Cody Simpson is a teen dream at only 15. He's got the world, and tons of screeching preteens, at his feet.
The Australian singer and songwriter has a strong connection to the Sunshine State, believe it or not. He's worked with both Flo Rida and T-Pain and, brace yourself, he grew up in Miami Beach.
"I grew up in the Gold Coast part of Australia. The suburbs I actually grew up in, ironically, it's called Miami Beach," he told us.
OK, so it's not the stateside Miami Beach, but it's something.
Just this December, he made the little ladies go wild at the Y100 Jingle Ball. "When I came to that Jingle Ball, we had to have police escort me down there," he said. "It was nuts."
The year prior, he wasn't part of the main indoor event but of an adjacent outside show. Even then, he was mobbed by fans. "I was tweeting a bunch, and tons of people came down for it... I love Miami. It's always mayhem when I come down there."
His favorite thing to do in South Florida is go to the beach by the Fontainebleau. "Just the beach," he noted, since he's too young for the bright lights of Liv.
"I love coming down to Miami all the time," he said. "I'm not just saying this because I'm talking to you, but Miami is one of, if not my favorite, American cities, only because it reminds me so much of where I grew up. I could go down to South Beach and it's like it's modeled off of my hometown." It's that laid-back lifestyle and, of course, the beach. It does share the same name, so that might help garner some of his affections.
A champion swimmer in his younger youth, he hasn't had a chance to swim much lately. When asked if he looks for hotels with swimming pools in particular, Simpson acknowledged that he has no time to do laps. "I'm so busy working on my music and traveling... I do miss it all the time."
Is he creeped out by the Cody Simpson doll? The answer is a strong no. "Nothing creeps me out anymore. So much amazing stuff is happening in my life at this moment, it's another amazing thing on top of it." He said, "We got to design the doll. It looks so much like me."
Simpson is a little bit of a troublemaker, though. "I go into random Toys R Us [stores] sometimes; I'll go in with my friends, and I'll sign all the dolls in there. We got in big trouble once. They were like, 'What are you doing? You're graffiting on our product.'" They let him go once they realized, according to him, "this is my doll."
Since Simpson spends endless days traveling, he's accompanied by his immediate family on the road. This includes his parents, little brother, and sister. "I think that's very important," he noted, but he doesn't get to see his friends, grandparents, and cousins very often. "I think they understand my situation now," he mused. His current home is in Los Angeles. Simpson visits Australia twice a year and has made some friends in the U.S. But it's clear he misses his old companions: "There isn't a day that goes by when I'm not talking to them or texting."
His first full-length album is coming out around June. "We have a lot of amazing music," he said. "I want to show them that I'm not playing around." That's aimed at all of us. There's also a single coming out with T-Pain that they're finishing up now to be released in a few weeks. It has dubstep elements to it.
Cody Simpson using dubstep beats with Tallahassee boy T-Pain? We're at the edge of our seats, our ears unplugged, Cody Simpson doll in hand, waiting eagerly.
Catch Cody Simpson on Saturday, February 25, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit jointherevolution.net.
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Liz has her master’s degree in religion from Florida State University. She has since written for publications and outlets such as Miami New Times, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Ocean Drive, the Huffington Post, NBC Miami, Time Out Miami, Insomniac, the Daily Dot, and the Atlantic. Liz spent three years as New Times Broward-Palm Beach’s music editor, was the weekend news editor at Inverse, and is currently the managing editor at Tom Tom Magazine.