In the carefree wilds of Venice Beach, singer-songwriter and poet Cody Simpson made the brave decision to detach from the pop music machine and go within to discover his pure artistry. “I realized I wanted to reclaim what is mine: my artistry. To do this, I was a recluse for a few years. I practiced guitar, surfed, read voraciously, and filled several notebooks with poetry and lyrics.” the LA-based, Australian artist shares.
Cody commemorates this transformative time with literate flair in his debut poetry book, Prince Neptune, released April, 2020. The book features a collection of poetry and prose gathered during an epiphanic period from ages 18 to 23. The results of his profound journey to music independence will be revealed on his upcoming solo release which will be his first full-length musical release since his 2015 LP, Free.
Cody is an intentional poet and songwriter who writes evocatively. His poems and lyrics evoke elemental imagery and explore subtexts of consumerism, unity, nature, freedom, rebellion, environmentalism and ocean conservation. As a songwriter, he weaves pop melodies into intriguing musical contexts, exploring contrasting genres, textures, and musical landscapes. He’s inspired by songwriters and poets such as Neil Young, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, Donavon Frankenreiter, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac among others.
Cody has also branched out as an actor, appearing on Broadway taking on the lead role of Dmitry in the musical Anastasiain the winter of 2019. Throughout it all, Cody has used his platform to effect change and bring about awareness to crucial philanthropic and environmental issues. In 2017, he was named the first UNDP (United Nations Development Program) Ocean Advocate. He has featured in and produced environmental documentary projects with the UNDP, and given speeches at the UN Headquarters at World Oceans Day, World Wildlife Day and events alike.
Cody grew up a world away from Hollywood. He was born on the Gold Coast of Australia, where he grew up on the beach surfing, swimming and training as a junior lifeguard. Both of his parents were world-class swimmers, and it has been said Cody could swim before he could walk. He first received nationwide recognition as a multiple gold medal-winning and record-setting athlete back home in Australia.
At the age of 6, his grandparents gifted him with an acoustic guitar, and his connection to the instrument was instant and profound. But Cody’s fascination with the arts went beyond music. He was an avid writer, and, at a young age, began to write poetry, short stories and song lyrics. During school, Cody was recognized for his work through winning several writing competitions.
Cody started a band in school and began performing at school while just a tween. A defining moment occurred when he shared a family friend-filmed video of a performance on YouTube. Organically, the video began amassing a stunning number of views, and soon he was recording himself in his bedroom, posting himself playing covers and original songs. It wasn’t long before he was contacted by music producers and record executives from across the Pacific.
Soon after those well-received videos, Cody was flown stateside with his father. He spent his 13thtbirthday singing for a head executive at Atlantic Records. That fateful visit netted him a record deal, and his family supported his dreams by relocating with him to Los Angeles. For the next five years, Cody lived out his ultimate boyhood pop star fantasies, touring the world; releasing 2 well-received major label albums; charting Top 10 on the Billboard100; collaborating with major artists; and touring the world with longtime friend Justin Bieber.
By 18, Cody had earned global recognition as a pop artist. Yet, he felt the need to follow a deeper artistic and life calling. He developed a growing interest in environmentalism and a more natural way of life,
selling many of his possessions and moving back to the beach. He longed for creative freedom outside of the confines of his record label’s orders so he asked to be let out of his contract.
He sagely moved forward with his career through establishing his own label with a few buddies, Coast House Records. Working with close friends he crafted a collection of music that was more authentic and musically expressive. This era is captured on the acclaimed EP’s,Wave Oneand Wave Two.
Today, Cody is thriving as a fresh literary voice and boldly creative musician with a clear vision for his future. With a debut book released, and an upcoming full-length, Cody is reveling in a fresh start. “It’s a new era for me, and I feel liberated,” he shares.