Interview: "I'm Alive 4 U" - Cody J. Louis
“I’m Alive 4 U” feels like an anthem of living in service of others, of always being able to lend a helping hand or a kind ear whenever needed. There is enough ugliness in this world, we don’t need to add to it – this tune reminds the listener of the purity that still exists within it. What is the story behind this song, and what inspired you to write it?
Cody: Thanks for describing the song so beautifully! It makes me happy to hear that this is the feeling you get while listening to the song. I wrote this in 2020 when the pandemic started and it was the first time I experienced calmness in my mind. When I was 14 I was having suicidal thoughts because of my life at that moment. High school was not very kind to me. I knew I wanted to become an artist my whole life, and that was the only thing that kept me going besides my family. I kind of made this pact with myself one night that even if I don’t want to live for myself, I can live for my family, my future self, and all the people that I haven’t met yet. This is why some of the lyrics say “I’m not living for myself, gave my whole life to someone else, all the people in the world. I’m alive for you”. Now that I’m not living like that anymore I can see that it’s a pretty unhealthy way of living, but it helped me get through high school.
I see that you’re very involved in outreach through UNICEF and causes such as World Children’s Day. How have these pursuits changed your worldview and influenced your approach to your music?
Cody: Working with UNICEF was amazing. I got to work on causes that involved the rights of the child and this helped me with a lot of self-reflection. I always assumed that the real big problems were happening in countries 7000 miles from here. But even in your own country a lot of injustice is happening. Not to invalidate any of my own problems, but it helped me see them lighter and be extremely thankful for the life that I have. I’m not sure if my approach to music changed because of this. Since I was little I always wrote songs about the world (thanks to Michael Jackson). But it did make me more confident to use my voice.
As an artist, do you find it ‘risky’ to incorporate deeper meanings into your music? “I’m Alive 4 U” doesn’t carry the stereotypical, ‘lighter’ messages that are often attributed to the pop genre.
Cody: Not at all, no. But I do know that blatantly writing about heavy subjects can be disturbing so I always try to find a way to write a song in a way that the casual listener thinks it’s a ‘light’ pop song. Take this song as an example! It’s about suicide and living in service of others, but it could also just be a lovely song about, like you said, a helping hand or a kind ear. I know I did my job right when people say they can resonate with the lyrics while being sad, but also when they’re happy.
What was it like at Eurovision?? I imagine that it had to be surreal, particularly as it was your first-time onstage performance!
Cody: Yes it was surreal, terrifying and the most fun weeks of last year. Eurovision is such a production… everything needs to be on point. And that terrified me in the beginning. But the show really must go on, and there is not a lot of time, so you kind of don’t have the time to process what you’re feeling. Which in this case, was a good thing. It really set the tone for me though...hopefully, I get to perform my own songs in arenas as soon as possible. I liked it a lot.
Congratulations on joining The Orchard/Sony Music Entertainment! That’s quite an accomplishment! How has your experience been thus far?
Cody: Thank you so much! It’s a lot! Suddenly you are part of the ‘business’ side of things. I have my own label under them, so I’m still doing pretty much everything on my own and I didn’t know anything about releasing music, so I’m learning a lot at the moment which is kind of fun!
What are your future plans for your musical journey, what’s coming next for you?
Cody: I’m ambitious, so in my mind, I’m already busy with booking the Superbowl halftime show haha. But for now, I’m working on finishing my debut album. I’m thinking of releasing 2-3 more singles, introducing them to radio, and then releasing an EP somewhere next year. 2023 will be my year!
Interviewed By Vanessa Siebrass