Cody Frost is Just Warming Up

And she’s got the new music to prove it.

Cody Frost isn’t like anyone else, and thus her music isn’t like anyone’s either. Just take a listen to her debut EP “It’s Not Real” and you’ll see what we mean. From northern England, 23-year-old Frost’s art is a uniquely emotive musical vignette of what it means to be growing up in a small town in 2021. It’s also versatile enough that each song feels a bit like trying a different drug (not that I’d know), taking you on an emotional rollercoaster that spans from melancholic to animatedly frustrated and beyond.

She’s quickly become one of our new favorite artists to have emerged in the past year (or whatever—time isn’t real anymore), and thus we chatted with the rising star over zoom to get to know her better.

Are you in London right now? Or where are you based?

So I’m from the north of England. Like, I feel like nobody can understand me either. I was in New York and I was like, does anybody recognize my accent? Because I sound like I’m from Game of Thrones. Nobody got it. I think up north there are so many different accents around here, like from one town to the next.

How has being from up there affected you musically? 

Just in general, the music scene is a bit more underground up here. There’s a lot of alternative culture and alternative kids, and there are emos everywhere. There’s such a revival happening. I find that alternative subcultures rise in times of stress or when people are struggling with money and stuff. Because you have to make your own clothes and DIY it. So I’m heavily influenced by that growing up, coming from a lower-class family. 

I’ve always really loved the idea of an artist that’s growing quite popular but stays in their hometown. 

I think for me, as I go through phases of loving my small town and not loving it…well, a lot of political things happen here that I’m not into. So getting out into a bigger city would probably benefit me in a way, by being around people that are like-minded. But equally, I also like being the only person who walks through the town center that looks like me. Eventually I’d like to live in Manchester, which is our nearest city, but I like being at home for the moment. 

Can you describe sort of “breaking out” despite being from such a small town? 

So for like five years, I didn’t have any music out. Well, I guess for my whole life I hadn’t. And that’s because I was still developing my writing style. I needed to learn about myself and become an adult. And now finally to have people listening to my music, I don’t even know how to comprehend it because it’s almost like I’m seeing numbers, but I haven’t been able to tour my own music yet. I’ve done performances, but they’re not anything like what it will be like in the future. I know the numbers are good, but like, even ten people listening to it would be good. 

Yeah, so like for five years I didn’t have any music out. Well, so like my whole life I have not had official music out, and that was because I was like developing my writing style. And also like before that I was only doing YouTube covers and busking. Um, and then I needed like a moment, um, to like learn about myself and to become adult and there’s so much going on. So we like, didn’t start immediately putting stuff out, I wanted to like develop first, and now finally to have people listen to my music is like a whole different, I don’t even know how to comprehend it because it’s almost like I’m seeing numbers, but like I haven’t been able to actually like tour my own music yet. So I don’t actually know what the reactions would be like, because like, although I’ve done performances, they’re not going to be anything like what it would be in the future. So yeah, it’s just like at the minute I’m just seeing numbers, but I don’t, I’ve got no gauge of like how big it is or anything like that — I know it’s good, but like 10 people listening to it would be good. 

A lot of artists aren’t able to feel it until they see the live crowd. 

Yeah. I’m super excited to do a live show finally, because I feel like for ages, I say it all the time but I feel like I was expressing what I thought through other people’s words and nobody ever actually got to like, hear what I had to say and like to see it. If somebody was singing my song back to me, that would just be fucking insane, I don’t even know how I would…I think I’d cry. 

Your EP is now out, and I’m wondering if you could talk a bit about the themes you found yourself writing about. 

It mainly focuses on my mental health, because I find it really hard when I’m writing a song to write anything other than what I’m feeling in that moment. And I find it hard to lie, so everything I’ve written down is the total truth. I got a diagnosis of ADHD super late, and you kind of mourn the person you could have been if you were medicated earlier. So I had to deal with that, but also comes to terms with the fact that I’ve had depression my whole life, I’ve had anxiety my whole life, and I needed to write about my experiences in a way that didn’t seem like I was romanticizing it but putting it literally. 

The first song I released was about my experience working at an awful job that I hated. Everyone was like, “Why are you working here? Aren’t you famous?” And I was like, “No, I’m still poor. Leave me alone.” A lot of people didn’t realize that I still had to work and make money. And I didn’t grow up in an affluent background or anything like that. So it’s basically about coming to terms with my own brain. 

I don’t mean to ask if you are thankful to have depression or ADHD, but have you potentially thought about how these things have also fueled you as an artist? 

It was good to finally know about my ADHD, because apparently, we feel our emotions very literally. If you’re in pain emotionally, you can feel if physically inside. And I feel like that about music. Before being a musician, I’m a fan of music. I don’t think a lot of people will be able to feel music as much as I do. I can’t explain it, and it sounds so lame when I say it out loud, but I just can’t say it without sounding nerdy. Having ADHD enables me to see things in a way that other people might not be able to. I’m thankful for it in that way. It fucks up everything about my life at the same time, but it brings perspective that other people don’t have. In a way I’m grateful for it and it definitely keeps me humble. 

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