Cody Simpson and Justin Bieber’s duets album is on a “backburner” and no firm release is expected “anytime soon,” while the Australian musician fine-tunes his sound and image as an indie artist, Rolling Stones reports.
The ex-tourmates, who are friends, had been expected to release an acoustic duets album in November. That shifted to the release of the low-fi single “Home To Mama,” which Cody revealed was about both artists’ then breakups with their respective girlfriends — actress-singer Selena Gomez and model Gigi Hadid.
Fans eager for Justin and Cody’s duets collaboration were recently given a surprise peak at a rehearsal of a new song, courtesy of a Keek video posted by Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, last week.
But, for now, there is nothing more expected from the duo’s writing sessions while Cody settles into newfound musical freedom after exiting his record deal with Atlantic Records.
His appropriately named new album, Free, is loosely marked for a summer release, with five songs debuting within the next two months.
As for Justin, the comeback superstar is reportedly working on his highly anticipated new album with Def Jam Records founder and legendary producer, Rick Rubin.
News of the duo’s deferred duets album comes amid the indie release of Simpson’s new, reggae-leaning song — “Flowers,” which is currently streaming at SoundCloud.
With simple but effective artwork provided by songstress friend Miley Cyrus, Simpson told Rolling Stone he is set to play his first live acoustic performance as a “free” artist — which will presumably include “Flower” — on Good Morning America this Friday. The mission? “Just going to play and jam out.”
Of his new sound and freedom as an indie artist, the recently turned 18-year-old told the music publication, “It’s the first time I’ve had the creative freedom to do what I want.”
He added, “I needed the independence. [The album process] has been very reflective of that.”
Simpson worked with Cisco Adler (Whitestarr, Shwayze) in Malibu after leaving Atlantic, and has reportedly upgraded his old “synth- and bass-heavy dance pop” sound to “Jack Johnson-esque acoustic beach pop.”
Cody reveals the process of bringing the album together “just came together so easily.” He also noted he “wouldn’t call [“Flower”] it necessarily a single.”
For her part, Cyrus’ artwork for “Flower” was submitted while Simpson readied his music for iTunes.
“I told her where I was headed, and she was stoked,” Simpson says of Miley’s help. “I really admire how she’s really unorthodox and fun.”
Cyrus tells Rolling Stone that when she was told Cody needed a picture quickly, she ran to her living room and grabbed a dying flower.
“I shot it on some Polaroids, and then instead of complicating things, I said f*** it, I’m just going to shoot this shit on an iPhone.”
She adds that she was “just trying to do something simple for him” to match the mood of the song and shift people’s perception of Simpson.
“I just wanted something where people didn’t have a stereotypical idea of what he was,” Cyrus explained, “and could just look at the song for what it is, because it’s a f****** epic song.”
Describing Simpson, who she met at Art Basel, as a “super nice dude and super f****** talented,” she went on to say that he is “not what you expect him to be.” It’s revealed that the musician is also going to be getting involved with Cyrus’ charity, which helps homeless youth.
For those missing Cody and Justin’s music together, click play on the rehearsal jam below.