“My new album Surfers Paradise is the first time that I’ve really known from the get-go exactly how I wanted the music to sound,” says Cody Simpson. “I wanted to show the world how I’m evolving and that I’ve really discovered who I am as an artist.” Surfers Paradise picks up where Cody’s previous releases, 2011’s Coast to Coast EP and his 2012 debut full-length Paradise, left off, telling the story of how this talented teenage singer, songwriter, and musician, now 16, traded the sunny shores of his native Queensland, Australia, for the sunny shores of Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being performer.
“Surfers Paradise is basically the most famous area on the Gold Coast of Australia, where I am from,” Cody explains. “I think this album really represents that piece of me and my lifestyle there. Making Paradise felt like a journey to find myself as a young adult and artist. With ‘Surfers Paradise’ the entire process felt more natural, like being back home. I wanted to share that feeling with my fans.”
Cody co-wrote every song on Surfers Paradise, which brims with summery, upbeat pop tracks “Imma Be Kool” (featuring rapper Asher Roth), “No Ceiling,” and “La Di Da,” and the first single “Pretty Brown Eyes” — Cody’s fresh, new take on girls with brown eyes, like a “Brown-Eyed Girl” for 2013. Hailed by Billboard as a “happy-go-lucky summer anthem,” the song is a Radio Disney favorite, while the video, directed by Cameron Duddy (Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, P!nk), is a YouTube sensation, earning more than three million views and climbing.
Surfers Paradise also shows how Cody has matured as an artist with reflective, acoustic guitar-driven tunes like “Awake All Night,” (which Cody wrote, produced, and performed himself), “Sinkin’ In,” “Rainy Day,” and the yearning, nostalgic “Summertime of Our Lives,” which Cody says is one of his favorites. Several songs have a distinct reggae vibe, like “Love,” “No Ceiling,” and “Love Actually,” the latter featuring guest vocals by Ziggy Marley, Bob’s son and a beloved artist in his own right. “To have Ziggy on there is just insane,” Cody says. “I feel like it makes it more legit.”
“I am 100 percent confident in this album,” Cody says. “I feel like the title, the sound, and the music all go really well together and represent exactly who I am.”
Music has played an integral part in Cody’s life since he was a child. Watching his dad sing and play guitar for friends and family at parties and backyard barbecues taught him the power that music has to bring people together. Inspired, he asked for his own guitar and began taking lessons at the age of seven. After learning a few chords, Cody wrote his first song. He continued practicing and soon began posting YouTube videos of himself performing his original songs alongside stellar covers by some of his favorite artists like Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz, and The Jacksons, racking up millions of views.
In April 2010, Cody released his debut single, “iYiYi” (featuring Flo Rida) and began to win over U.S. fans with a series of dynamic live performances including 2010’s Camplified tour of over 30 different summer camps across the country. Cody and his family relocated to Los Angeles in June and Atlantic released his debut EP, 4 U, in December, which spawned the No. 1 Radio Disney hit “All Day.”
In September 2011, Simpson made a stunning chart debut with Coast to Coast, which entered Billboard’s album chart at No. 12 and earned Cody his second Radio Disney No. 1, “On My Mind.” The “On My Mind” companion video — directed by Travis Kopach (Panic! At The Disco, 3OH!3, Boys Like Girls) — is also a certified YouTube blockbuster with over 18 million views. Cody currently has more than 4.8 million Twitter followers and nearly five million Facebook likes, in addition to 146 million YouTube views on his official channel, Cody Simpson Music.
Cody has made a host of high-profile TV appearances, including The Today Show, Live! with Kelly, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures, So Random, The Early Show, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, not to mention as a performer and mentor on Radio Disney and the Disney Channel’s “N.B.T. (Next Big Thing)” talent contest. He was among the top stars featured at Nickelodeon’s 2012 Kids Choice Awards where he presented and took home the award for “Favorite Aussie Star,” and at Australian Nickelodeon’s 2011 Kids Choice Awards, where he won “Awesome Aussie,” “Aussie Muso,” and the prestigious “Super Fresh.” Cody showcased his latest tracks “Pretty Brown Eyes” and “Awake All Night” as part of a stellar live appearance at the 2013 Radio Disney Music Awards.
Cody has also been profiled in a range of national publications, while also receiving extensive TV coverage including E! News and Access Hollywood. He starred in the 2012 original film, Finding Cody. Presented by Warner Music Group’s original YouTube Channel “The Warner Sound,” Finding Cody made history as the first interactive YouTube movie featuring a major musical artist.
In addition, Cody, a natural and charismatic performer, has toured nearly non-stop, including his sold-out “Welcome to Paradise” headline tour, co-headline tours with Big Time Rush, and appearances at such events as the White House Easter Egg Roll and the Arthur Ashe Kids Day festivities at the U.S. Open. Cody’s own Coast To Coast Tour of U.S. malls drew huge crowds everywhere it went in 2011, with more than 3,000 fans turning out at each of its 10 stops to see the rising teen star in action.
In 2012, Cody launched his first-ever European headlining tour and hit the road as support for Justin Bieber’s U.S. and European Believe Tour, playing to crowds of 20,000. “It was a great experience for me. I was really motivated to make my show even better by watching Justin,” Cody says. “I had to prove myself on his tour. My goal was to go out there every night, get people up on their feet, and turn everyone in that arena into a fan of mine.” This summer Cody kicks off the Paradise Tour, which visits 36 cities in North America.
In October, HarperCollins will publish Cody’s official autobiography Welcome To Paradise: My Journey, which will feature never-before-seen photos and exclusive details about Cody’s life on and off stage, including his early years as a competitive swimmer. “I really wanted to tell my story in my own words and share my experiences,” Cody says. “Everything I do, whether it’s the music, the live shows, and now the book, is about letting the fans get to know me better. I want them to feel as if we’re mates.”