We've seen it time and time again. Child pop stars who grow up in front of the camera, in the public eye either adapt or die. While some of these stars acclimate to fame and success smoothly, like Justin Timberlake
, or hit a couple of hiccups along the road to longevity like Britney Spears
, many fail to make the transition from teenage heart throb to the object of a mature audience. Recently stars like Miley Cyrus
are receiving criticism, while jerks like Justin Bieber
are downright deplored. The newest member of the transitioning teenage pop star club is Cody Simpson
Cody is the typical young, male pop star. Extremely handsome and marketable, he is a talented vocalist who comes off as a nice guy. Like many young pop stars, his first foray into music was not entirely his own. Pushed by his record company, the electronic super produced pop beats of his debut Coast to Coast
fall in line with the traditional, if not cliché, style that almost assures radio exposure and legions of screaming fans. The songs aren't bad, they're just mild, and agreeable. The depth of the love lyrics are traditional to an audience of pre-teen confusion. It's the perfect soundtrack to puppy love, the kind that unfolds in a world without bills to pay. These songs, however, tend to become curses on the later careers of singers, when they're trying to grow up and get taken seriously. Lines like, "Word on the street is that you're single/So baby have you heard my single?" are a quick way to be seen as a joke, and Cody Simpson knows this.
After leaving Atlantic due to "creative differences," Cody is letting the world know that the music he had recorded wasn't truly his own. Going independent, Cody is working on his first "real" EP Free
. He has been adamant about his desire to use live instrumentation with a backing band instead of beats. This idea of authenticity and being true to yourself is crucial to artistic development, it's refreshing to see a young, already successful star, make the compromising move to preserve his artistic integrity.
His fanhood and passion for music in incredible. Cody cites his best SXSW experience as "a great jam session on stage with my mates Tori Kelly, JB & Dan and Shay." The crew did a mashup of "a bunch of unorthodox songs," proving Simpson's instinct is to take risks. Try to see through the fog of commercialism invading SXSW, and Cody Simpson's dangerously un-hip mainstream status: at the end of the day Simpson is just another young musician seeking to broaden his musical horizon. "I can't wait to hang with my band mates and discover new music."
Cody can definitely rock the Jason Mraz
emotional guitar singer niche. HIs music is pleasantly uncomplicated. Like Mraz or Jack Johnson, the chords and lyrics aren't complex, but they are catchy and, thought out, and ultimately worthwhile. Simplicity is a choice, not a limit.
Stay tuned for exclusive Baeble concert capture of the updated Cody Simpson from our Baeble Music Day Party down in Austin. If you didn't score access to the Baeble Music Day Party
, you can find Cody on the SXSW map among the next best things about south by: the food, "I hit a couple of the BBQ joints last year that were great. Can't wait to try some of the food trucks this year."
Check out the video for "Flowers" below and get ready for Free EP
dropping April 7.