Alli Simpson followed her brother Cody Simpson (the squeaky-clean surfer version of Justin Bieber) to Los Angeles two years ago, when her family relocated from Australia. Now, the former competitive swimmer wants to make her own way into the spotlight. She’s just released her third single, “Guilty;” stars in a series of YouTube workout videos for AwesomeFitness; and already works as the face of a beauty brand—she’s ambassador for imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails and KISS Lashes. We caught up with the 16-year-old multi-hyphenate during her recent visit to Toronto.
Who do you admire most and why? Probably my mom and dad because both of them inspire me every day.
How would you describe your default mood? It depends on the day. I can be really crazy and energetic, or kind of mellow, or moody and weird. But I try to keep it chill all the time.
What’s the one food you absolutely refuse to eat? Mushrooms. They freak me out. I just don’t understand why they’re a food.
How would you fritter away a lazy Sunday? Listening to music on the beach, or staying in my bed and reading a book or writing.
What quality or talent do you envy in others? Singing like Beyoncé and Mariah Carey, or Ariana Grande. I know you can accomplish that with a lot of vocal training. My goal is to sing like that.
If you had to change jobs tomorrow, what would you do? I think it would be really cool to be a fashion designer and have my own clothing line.
Salty or sweet? Sweet.
Cat or dog? Dog, for sure. It’s not even a question.
What part of your day do you dread the most? Getting out of bed.
What’s your biggest fashion regret? When I first got into the industry—I was probably 13—I had absolutely no idea about fashion. I was big into sports, so I was just wearing my denim shorts and T-shirts from my swim club every day. But then I saw people at events wearing nice stuff and high heels and I started freaking out. I think it’s funny to look back and think, wow, I really had no idea [how to dress]. It’s cool to see that I’ve grown from that.
What book have you read more than once? The Perks of Being a Wallflower. One of my best friends recommended it and I’ve thanked him every day since. I feel it’s so relatable to teens and it’s all about real issues. The book is almost like a journal. I really connected with it.
What do you consider to be most sacred in life? Family and love.
If you overheard someone talking about you, what do you hope they’d say? Just that I was a nice person. That’s all I really care about. I want to put out positive vibes.