A Q&A with Cody Simpson about Guitar Center’s Singer-Songwriter 6

The teen Australian pop artist discusses music, social responsibility and what it takes to standout in a crowded field

Photo: Easton Schirra Photo: Easton Schirra Pop singer/songwriter Cody Simpson may only be 19 years old but his wisdom, musical prowess and dedication to environmental causes belies his age. A native Australian from Gold Coast, Simpson first received recognition at age 11 with acoustic pop covers posted on YouTube. Over the ensuing years, he’s discovered a love of blues, jazz and the songwriting process. His 2014 song “Surfboard” fused crunchy blues-rock riffs and chord progressions with modern dance and electronic production. “Flower,” released in 2015 finds him embracing the John Mayer/Jack Johnson school of mellow acoustic songwriter fare melded with tasty blues fills. Simpson is a mentor for the Guitar Center Singer/Songwriter 6 contest, along with producer and judge RedOne (Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, Usher and more). Both Simpson and RedOne are definitely two music makers who can spot unique talent. We caught up with Simpson to discuss artistic growth, life philosophies and that special spark that gets you noticed. What are you looking for in the artist submissions in the Guitar Center Singer/Songwriter 6 contest. Nowadays, as I’ve grown, I’m interested in individuality. I’ve never been a fan of whoever was the greatest singer or guitar player. For me it’s the individuality of the singer or the song, rather than who is technically the best. It’s more about who is truest to themselves. That’s also something I’ve been trying to work on for myself lately. Who are your main songwriting influences. Well, I’ve been laying low and just working on my craft this past year. It’s been nice doing a lot of... Sign In to Keep Reading

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