We interviewed singer Cody Simpson when he was in Manhattan recently.
How many songs does your new album, "Paradise," have, and what's your favorite?
The album has 10 songs on it. And my favorite is either this song "I Wish You Were Here," which is the latest single, or the title track first song, called "Paradise."
Growing up in Australia . . . were you thinking of being a singer or an actor on TV?
Not at all, actually. I [had] a pretty relaxed childhood, went to regular school. I surf a lot. I still surf a lot. And I still swim train every single day, sometimes morning and night, like two hours each time. I was just a regular kid . . . I played the guitar, and I sang and I wrote songs, but . . . it wasn't a big part of my life, it was just kind of a little hobby; and then when I was maybe 11, I performed at this school, you'd call it maybe an end-of-year concert where they would have students come in and do different things. I just picked up my guitar and sang. I was just backing up my friend who was singing also. We posted it online, and I kind of realized that people really liked what I was doing, and I went from there.
How does it make you feel to be voted "Awesome Aussie" at the [Nickelodeon] Kids' Choice Awards?
It was awesome, actually. Especially to be named like favorite out of my entire country. To be growing up there and especially being nominated against the likes of Miranda Kerr, who's like this supermodel I had a crush on my entire life . . . Even just to be nominated in the same category as some of like Australia's biggest stars . . . means so much to me.
What are the good and bad parts about being famous?
I guess I'll start with the good parts. I get to travel so much. I get to see so many different parts of the world. I get to meet new people every day. I experience new cultures, meet new fans from different countries. I get to perform for them, too. I get to sing every day, which is, it's always been a dream of mine to be able to just live it totally, and that's what I'm doing right now. I still do school by the way, every morning. The bad parts about it is having to be away from your friends, being so far from home all the time, and not being able to be a regular kid or go to the mall or going to hang out with your friends on the weekend and stuff like that.
How did you become famous?
I posted a couple of things online like MySpace and YouTube -- a couple of original songs that I recorded in my bedroom and some covers like my favorite songs. A couple of people started seeing them, and they started telling more people, and it kind of started snowballing like that until I was contacted by a couple of different record labels, and they asked me to come over to America and sing for them. Then I was signed by Atlantic Records, and then, yeah, it just kind of like happened from there.
How do you feel about bullying?
Bullying is a topic that's been close to my heart for a while. Something that growing up in a regular school, having seen it in the schoolyard a lot as a kid, also having like experienced it online every single day when I go on . . . obviously, there's going to be a lot of people that really love what I do, but there's also going to be those who try to bully me about it, stuff like that. But it's something that you have to not try to focus on, but try and focus on the positive side of things.