Cody Simpson skyrocketed to fame in the same way that Justin Bieber did: YouTube. The Australian singer/songwriter is the whole package – smooth pipes, raw talent, shaggy blonde hair, a supportive family, and an Australian accent to tie it all together.
When Cody announced in September that a duet album with Justin Bieber was on the way, fans of both artists just about had a heart attack. The singer, who turns 18 next month, is also working on a solo album with producer Cisco Adler and taking his music in a different direction than we've heard from him in the past. “I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t want to make that kind of music,” Cody told ETonline’s Katie Krause when we caught up with him exclusively at Cotton On in Santa Monica, Calif. The former Dancing With the Stars contestant was on hand to discuss his ambassador role for Cotton On’s #IGiveABrick campaign.
“We’re working on a lot of acoustic rock stuff and developing something really cool and unique,” he added, noting that he is definitely moving away from pop. “Once you become your own favorite artist, the fans really tune in because they believe you and know that it’s real. That’s what I’m doing, I’m really excited.”
The recording process is different when working solo as opposed to collaborating with another artist, like Bieber – a team effort that was challenging but rewarding for Cody.
“When you’re working with another artist like Justin who has his own different influences and style of music, it’s very cool but sometimes you butt-heads a little,” he revealed. “But, when you take those chances and put the two worlds together, you can come up with something really cool and it can turn out better than you even expected which is what happened with JB and I.”
The twosome released the first duet off the forthcoming album, Home to Mama, on Fahlo last month, a slowed-down acoustic track about finding “the one” and taking her home to mom. Cody explains that both he and Justin were going through break-ups when they teamed up to write, explaining, “A lot of the music just became about love & heartbreak because it was a common theme amongst us… we were both in a similar phase.” Cody has since gotten back together with his ex, GiGi Hadid – more on that later.
Cody admitted that he and the Biebs came up with 14 songs in just a few weeks, and while JB’s love-life and run-ins with the law often trump his music career, Cody doesn't understand why.
“People definitely give him a hard wrap,” he acknowledged. “There’s certain people in the media that people pick on, you know? People just like to hone in on certain people like Bieber… or Miley… all people that I’m really close with.”
“I definitely feel sorry for someone like Justin because he’s a good bloke."
Cody, who has grown close to Miley Cyrus in recent months, is perplexed at why people give her a hard time, too. “She’s definitely at heart a very sweet, normal, cool girl,” he said. “We were spending time out at her ranch in Nashville [Miley’s boyfriend Patrick Schwarzenegger was also on hand] last week and I’m like ‘Why do people say these things?’ She’s just the coolest chick.”
But, Cody’s defense of his pals didn't stop there!
“My girlfriend is really close with Kendall Jenner, and I've known her since I was like 14, but it’s people like that that get a bad rap and I’m not sure why.”
Speaking of GiGi, the crooner had to fight to win her back after ending things with the model in May: “She’s a great girl…. I kind of realized that I didn't want to be without her.” Cody revealed he also wrote her some sweet songs which may have helped the pair get back together.
During Cody’s appearance at Cotton On, he performed an array of new and old tunes – to hear a sneak peek of a new track and to watch him chat about his new music, his famous pals and share more adorable-ness about GiGi, watch the video above! Oh, and Cody may have also talked about a possible collaboration between himself, Justin AND Miley. Yes, really!
To learn more about the #IGiveABrick campaign, head over to their official site. Any time you post with their social hashtag – you’re helping build a school in Nubbunga, Southern Uganda, a cause that Cody is excited to contribute to. "Anything I can do to use my voice not just to sing is cool, ya know?"
Are you excited for new Cody tunes?! Do you want to see him and Justin collaborate with Miley?! Let @Katie_Krause know on Twitter and include that #ETnow hashtag!