Cody Simpson: The Next Justin Bieber?
After Justin Bieber graduates from the teen throne, who will take his place? Cody Simpson may be the tween for the job, or at least he could be an acceptable blonde (and Australian) substitute.
Born in 1997, thirteen-year-old Cody from Gold Coast, Australia is a former champion swimmer who humbly emerged onto the music scene last summer via Youtube, much like Justin Bieber, Soulja Boy, and other tech-savvy phenoms before him, although he admits to being raised on country music. Another Bieber-esque quality Cody possesses: His shaggy, surfer-esque blonde hair rivals Bieber's infamous locks.
Simpson's online covers of Justin Timberlake and Jason Mraz, as well as a couple of his own tunes gained the aspiring pop star the attention of Shawn Campbell, a Grammy-nominated producer famous for working with Jay-Z, eventually leading to a deal with Atlantic Records.
Watch Cody Simpson's acoustic version of "Cry Me a River."
And here's a Cody Simpson acoustic original - "One"
On getting his big break, Cody had this to say to Seventeen:
[Shawn Campbell] sent me a message through my MySpace and said, "I think you're really talented. Get your parents to call me." And so we Googled him, and he was the real deal. So yeah, it was exciting. We called all our friends and family like, "This guy wants me to come over to the U.S." Mom was like, "Don't call him. He just wants to get to you." She's protective, but my parents have always been really supportive. They've always wanted me to follow my dreams and stuff. So they let me come over with my dad.
Cody's first and only single thus far, "iYiYi" (think Ricky Ricardo) featuring Flo Rida, was released on May 15, 2010. It only peaked at #19 on the Australian singles chart, but so far, the music video has over two and a half million views on YouTube. Add that to his 90,000+ facebook fans and 150,000+ twitter followers, and the kid is certainly off to a huge start when it comes to building a foundation and a fanbase.
In a review of "iYiYi," Idolator said, "Simpson does have a certain charm. Whether or not that charm translates to the masses remains to be seen." Watch the official "iYiYi" video here.
You can currently find him traveling to summer camps across the nation on his first tour with Camplified 2010.
Do you think Cody Simpson can sing? Does he have what it takes to be the next Justin Bieber? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
And, in the spirit of having a true apples to apples comparison, check out Baby Biebs doing his Youtube acoustic version of "Cry Me a River."