Simpson helped curate the playlist to celebrate the UN's International Day of Happiness
He will mark the day by performing at the SXSW festival
Fans are encouraged to share the songs that make them happy
Editor’s Note: In honor of the UN’s International Day of Happiness, CNN’s Project Happy will explore what happiness means today, dive deep into the different ways we pursue it and offer up some tools to help make your life better. Come join us and #gethappy!
Cody Simpson just wants to make the world happy.
That’s why the Australian-born pop star is in Austin, Texas, this week, where he will be performing at a United Nations/MixRadio brunch at the SXSW festival.
Simpson, 18, is the spokesman for the #HappySoundsLike playlist, promoting the U.N.’s International Day of Happiness on Friday, March 20. The singer and other celebs selected tracks for the playlist.
“There is honestly nothing I can think of that I like to do more than make other people happy through live music,” said Simpson, who will perform a few acoustic tracks at the SXSW brunch.
The International Day of Happiness is a global celebration that came about after the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2011 recognizing happiness as a “fundamental human goal.” The observation was decreed in 2012 after the first U.N. conference on happiness, and the first Day of Happiness was held on March 20, 2013.
Simpson said it makes sense to have music as such an important part of the day.
“I want to be able to share a message of happiness,” the singer said. “I think music is such an escape for people.”
He selected Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” for the playlist. Britney Spears selected Prince’s “Kiss,” and Pharrell picked Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place.” Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, Charlize Theron, John Legend and James Blunt are also among those taking part.
Simpson recently released a cover of Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and said the legendary reggae artist is a personal inspiration.
“The majority of music today has no substance,” said Simpson, who is an independent artist. “You want to be able to feel something true.”
As for what makes Simpson the happiest (other than music, of course), he said it’s the simple things like relaxing with his family and just slowing down.
“Happiness is kind of taken from you if your mind is too busy,” he said. “Be present in that moment.”
Fans are being encouraged to post the song that makes them the happiest using the social media hashtag #HappySoundsLike.