In today’s blog post of my interview series, I’ll be interviewing the American pop artist Cody Johns (30). He was born in South Florida but then moved to Los Angeles at a young age to pursue a career in the show business. Cody might have started as a Vine superstar and also worked as a model and actor in movies like I Am Number Four (2011) and Summer Forever (2015). But today he is a successful content creator, YouTuber and musician. Cody started releasing his self-written and self-produced songs with his fans in summer 2017. He had his debut with the dreamy love song There You Are. So far, he has released more than 18 singles, lately 413 on August 28, a self-reflective uplifting anthem. Cody is happily married to his high-school sweetheart Alexys Johns, who is also a content creator herself. Together they run their YouTube Channel Cody & Lexy, which has over 344K subscribers today.
Cody Johns has always been a public figure I love to follow since my high-school years. With his genuine and friendly personality, he has won my sympathy from day one. I remember watching his funny Vine videos, especially the ones with Lele Pons and his brother Marcus Johns. I was so excited when I first saw that he is releasing music. Throughout these last three years, I can say that I enjoy listening to his tender vocals and mellow beat productions. My favorite songs are Holiday, 99 Civic, Day Off, Heaven, and Scared of the Future. So in this interview, we will chat about him, his quarantine lifestyle, and new music. So let’s start!
Dear Cody Johns welcome on erenblogs – Today’s Pop Music. I’m glad to have this opportunity to ask you some questions. Thank you so much for joining the interview series on my blog.
1. First, let’s get to know you better. How would you describe yourself and your music in 5 words?
Myself: Hopeful, Driven, Vulnerable, Trustworthy, Perfectionist
Music: Truthful, Genre-less, Storytelling, Inspiring, Catchy
2. What kind of music did you grow up with and which artists inspired you as a teenager?
My parents didn’t really let me listen to ‘modern pop’ on the radio when I was young. So I was stuck with oldies – which I fell in love with. Beach Boys, Al Green, Drifters, Patsy Cline, Ray Charles, Huey Lewis and the New, etc…. I would say the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’s falsetto vocals and arrangement inspired me with singing style and airy production.
3. Please name the first album you bought with your own money and the first concert you went on!
Wow, album? – I have no idea.
It was a Christian Music Festival in our hometown for Way FM radio. Had a bunch of great artists like Toby Mac, etc.
4. How would you end the sentence: In school I was …?
I was a pretty known kid in high school especially towards the end despite being homeschooled and having only two friends at the school freshman year. I think becoming elected Homecoming King was a result of two things. I was both a school athlete in multiple sports as well as a drama guy. I bounced back and forth between two completely different groups of kids. Then, I was also on the school news every morning that every single class watched daily LOL.
5. I’d say 2020 has been a horrible crazy year for the entire world due to the pandemic. How did you spent/are spending your quarantine days?
When it first hit, I was mostly doing projects around the yard – working with my hands. Was really fun, and now I’m getting the itch to do more things like that. As the months progressed, I got in my studio and started making a ton of music, whereas I was already sitting on a bunch of songs.
6. I’m interested in a typical quarantine day of yours, did you come up with new habits? In my case, I was definitely eating more than usual, and working out less, shame on me.
Sadly with gym closures, I was the same. And working out at home isn’t as motivated without the equipment especially for me as a lifter. I’ve thankfully been able to maintain well and eat healthily as we cooked at home for 30 days straight because we didn’t know the severity of COVID at the time.
7. What did you miss/ do miss the most during the quarantine?
I missed seeing friends, going out to dinner and the gym the most.
8. What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself while being isolated from the outside world?
That I don’t have control over the bad things that happen in the world. To not feel bad and roll with what God gives us in life. Looking at the positive perspective as difficult as it may be.
9. I wonder if there was a person, who made your quarantine days better? If yes, please tell us why!
My wife and I always keep each other balanced. We did fun projects together in the house, read more books and worked on creative endeavors. There were certainly tough moments of realization that the entertainment business was closed down and we couldn’t focus on our passions the same way.
10. How did you start singing and writing music? Has it always been a dream of yours or rather a new passion?
I played guitar and sang a little bit, but very low key when I was younger. I didn’t like singing in front of people at all. Then, when I was a senior in high school I was cast as ‘Kenickie’ in Grease. I was terrified that I had to sing 1 solo. Then when the performance came and I sang, a couple of people in the audience told me I was ‘pretty good’. And that changed my life.
I started writing songs shortly after I got the confidence to sing, period. I bought a laptop for college and started messing around on GarageBand.
11. How do you start writing a song? Any certain order for the lyrics, melodies, and production?
Some artists do it the same way every time, but I do it differently every time. Sometimes it starts with a chorus, sometimes the verse. What I do notice is if I work too much on the music production and don’t write out the song completely, the beat doesn’t go anywhere because the lyrics and writing are the substance behind it.
A good attack for me is: Chord Progression with 1 instrument –> Write Chorus –> Write the verses –> Track all the vocals –> finish production LAST.
12. Who are your dream collaborations? It can be any singer, songwriter, and producer.
Lana Del Rey & Russ
13. Let’s talk about your single Scared of the Future. As I mentioned before I really like this song, especially the lyrics and its production. I know it’s dedicated to the love of your life to your wife. In the lyrics, you’re scared of the future cause you don’t want your love to end. Since you don’t know the end of the story yet. So my question is: Would you read the book of your entire life today or rather stay sacred of the future and be open for the unknown?
Geat question, always be open to the unknown and just let life unfold. It’s like if you received a 10-million-dollar check or 10 Grammy’s at 25 years old. I think I’d get sad because I would rather EARN a huge living and awards over time. If you get it all too young, you peak early and probably won’t give the same effort moving forward knowing you’ve ‘maxed out’.
14. Your latest release 413 was released on the 28th of August this summer. You really open up about your life and reflect on your past. What inspired you to write this song? And is it scary for you to release personal songs? I think it’s like sharing your diary with the entire world. Also, what does the title 413 mean to you?
I used to be scared to release very personal songs, but now I absolutely love it. I had to ask myself recently if the music I am putting out is the same story over and over again that’s been told or said by someone else. The only way to separate myself is to tell my own story. What I love doing is releasing the spectrum of – A Super Catchy, almost generic Pop record and then a couple of weeks later, a very very raw, personal diary entry song with indie-strange production.
413 is one of my favorite verses Phil 4:13 and I wanted to craft a song around hyping yourself up and letting go of past troubles.
15. While I was on your Spotify artist page, I just saw that your brother Marcus also has one. Could you imagine to collaborate with him on a song? Do it for the fans, please!
He is a super talented songwriter and I love producing for him. I’ve done a couple for him in the past years. He’s quite the creative butterfly so maybe he’ll land in a place again where he’ll want to put something out. We’ll see!
16. You have 18 released songs on Spotify, which is a good number of tracks for an independent artist. What have you learned about yourself during this process as an artist? What do you do differently today than you did in the beginning?
I love releasing a lot of songs because it’s writing my story as an artist. Just like how someone’s Instagram page or tweets or YouTube videos tell a story about a creator. I want to release a ton of music so the people who find me can go down a rabbit hole and really know who I am and what I value.
17. Can we expect you to go on tour after the pandemic is over? I’m in love with your acoustic video of There You Are on your YouTube Channel. I also think that acoustic sessions with Cody Johns would sound great.
I want to build more momentum before a tour, but it definitely will happen. Thank you so much or listening!
Now It’s time for this or that:
Pizza or Sushi? Sushi
Spotify or Netflix? Spotify
Coffee or Tea? Coffee nowadays…
80s Disco Pop or Indie-Pop? Disco
Stadium tour or an acoustic session with few fans?
Stadium Tour, with a M&G acoustic with top fans.
Summer or Winter season? Summer
Piano or Guitar? NOOO. Piano I guess…. 😦
Florida or Los Angeles? NOOOOOOOOOOO. LA, then.
Vine or TikTok? Tik Tok
17. I know it’s a bad year but let’s focus on the positive things. What was your highlight of 2020 so far? Every little reason to celebrate counts, right?
Basically, I’ve let a lot of negative internal thoughts and demons die. I overthought way too much.
18. What are you most excited about to happen in 2021? what can you tell us about new projects, you’re working on right now?
I’m excited to continue to release real, raw music and hopefully see some fans on a tour. I am crafting an EP right now… I’ve said this before and decided against it to release singles, but this EP is super super raw and experimental sound-wise. I’m going to do my singles consistently still and sprinkle in some cool projects.
19. One question you want to ask me?
Yes, you’re in a world where there’s only one person on the planet that makes music. It’s one artist that is either alive or dead. who do you hope it is?
That’s a great question and so hard to answer. I think I have to pick a songwriter. So in this case, I want to say Julia Michaels since she wrote so many hit songs for other artists.
20. Additional fan question by @alexis.lovejoy: Where do you see yourself in 5 years in the music industry?
Still creating and loving what I’m doing regardless of the outcome.
Thank you, Cody Johns, so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you the best for your musical career and I’m looking forward to your next releases.
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