Songs of Summer

Singer Cody Simpson talks about touring for his new album, Surfers Paradise

Aug 02, 2013 | By Kelli Plasket
HARPER SMITH

Australian singer Cody Simpson aims for a "classic summer album" with Surfers Paradise.

What’s your summer soundtrack? Australian singer Cody Simpson’s second album, Surfers Paradise, is full of catchy songs to put listeners in a beachy mood—especially his new single, a ukelele-backed jam called “Summertime of Our Lives.” The album, available now, also features collaborations with rapper Asher Roth and Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley. “It’s a great, classic summer album,” Cody told TFK. “There are some tunes on there that I am very proud of. I’ve never been more proud of anything in my life, actually.”

The 16-year-old is spending his summer on tour to promote the album, including several stops opening for Justin Bieber’s North American tour. TFK spoke with Cody about music, surfing, and his experience on the road.

Surfers Paradise cover art
ATLANTIC RECORDS
Surfers Paradise cover art

TFK:

Congratulations on your new album! What's your favorite song from Surfers Paradise to perform live?

CODY:

I love doing “La La Dee.” It’s a really groovy song with the ukulele and the guitar. Everyone loves singing it; it’s really catchy.

TFK:

Was the Australian beach town Surfer’s Paradise the inspiration for the title?

CODY:

Yes, actually, it was. I wanted to stay as true to myself as I possibly could on the album, to my roots and my lifestyle. That title helped me do that and showcase the sound of the music on the album.

TFK:

When did you first learn to surf?

CODY:

I first learned to surf when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was a junior lifeguard as well.

TFK:

Where’s the last place you went surfing?

CODY:

It was in California before I left on tour. In fact, it was like two months ago. It’s been way too long.

TFK:

You recently performed a free concert at Seaside Heights, New Jersey, which was affected by Hurricane Sandy last year. Did you enjoy performing on the beach?

CODY:

It was great. They just built this whole new pier, so we got to do a show there. It was a bunch of people with umbrellas and towels all laid out on the beach, and it was cool to be able to share some happiness somewhere that went through that much devastation.

TFK:

What artists did you follow as a kid that inspired you to pursue a career in music?

CODY:

Justin Timberlake and Jack Johnson. Those two are very different artists but they inspire me in a lot of ways. I listen to a lot of different styles of music, which helps me take inspiration from artists and apply them in different ways to what I do.

Cody, 16, attends his album release party in New York, NY, on July 16.
ROB KIM—GETTY IMAGES
Cody, 16, attends his album release party in New York, NY, on July 16.

TFK:

You just wrapped up a two-month headlining tour of the U.S. Do you have a favorite stop from the tour?

CODY:

There were a few shows that I really enjoyed, like Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto. We did this show in Montreal that we actually filmed because I think we are going to do some sort of DVD. The crowd was incredible. I loved doing New York, too, because that was [during] the album release.

TFK:

You're heading out on tour with Justin Bieber, who you've opened for before. What do you like most about being a part of his tours?

CODY:

It’s awesome being able to perform in front of arenas every night where the crowds are massive. I love the opportunity of being able to be in front of that many people performing, and it’s cool seeing everybody up on their feet.

TFK:

Later this year, you’ll be going to Australia with Justin to tour. What are you looking forward to about that?

CODY:

I’ve actually never toured in my home country before. I’m really excited to see the reactions of the fans back there, and for my friends and family to come out.