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Cody Frost: Rise and fall, then rise again

It’s not often that the alternative scene bats an eyelid at a mainstream music reality show, but Cody Frost was more than an exception to the rule. After her debut on the UK’s iteration of The Voice, Frost was immediately lauded by the alternative press with comparisons to her musical heroes, continuing to rock up on the small screen week after week with grit in her rockstar performances. But when it was over, and all the celebrities went home, she was still just a teenage girl on her own again, navigating through leaving school, keeping friends and moving out. Now, after some much-needed time away, Frost has finally returned with original music to say what she’s always wanted to say and to be who she’s always wanted to be. We took some time out with Cody to measure her heartbeat as she moves into this next chapter.

How have the last few years have been for you?

After The Voice, it was like, I had to get my head back down to earth and sort my life out a little bit. I’d only just turned 18 as well, so I’d not really lived as an adult either. And so I had to get a job, I moved out and for the whole time, since I stopped doing The Voice, I met my producer and we’ve been writing since then. But, yeah, it definitely was like, I was a bit shaken when I first came off it. I’ve needed this time to learn a lot about myself, but also to start with tattooing and stuff, because music and tattooing are both equally important to me. So I wanted to take time to do that as well.

Do you get people saying to you still, “Oh, you’re Cody from The Voice!” or does that happen less now?

It happens less but every time I start to gain interest again, obviously it does come back. It’s fine. I mean, it was a part of my life anyway, so it’d be silly to just pretend it didn’t happen. But it definitely gets mentioned still. I shaved my hair off and people still know who I am.

You said you’ve been writing for a few years. Do the songs you’ve written before still feel as relevant to you now as they did then?

Some of these songs, like ‘verbal warnings’, that’s probably about three or four years old. But I think I find, when other people listen to them, they do take on a new meaning. Every time I go back to them, they still have relevance. ‘HIGH/BYE’ is quite recent, but the next song that I’m going to be releasing is one of those that is more general. It applies to anybody that wants it, if you know what I mean? But the topics that I talk about as well are not necessarily…They’re very personal experiences to me, but I’m happy for people to hear them and experience them a different way.

You grew up on alternative music – do you see yourself playing the alternative festivals or the mainstream ones?

I have definitely always dreamed of being part of the alternative scene. I don’t know if what I’ve got coming out right now will do that yet, but I definitely want to go back to my roots a lot more in the future. We’re definitely working on it. A lot of the other festivals might be bigger, but if it was something more alternative, it would mean more to me, because there’d be bands there that I love. I definitely think as well, my live performances might end up being a little bit heavier.

What’s kept you going throughout this time? You’ve been in that mainstream realm, working with huge names, huge artists, and then you came out of it and you were still Cody back in the real world.

I want to prove to everybody that, this sounds so cliche, mainly to myself – I want to prove that I can do things. I’ll literally be laid in bed sometimes, thinking like, “I can’t.” So proving that I can to all the people that used to say that I was stupid and slow and not good at learning. I always just got told that being a musician wasn’t a real career and that you shouldn’t aim for it. And it’s just made me bitter about it. But also the idea of getting to perform my songs and connect with actual people that would understand exactly what I’m saying because for so long, I felt like nobody ever actually heard my opinion. It blows my mind that people can even listen to my music. And it doesn’t feel real, but that is the main thing that I’ve always wanted, just somebody to say, “Oh, I liked your song,” or “I love this lyric in your song.” I can’t tell you how cool it is. For so long I’ve been conveying what I thought through other people’s words. And now I finally feel like it’s so weird that other people actually like what I’ve done as well. That’s definitely what’s kept me going.