Cody Simpson says that there are "only a certain few (people) I like to work with" in the studio as he continues to put together his debut album. But one of those is Justin Bieber, a match that certainly seems made in pop heaven.
"We have a bunch of ideas floating around at the moment," Simpson, who's currently on the road on his Welcome To Paradise Tour, tells Billboard.com. "He just hit me up one time -- 'OK, come into the studio tonight.' I dropped by and it was artist to artist...and you play some of the stuff you've been working on and Justin played me a lot of the stuff on his upcoming album. It has to be the right song, and whether or not we sing on it together or whether I write a song for his album or he writes a song for mine, I don't know. But we've been working together, and the fans are very excited."
In Simpson's case, most are just as excited by the prospect of finally getting a full-length album after the Australian-born singer's two EPs and hits such as "iYiYi," "All Day" and "On My Mind." And he's feeling much the same way.
"The last two years of hard work, it's all really been leading up to this album, and I am excited to get it out," Simpson acknowledges. "But at the same time I want to take my time and really perfect it before it comes out. I'm a big perfectionist, and I like to make sure everything 120 percent, from the production to the vocal performance to the lyrics, the melody and everything. There's a lot of different things to think about. I just want to take my time and make sure everything's perfect in my eyes before i really put it out and show the world what we have coming for them."
Simpson has been recording in Los Angeles, where he now makes his home, and also working with Ryan Tedder, Dr. Luke and Nasri Tony Atweh, who was also part of last year's "Coast to Coast." Simpson says the set is "coming along amazing," while the sound is "a little more mature than what I've released previously. I'm working a lot with my acoustic guitar, and we're using a lot of real instruments. I'm inspired by Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz-style music as well a lot of Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown music. So we're going to find a great mix there and see where it goes."
Simpson plans to return to the studio in early March, hopefully for one final run before he's ready to call it a wrap. "If you want to ask me for a date for the album, it's a very difficult question for me," he says. "We're still working on it. But my best guess is May or June sometime."
He is, however, giving live audiences a test of the album by performing its planned first single, "Listen," which Simpson hopes to release next month, featuring a guest rap by T-Pain. "It should be a dope track," Simpson reports. It originally started as a guitar idea, and we decided we wanted to produce the whole thing up. It's got a lot of dubstep elements to it. I wanted to do something a lot of people would be surprised with me putting out. I love being unpredictable and unexpected. I'm excited for it to come out...and then the rest of the new (songs), too."
Simpson's tour wraps up on Sunday (Feb. 26) at the Walt Disney World House of Blues in Florida.