NEW YORK – Pop sensation Cody Simpson has joined forces with O.A.R. singer Marc Roberge to sing “Reach Up,” the anthem for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. The 18-year-old heartthrob talked to us about singing on the special song, his transition from pre-teen pop star to indie artist, and his recent breakup with model Gigi Hadid.
FOX411: Tell us about the song “Reach Up.”
Cody Simpson: Actually Marc from O.A.R came to me when we had dinner before the opportunity came about to meet for the first time and talk music and stuff. Then he came to me with Special Olympics and Coca-Cola and everyone presented the opportunity to me. It was a song that he had written, basically a song of his from O.A.R., and said, “Hey, do you just want to jump on a verse? It’s for this cause and what not.” I was psyched to be a part of it. I love lending a hand or voice or anything for good.
FOX411: Is it difficult to handle the spotlight at times?
Simpson: Honestly, I try to keep as low key as possible. It’s all about balance. I just try to focus on my music and my hobbies and travel and play my gigs and enjoy every day, and try not to focus too much on other people’s opinions or things like that. I’m a normal 18 year old dude at the end of the day. t the end of the day, all the press stuff, all the social media it doesn’t really exist it’s just like magic dust; it’s words on a screen. It’s not here right now. The only thing that really matters is here right now. People say stupid things because you know they’re 12 years old and they feel like it’s funny or something and they meet you in person and they actually, you know, admire you. You have to see it from an outer perspective.
FOX411: Miley Cyrus created the artwork for your new single, “Flower.” How did that collaboration begin?
Simpson: I played her the song when I was in Nashville and we were just hanging out and becoming mates and I played her that song and she was like, “Hey, I love where you’re going and if you need any help just let me know. So, literally an hour before we were supposed to throw the song up on iTunes they were like, “We need single artwork!” I totally forgot. So, I gave her a call and she was down to go into a garden and take some photos and send me some designs right back. She’s super rad.
FOX411: You were one of the most tweeted about artists at SXSW this year. What do you attribute that to?
Simpson: Honestly, I have no idea. I just went down and played a couple gigs. It was the first time performing my new music. My first independent record’s coming out next month so I played all music off of that, off of “Free.” I guess people were psyched on it. I don’t know. I’m just playing a bunch of guitar and really coming into my own as a musician. This album process was capturing a moment in my life that is sort of a transitional process in becoming a guitar player, you know becoming this musician I always imagine myself becoming and it’s great.
FOX411: On Twitter your female fans are beyond happy you’re single again. Are you opposed to dating a non-celeb?
Simpson: I would actually prefer that. When two people are in the public eye it almost multiplies like 10 times over, and I was in a relationship. I met my ex-girlfriend about two years ago and we started finding success at the same time and it became something kind of insane for me. I try with that stuff to be as low-key as possible. I actually prefer that. I like a girl that’s cool and low-key and I can listen to music with.