You’d never guess that performing music wasn’t always singer-songwriter Cody Ballentine’s endgame; however, the ASU alum originally studied to be an actor.
It was in a film class his sophomore year that he met Brad Davis, his now inseparable best friend whom, years later, would help him develop his music career and become his manager. “I was landing roles in commercials, TV and film but knew I also had an interest in getting recognized for my music abilities,” Ballentine says.
A fan of artists like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke, Ballentine set out to make pop music that paid tribute to a more soulful style.
While his music falls into the pop/R&B genre, his tracks largely make use of electronic and dance elements as well.
His songs – like “Supernova Love,” “Mood,” “Keep Lovin’ You,” and “Remember My Name” – center around love, relationships and having a good time.
Ballentine says his biggest goal is to create songs that authentically affect his audience.
“I just want people to feel something, whether that be laughing with their friends and having fun or crying because they miss someone,” Ballentine says.
He started posting 15-second videos of himself performing cover songs on social media and the overwhelming support from his followers prompted him to make the transition from acting to singing.
Nearly six years later, the Mesa native found himself playing his first hometown show last December at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre, the same venue where he grew up attending shows.
While the house was packed with people cheering on his every dance move and high note, he admits being on stage at the sentimental venue wasn’t as surreal as he expected.
“I have always pictured myself playing that stage at some point since the first show I saw there, so in a bizarre way, it felt like I had already been up there before,” he says. “The power of visualizing your dreams, I guess.”
Davis, on the other hand, describes the preparation for the show as a pure adrenaline rush. “We wanted everyone who attended to leave his show knowing that someday soon, they will boast that they saw him at his first hometown show,” he says.
“This was Cody’s first Arizona show and his most important because it was for family, friends and a community that launched him.”
While Davis is excited about the future, he admits he would’ve never guessed he’d be working with Ballentine, given the paths they were on when they first met. “It has been a dream to sync lives with (my) best friend on a business level,” he says. “It all starts with a foundation of mutual respect, trust and loyalty that we have been laying since our days at ASU.”
Ballentine, who lives in Los Angeles, is set to finish his first EP this year and plans to continue performing and eventually tour on a wider scale. His sage advice for student performers is simple: Do what you love.
“Find your passion and keep chasing it, no matter what anyone says,” he says.
“At the end of the day, if you’re playing in front of your friends at a barbecue or playing stadiums all over the world, you’re doing what you love and that’s all that really matters.”
To stay up to date with Cody’s music, visit codyballentine.com.