Over the course of one week, 14-year-old Cody Simpson managed to defeat not one but five British heartthrobs without misplacing a strand of his signature blond surfer hair, thanks to the unwavering support of his dedicated fans. Australia’s own was the winner in our inaugural installment of the Popdust Pop-Off, which saw over 80,000 votes, defeating Max, Nathan, Siva, Tom and Jay of The Wanted for esteemed bragging rights and Popdust homepage love. As he gears up to take on his next competitor—motherfucking princess Avril Lavigne—and watch his likeness be transformed into a plastic toy just in time for the holidays, we caught up with the singer to offer our congratulations, and find out what he’s been listening to. The answer may surprise you.
POPDUST: Congratulations on winning our first Pop-Off! Your fans really brought it with the tweets, Facebook messages and comments in support of “Not Just You.” Did you know how intense they were beforehand?
CODY SIMPSON: It was crazy. I saw the contest and I told them all to vote and everything, and I saw how close the competition was. Thanks for putting me up for that, it was cool.
You’re so welcome. Have you had previous experience with crazy fans?
We’ll park in some private spot expecting no one to know where our car is, and we’ll come back and there’ll be kiss marks all over the windows and crazy stuff like that. You really don’t understand how it happens, but my fans are super dedicated and everything and stuff like this shows how supportive of me they are and [that] we’re all a great family, so it’s nice.
Ever consider taking advantage of their dedication? Maybe tweet out some favors, ask for a cup of coffee, a burger, free swag?
No [Laughs] I don’t. I keep them nice.
So you’ve been made into a doll, huh?
Yeah I’ll be in New York this week launching [my doll] in Times Square at ToysRUs, doing a little concert—well, probably a big concert. ToysRUs is such an iconic place and such a fun place for kids, you know me having a little brother who is seven-years-old, it’s really cool how excited kids get, especially seeing all the dolls up on the shelves and [thinking] that a miniature version of me is going to be up there, it’s unreal.
Was it hard for them to replicate you? Did you have to stand for hours and be drawn, or was some super smart technology involved?
It was actually very simple, we just sent in a bunch of photos and stuff and outfits that I’ve actually worn. We wanted to make sure that it was as close as possible to looking like me without me going in and doing an actual mold. [Laughs] That would be crazy.
Did you have any input on your hair?
Yeah. I think they did a great job.
So you’re the one responsible for the term “side-swept surfer ‘do”!
I don’t think I named it that? [Laughs]
I think that’s what they’re calling it.
I definitely had to look over and make sure it was looking nice. I’m really happy with it.
Are you prepared to sign yourself?
It’s going to be weird signing a bunch of little me’s. Pretty funny.
Tell us about the winning song, “Not Just You.”
I think it’s something that’s very close to me emotionally and stuff like when I was in the studio recording it and filming the music video. It’s something that I really feel close to because I got to be there in the process of creating that song and I always get emotional when I sing that because it’s such a slow and lovely ballad and it’s something that my fans really enjoy. I get to play it on the guitar almost every day.
Is the break-up based on personal experience?
Yeah. Yeah. [Laughs]
We’ve had some debates about this: were you the one who initiated the break-up?
Yeah I was.
Hopefully not via text message or anything like that?
No, I make sure to keep it gentlemanly.
Good to hear. You’ve also begun working with Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, this year. Have you gotten to hang out with Justin at all?
A few times. I’m going to be working in the studio with him over the next few months. I’m actually in the studio working on my album and we’re going to be working with him, and he’s been nothing but amazing. We have some amazing plans for next year [and] I really can’t wait to share the album with everyone.
Have you learned anything from him, music or otherwise? Is there anything you want to emulate about The Bieb?
Not really because I want to be a totally different artist. I want to make sure—I respect him and I have nothing but amazing things to say about him, but every artist wants to be their own and wants to create their own style of music, their own sounds, their own show and stuff, and that’s what I’m working towards right now. [I'm] working on that with Scooter and I’m excited about that. Justin has been really supportive of that as well so it’s cool. It’s a great relationship that we all have at the moment.
He also had very iconic hair when he first came out.
He’s had a few haircuts recently that have gotten a lot of attention—some people still love it, others not so much. Do you see a change in hairstyle down the line?
Maybe, but I’m pretty into my hair at the moment.
You like your side-swept surfer ‘do? Get a lot of compliments?
I’m thinking of growing it longer.
We can picture the dolls now. Which brings us to a nice segue: You’re from Australia, so for those of us in America, what’s the most Aussie thing about you?
Probably my accent. [Laughs] I can’t say that there’s anything more Australian than the way I talk, and—what else? I have to ask an American about that. My laid-back personality and stuff?
Do you like Vegemite? [Ed. note: Vegemite is a salty spread that many Aussies put on toast. Try at your own risk.]
I’m going to be honest… I don’t like Vegemite.
Really? You’re the first Australian I’ve talked to that’s ever said that.
[Laughs] I just never enjoyed it.
Shocker. We might have to revoke your Australian card for that one.
So you’re one for one in our Pop-Off competition, and now you’re up against Avril Lavigne and her song “Wish You Were Here.” Do you like her music?
It’s actually real funny because when I was younger, like eight or nine, I would have—she’s been out for a little while, yeah?
A little while.
I bet I was 10, but I used to sing her songs on Sing Star on Playstation.
Yeah like “Complicated” and all that stuff. It’s real funny that I’m up against her. I’m definitely a fan, so we’ll see how it goes, [but] I honestly wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t win, I’m not a sore loser or anything.
But what about the Simpsonizers? You have to get out the vote!
Obviously I’m very competitive, so we’ll see how it goes.
Your fans don’t want to let this go, they’re already tweeting like crazy.
No they don’t. [Laughs]
Any message for them as we go into the next round?
I just want to tell them all thank you for the love and support, thank you for voting. I really appreciate how dedicated they all are and hopefully we can keep it up.
What music are you listening to these days? Are you really working on a remix to The Weeknd?
Do you think that might surprise people?
He’s probably in my top 3 favorite artists at the moment. There’s a lot that people don’t now about me.
That’s good, that’s what we’re here for.
I’m a big fan of The Weeknd, big fan of Drake, too.
We’ve definitely been playing them both around the office—what’s your favorite song on Take Care?
I love the first track “Over My Dead Body.” I love “Shot For Me,” it’s real good. “The Real Her,” I’m a big fan of the slow stuff he’s put out, it’s a little different to what he’s previously done. I’m a big fan of moody music—I just remixed “Marvin’s Room.”
Any more covers or remixes lined up?
I’m going to be remixing [The Weeknd's] “What You Need” in the next few weeks. I don’t think it will let anyone down. I’m listening to those two artists definitely, a lot Jack Johnson also, a lot of chill vibey music that I grew up listening to.
To complete the Australian vibe.
CS: Yes ma’am!
You can vote for Cody Simpson or Avril Lavigne in our latest edition of the Popdust Pop-Off by clicking here.