For millions of teenage girls around the globe, nothing would be better than hearing a duet by Cody Simpson and Justin Bieber.
And it will most likely happen.
As soon as the two pals stop playing table tennis.
“We haven’t finished the track, yet,” Simpson, age 15, said during a recent phone interview. “Last time (in the recording studio) we got caught up on the ping-pong table.”
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The Australian, with nearly 2 million Twitter followers, 2.5 million Facebook “likes” and more than 100 million YouTube views, laughed.
“We’re still teenagers like that,” Simpson continued. “We’re very dedicated to our music, but we’re also very dedicated to ping-pong.”
He then admitted Bieber, who’s two years older, beat him.
But the younger, rising pop star insisted a rematch is in the works.
The two see each other often.
Simpson recently inked a deal with Bieber’s longtime manager Scooter Braun.
Like Bieber, Simpson, who performs Friday at the Ritz Ybor, began his career as a child YouTube sensation.
In August of 2008 he started posting videos of himself performing Justin Timberlake, Jason Mraz and The Jacksons covers, as well as some originals.
Simpson sang and strummed guitar.
Producer Shawn Campbell was among the millions who took notice, leading to a collaboration and Simpson signing with Atlantic Records.
The famed label released the teen’s debut single, “iYiYi,” featuring Miami rapper Flo Rida.
Now living in Southern California, Simpson is working on his first full-length album.
On Valentine’s Day he released a live acoustic video of himself performing his new song “So Listen.”
The final version will feature a verse by Tallahassee-born rapper T-Pain.
“We were working over the holidays back in Los Angeles and in March we’ll go back to finish up after the tour,” Simpson said.
He described the as-yet-unreleased version of “So Listen” as having “that new dub-step feel like a lot of new music coming out. It will have that element and be one of the first to incorporate that into pop music.”
Despite not being old enough to legally drive solo in most states, Simpson insisted he’s penning plenty of material on his own for the upcoming album.
“I think it’s important I write most of my music because I like to make sure everything I’m singing is coming straight from the heart,” he said. “I want to create a
certain sound on this album that’s definitely pop but with some different sides to pop music.”
Regardless of the success of Simpson’s next release his second EP, 2011’s “Coast to Coast” reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 the Bieber comparisons are likely to continue.
“Honestly, it’s something I laugh about,” Simpson said. “What people haven’t understood is Justin and I work on music together and there’s no animosity between us.”
He added, “Justin has been an amazing supporter of me and I’m a big fan of him but I do want to be able to establish my own sound and own artistry and image and name and think I’m definitely working hard at that this year.”
Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Visit heraldbuzzworthy.blogspot.com.
IF YOU GO
What: Cody Simpson with Jessica Jarrell
Where: The Ritz Ybor, 1503 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa
When: 7 p.m. Feb. 24
Information: 813-740-2446 or www.ticketmaster.com.