People are calling Australian singer Cody Simpson the next Justin Bieber, and it makes sense -- they're both adorable singers (with awesome hair!) who were discovered on YouTube. But 13-year-old Cody is definitely his own artist. He writes his own tunes and has some big name fans already -- Flo Rida collaborated with Cody on his catchy debut single, "iYiYi," which hits iTunes on June 1. Look for Cody's album this summer, but for now, get all the deets on the new singer in this exclusive J-14 interview.
J-14: Can you tell us about "iYiYi"? Cody Simpson: I worked with some amazing people on it like DJ Frankee and Colby O'Donis, as well as Flo Rida. We came up with something really catchy. It's about missing a girl when she's not around. Flo Rida and I recorded it separately, we both loved it. We finished fimling the music video yesterday. It's got a laid-back beach theme to it. There's a Flo Rida surprise in the video, so we can't tell you yet! Sorry.
J-14: What does "iYiYi" mean? Cody: It's doesn't really come together until the i-yi am missing you -- it's all coming up to that!
J-14: Has the girl who influenced the song heard it? Cody: She's heard it. I think she liked it!
J-14: What was it like meeting Justin Bieber on his "Somebody To Love" video set? Cody: His video looks incredible. He's a nice kid, and it was great to meet him.
J-14: Is it true that Flo Rida wanted to discover you like Usher did with Justin? Cody: No, he's just on the same record label as me. They set us up so we could record a song together. It was fun! He's really cool -- and tall as well! Flo Rida definitely gave me advice to work hard and have fun. It's all about having fun so enjoy it. [Justin and I] didn't get to talk that much because he was really busy on the set.
J-14: Does it bother you to hear people compare you to him or call you a "Justin Bieber wannabe?" Cody: It's not a competition. He's very talented, so it is flattering to be compared to him as well. His music is more R&B, but we're both kind of pop artists.
J-14: What made you want to start posting videos on YouTube? Cody: When I was about 11, I did a duet with a girl at a school concert -- we performed "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. She posted that video online, and everyone started liking it, so I started posting more and more covers to YouTube of artists who inspire me like Justin Timberlake and Jason Mraz. I got contacted by a producer named Shawn Campbell, who's produced for Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, and Ciara, and he introduced me to my manager now. He took me to New York and introduced me to record labels. I had a meeting with Atlantic Records, and they wanted to sign me. Singing was always my passion. I was also a competitive swimmer in Australia, and that was really my main focus. I would shoot videos on the side, but then everyone started liking them, so I did more and more of it.
J-14: If you could duet with anyone, who would it be? Cody: Probably my celebrity crushes! "Party in the AUS."
Photo: Courtesy of Atlantic Records