fascinating experience. People are catching on and starting to really dig what my band and I are doing.
What’s been the most rewarding?
Feeling open and honest with my audience in a way hadn’t been able to be before!
How has your new music been received by your fans? Your family? Yourself?
With immense positivity and enthusiasm.
How has your sound changed? How would you describe your new sound? How would you describe your past stuff?
It’s matured more than anything. It’s more colorful. My new stuff is pop and rhythmic with elements of surf rock/blues and psychedelia. It’s uplifting and groovy – the uptempos, anyway. The slow stuff is introspective and poetic.
The music I made growing up was heavier in third-party influence, from label people to songwriters and producers and the whole shebang. Not a lot left after the fact for me to play with. I still dig everything I’ve done, it’s all a growing process.
How do you want people to feel when they listen to your new music?
Like they’ve just had a cool glass of water or dipped into a refreshing pool.
Shirt and Trousers by Ports V
How did you get started?
I was discovered on Myspace around 12 years old. I had posted a few original songs I’d written around that time, and some YouTube videos of me jamming. I gained some traction and was contacted by a music producer and a record label over in NY who asked me to come over that next year and record a demo. I eventually moved to Los Angeles and started to pursue it full time.
Was there ever a moment where being an artist just felt right, when you realized that to be part of this ever-changing world that you needed to be constantly creating?
Yes. I need to stay on the move always. Never caged or boxed. The moment I feel that way I instantly rebel or hide-out or move houses or something. Being an artist for a living can be frustrating but is extremely rewarding when it clicks.
What feeds your brain creatively, spiritually, and mentally?
Cinema, poetry, great literature, and good music. Nature, partying, and exercise. I want to experience all aspects of life regardless of contradictions (laughs).
Where and when do you access your most creative self?
At the most random moments. I haven’t discovered the formula yet. I’ve just been lucky enough to be able to tap into the creative source quite regularly!
Where does your drive stem from?
The desire to be better than I was yesterday.
How have your roots defined your views or your voice?
Growing up by the coast shaped my passion for the environment and it’s preservation. My parents are spiritual and not strictly religious people, we cherish nature and an honest disciplined attitude towards life and work. Both my parents were world class swimmers and I grew up a competitive swimmer myself.
Musically, I was raised on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and a lot of country, folk, blues and surf music. I discovered pop and rhythmic music when I was about 12 and it shaped me into the musician I am today.
If you had to pick three people to collaborate with from the past and present who would you share your mind and words with?
Elvis, Jim Morrison, and Jack Johnson.
If you could tell yourself one thing every day for the rest of your life what would it be?
It’s actually a Nikola Tesla quote. “Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”
Denim Co-ord by Ports V
Craziest fact about yourself?
I was matching Michael Phelps’ swim times at a young age, up until I stopped competing in the pool (laughs)! Wouldn’t stand a chance against him now!
What’s next for you?
More musical releases and a whole lot of writing and recording!
All photos by Jacqueline Kulla
Styled by Kade Russell
Makeup by Lilia Gabbro
Produced by Emma Mackenzie
Shot on location at The Friend Bar LA