A child star spotted strumming away on YouTube when he was just 12 years old, Cody Simpson was soon touring with Justin Bieber and recording with Flo Rida and seemed destined for a glittering career as a popstar, until he changed direction and re-invented himself as a soulful, bluesy singer-songwriter in his late teens. Growing up on Australia's Gold Coast, Simpson was a talented swimmer, ranked as the best in his age group in the country, but he also took to music at a young age and by seven was writing songs. When he started uploading covers of Justin Timberlake and Jason Mraz songs to YouTube a few years later, the views started notching up and on his 13th birthday Simpson flew to New York for the first time to sign a record deal with Atlantic Records. His debut album 'Paradise' went on to make the US top 30 in 2012 and singles 'iYiY' and 'On My Mind' set him up as a blue-eyed, summer-pop, teen heart-throb and the 15-year-old Simpson became the opening act on Bieber's Believe tour of America and Europe. Reggae star Ziggy Marley and rapper Asher Roth featured on his second album 'Surfers Paradise' which reached number ten in the US and Simpson went on to appear on the TV series 'Dancing With the Stars' in 2014 and set out on his first acoustic tour. Determined to break free from the image of an adolescent pop idol, Simpson split with Atlantic over artistic differences and set about crafting a sun-kissed, folk-blues sound inspired by his heroes Jack Johnson, John Mayer and Bob Marley. His guitar playing improved dramatically and he began working with band The Tide as his mellow, sugar-sweet songs grew into swaggering, soft rock grooves and funky, acoustic, surfer ballads on his independently released third album 'Free' in 2015.