We had the good fortune of connecting with Codi Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Codi, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
This is a very interesting question because there is no real answer. When you know ,you know. For me personally I have to fight the urge to give up everyday. As an artist, you give a lot. You give more than anyone will ever know. There’s a lot of giving with not a lot of pay off and it can sometimes feel like “this isn’t lucrative to me, why am I still doing this?”. I personally put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to age. Since we do live in the era of social media we are constantly looking at other people and comparing lives. “If they did __ by the time they were 21, then I should be much further along by now”. It’s hard for me to be 28 and not think about all the positions I should be in right now. The worst thought is “if __ was going to happen, it would have happened by now” meanwhile there are people that are the same age as me that are much further behind. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We start kindergarten around the same age and keep that group until we graduate. It’s age based. If you’re __ your should be in __ grade. But after we graduate all of our trajectories will be different because real life happens and nothing feels linear anymore. Life is hard and we need to remember to give ourselves some grace. The truth is, our lives will re-invent itself ten times over. We have more power than we think. And when something isn’t serving us anymore and we feel it in our hearts…maybe it is time to try something new. But it ain’t over till it’s over.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a self proclaimed pop star singing sensation! I am the son of pop culture. Pop music is a very vague umbrella. It could be anything. It really gives me the freedom to be who I want. I could talk about what sets me apart but being an artist really is honestly as simple as taste at the end of the day. And no one’s is exactly the same. It’s not even really about being the best. It’s just taste and it will come out in every decision you make, Why did you choose this color outfit instead of the other one? Why did you use this word for a lyric instead of a different one? Why did you choose this beat? Why did you choose that synth? Why did you choose that shoe to perform in? These decisions are you and create the DNA of you. My most proud accomplishment is the fact that I have written every single last lyric that I have ever sang. When I came into this I was not a natural song writer but who else was going to write for me? I listen to some of my songs and I do feel like they are just as good as the songs that have eight songwriters. Obviously being a black gay man in pop isn’t the easiest. I wish I could even say I have over come the challenges. I haven’t. I just get up to do it because it’s really the only thing I have that I believe in. When you have a feeling like that you just hold onto it for dear life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would love to sit here and say I’m particular about the things I do. But I’m so not that! I really don’t care what we do as long as we can go out dancing! I don’t even care where!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The book that is getting me across the finish line currently is a book called ‘The Untethered Soul’. I’m going to give as disclaimer though, it’s a lot of information at once. You’re going to have to do a lot of self work. I have had this book for over a year and I’m still struggling to finish. It’s basically a book about doing the work to undo your traumas and giving you the tools to help serve you mentally so you recognize when these things come to the surface.