As a kid growing up on Australia's sun-drenched Gold Coast, Cody Simpson used to watch his father play guitar and sing for friends and family at parties and backyard barbecues. Seeing how music brought people together, Cody asked for his own guitar and lessons at the age of seven. After learning a few chords from his teacher, Cody wrote his first song. "It was about putting a diaper on a chicken," he says with a laugh. "Who knows what my seven-year-old brain was thinking?"
Cody's parents encouraged him to keep singing and practicing his guitar. By age 12, he began posting YouTube videos of himself performing covers of songs by artists who inspired him, including Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz, and The Jacksons. Search for Cody on YouTube and there he is: An appealing blonde 12-year-old accompanying himself on guitar while knocking out stellar covers of "Cry Me A River," "I'm Yours," and "I Want You Back." Cody's YouTube Channel, which has been active since August 2008, now boasts nearly 4.5 million views and has more than 42,000 subscribers.
In 2009, Cody received a message through his YouTube Channel from songwriter and producer Shawn Campbell (Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Ciara) expressing interest in meeting him. Cody and his father flew to the U.S. to meet Campbell and write and record some tracks. In April 2010, Cody signed with Atlantic Records, which is releasing his irresistible rhythmic pop single "iYiYi" featuring Flo Rida on June 1st. "Flo and I worked with some amazing people including Colby O'Donis, Bei Major and DJ FrankE on my debut single" Cody says. "We came up with something really catchy. And I think everyone can relate to the lyrics. The song is about liking a girl and missing her when she's not around. Who hasn't been through that?"