Reporting Annie Reuter
Less than a year after releasing his debut full-length pop album, Paradise, 16-year-old Cody Simpson just announced new music is on the way. Paradise reached No. 27 on the Billboard 200 and produced Simpson’s catchy breakthrough single “Wish U Were Here,” which helped him garner a tour with Justin Bieber and a legion of zealous fans. While Simpson has much in common with Bieber–they both got their start posting YouTube videos of themselves performing cover songs–he had a hand in writing many of the tracks on his albums.
For the sophomore album, titled Surfers Paradise (out July 16), Simpson said he knew exactly how he wanted it to sound and the type of music he wanted to represent him as an artist. He describes it as a “classic summer album” and said to expect a few pop songs like his latest single, “Pretty Brown Eyes,” a light-hearted club track which introduces his rap skills, along with a few quieter acoustic tracks.
“I grew up playing the acoustic guitar and I decided I really wanted to go back to my roots on this album,” he told Radio.com. “I grew up listening to Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer so they definitely inspired a lot of the album too. There’s a really mellow, acoustic sound to it.”
Along with writing his own songs, Simpson also produced a number of tracks on Surfers Paradise, including “Awake All Night,” which he recently released online.
Simpson explained that the production credit happened naturally. He was originally headed to the studio to record a track someone else had written for him, but the song just didn’t feel right. So, he abandoned the track and began to write “Awake All Night” with the desire to compose a lullaby on his guitar.
“[I] produced it almost entirely myself,” he said. “It turned out to be something that happened super quick.”
Simpson added, “A lot of artists will either write the song or just sing the vocal. It was a big step for me, especially at 16, to write and produce and play every instrument.”
One song fans should look forward to hearing is “Summertime of Our Lives,” which Simpson said is his favorite song on the album.
“It’s an all-around beautiful record,” he said of the song. “Acoustic guitar, ukulele and vocal and that’s it. It’s definitely an indicator to how I’m growing as an artist, how my music and sound is evolving.”
Fans will be able to hear songs of Simpson’s upcoming album during his recently announced Paradise Tour, which kicks off May 30 in Jacksonville, Florida. He has a few surprises up his sleeve and while he wouldn’t go into specifics, he said fans will get a better glimpse into who he is as a person.
“With this show, just as with the new album, I really wanted to share myself and share my lifestyle and share who I am as a person, more than just sharing myself and my music,” the Australian surfer said.
Cody Simpson’s Paradise Tour:
5/30 – Jacksonville, FL, Times Union Center for the Performing Arts Moran Theater
5/31 – Tampa, FL, Straz Center for the Performing Arts
6/2 – Birmingham, AL, BJCC Concert Hall
6/4 - Atlanta, GA, The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
6/6 - Houston, TX, Bayou Music Center
6/7 - Dallas, TX, Palladium Ballroom
6/8 - San Antonio, TX, Lila Cockrell Theatre
6/9 - El Paso, TX, Plaza Theatre
6/12 - Phoenix, AZ, Celebrity Theatre
6/14 - Los Angeles, CA, Club Nokia
6/19 - Fresno, CA, Saroyan Theatre
6/20 - San Francisco, CA, The Warfield
6/21 - Sacramento, CA, Sacramento Community Center Theater
6/22 - Portland, OR, Roseland Theater
6/23 - Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre
7/2 – Minneapolis, MN, State Theatre
7/5 - Chicago, IL, Akoo Theatre at Rosemont
7/12 - Philadelphia, PA, Tower Theater
7/13 - Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Library Music Hall
7/14 - Washington, DC, DAR Constitution Hall
7/17 - New Brunswick, NJ, State Theatre
7/18 - New York, NY, Best Buy Theater
7/20 - Boston, MA, House of Blues
7/23 - Detroit, MI, Royal Oak Music Theatre
7/24 - St. Louis, MO, Peabody Opera House
7/25 - Kansas City, MO, The Midland by AMC
7/26 - Wichita, KS, The Cotillion
7/27 - Denver, CO, Ogden Theatre
(Additional reporting from Shannon Carlin)