Scooter Braun's Burden (Cody Simpson) in Studio

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Because sometimes you can have nice things, Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson hooked up for a joint jam session in the studio with JB’s guitarist and musical director, Dan Kanter. And yes, I definitely knew what I was doing with that “hooked up” word choice.

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Whaddya think they played together? Justin’s “Hold Tight”? Cody’s “Surfboard” (board-board-board-board-board-board)? Some new, as-yet-untitled collaboration that won’t see the light of day until the end of the year? The shmoney dance? The possibilities are endless.

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Justin and Cody’s manager, Scooter Braun, even checked in on all this male bonding action via FaceTime. He probably wanted to make sure the boys were actually working and not just eating pizza and ice cream and watching R-rated movies.
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FOUR years ago, Brad and Angie Simpson made the biggest decision of their young family's life. Just months after a hotshot American music producer "discovered" their pre-teen son singing songs on YouTube, the Mermaid Waters couple relocated the entire clan to Los Angeles to allow him to follow his dream.

To say the move paid off would be an understatement. Cody Simpson is now a musical and marketing phenomenon. The seventeen year old has more than six million followers on Twitter, performs sold-out gigs around the globe and is on first-name terms with the world's biggest celebrities.

"It's had its challenges, nothing is as rosy as it looks from afar, but I've found the move has brought us closer together … I think it's also made us really cherish our friendships on the Gold Coast more than if we had stayed (because) you realize what you're missing."
"We're quite settled into that life now," Cody says, a recent move from claustrophobic Hollywood to cruisy Manhattan Beach making life even better. "We might have to fly across the world at short notice but we just go with the flow now. As a family we're never apart for more than two weeks and we definitely have great one on one time."

Angie and Brad have previously spoken of how tough it was when they first landed in LA. Living in a hotel for six months. Struggling to find a school for the kids. Adjusting to an incredibly fast-paced world.

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"That first year I was just going along for the ride but then my online profile started building and things have just come from that," she says. "I've just released my third single and am working with Radio Disney about having my own show."
Alli is Cody's sixteen year old sister. Like her famous sibling, and in many ways because of him, doors have opened since she rolled into the City of Angels.

"Cody is always encouraging her," Angie adds. "He goes out of his way to help her, which is really nice for a parent to see."

And what of Tom, who was six when this new life began?

"He's taking a whole different avenue," Angie says. "He loves science and space and is more into the intellectual side, which is really nice. Brad and I often fight over who gets to stay home and watch TV documentaries with Tom instead of having to go to a photo shoot."

With such a hectic schedule, the children have a tutor who also travels with them on tour. This will likely change when Alli turns 18, with Tom to return to "normal" schooling.

"What is a normal life though?" Angie asks.

"And why be normal?" Cody adds. "Be different. Do crazy things. You only live once."

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Brad is by his son's side at every concert, interview and recording session, with the rest of the troupe never far away.

"His management recently reinforced they want us there," Angie reveals. "They see it keeps him in a good head space and grounded."

"It's pretty much two full-time jobs for Angie and I," says Brad, who these days plays a passive role in his Gold Coast investment company. "It was definitely a shock seeing how much time this takes up."

Angie adds: "Cody knows what he wants from his career though … so we're slowly stepping back and letting him and his manager take control. We're always there if we need to step in but Cody is so mature for his age."

Angie finds it ironic that people might think her son's rise to stardom has increased his chances of being exposed to the wild side of life.

"It's almost the opposite," she declares when talk turns to drugs. "He's probably more sheltered than if was back here with his mates."

"That's so true," Alli says.

Cody adds: "If I did in public what (kids here) already do, it would be a scandal. That's what's going on a little bit with Bieber right now. He's not doing anything different to what people his age do but he's just in the limelight … I've kept myself out of drama but I'm not a dramatic person. Mum and Dad reinforce that I need to stay humble and grounded but I believe that too. I really care about the way people perceive me."

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The Simpsons won't be back living on the Coast next year. Cody's shot at stardom has gone too well for that.

For the foreseeable future the US is home and, for better or worse, the longer they're there, the stronger that connection grows.

"We still contemplate the future but you get overwhelmed if you think too much about it," Angie says. "Brad and my lives are still back here … but we just choose not to think too far ahead."

As for her son, he knows just one thing.

"More and more every day I realise what Mum and Dad did for me by making the move," Cody says. "I could easily have been born into a family that didn't want to support the move and I'll always be grateful for that."

This is a Cody Simpson post.