Composing A Dream

Composer Cody Fry find triumph in his passion for music. Photo by Tyler Scott


Grace Bone

 At one point or another, many people daydream about being famous, sharing their talents with the world. Yet, most people don’t get to live out that dream, except for Cody Fry, a singer-songwriter of his own style, what he calls “orchestral pop.”

Fry grew up in Northfield, Illinois with a musical family. His dad, Gary, wrote jingles for commercials, such as McDonald’s, Nintendo, and other big companies. At one point Gary realized that his four kids would be a perfect fit to sing in the jingles. Cody and his three sisters experienced making music from a young age while also having access to a professional home studio. Fry refers to these musical experiences as “winning the lottery as a kid.”

As the need for jingles started dying down, Gary transitioned into orchestral writing while Fry was in high school, and the impact was dramatic. 

I’ve just always loved music and when I looked at my dad it just seemed like he was having fun all the time,” says Fry. “And so when you’re a kid and you see this person you love who’s working and just so happy all the time, you’re just kinda like, ‘well I want to do that, seems great!’”

Learning to play many instruments throughout his high school and college years, Fry tinkered with the guitar, piano, trumpet, and saxophone, and then attended Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has since added mandolin and accordion. 

When Fry was 24 years old, he went on American Idol, earning a golden ticket to a further round in Hollywood. During his time at Belmont, Fry performed as a pianist and did backup vocals with the well-known singer-songwriter Ben Rector. Rector and Fry started a tour called “The ‘Old Friends’ Acoustic Tour” in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down, causing the tour to be canceled. 

Recently, Fry discovered that his song, I Hear A Symphony, had blown up on TikTok with millions of views by people commenting on his YouTube video. Fry looked more into the app and started his own account, posting fun, short videos to keep spreading his name. As the number of uses of Fry’s music increased, his monthly Spotify listeners increased to extreme numbers in the millions (3,042,617) and is on the rise.

Fry recently was nominated for a Grammy for his new orchestral version of the Beatles’ song, Eleanor Rigby, under the category of best arrangement, instruments, and vocals for 2022 Grammy awards. 

Being a musical composer seems incredible, yet Fry’s seen his fair share of challenges. “Sit in it for a long enough period to kind of get something good out, and it’s exhausting,” says Fry. “[Songwriting] is super tiring. It takes a lot of energy and effort, at least for me songwriting is pretty difficult.” 

One of the main things that he has discovered that keeps him motivated is learning new things, turning the things he learned into a product or a song. He loves the fact that he has a job that revolves around his love for music, where he can grow as an artist and human being. 

Fry says that whenever something goes wrong in a performance, he treats it as a cool experience for the audience because they get to see something that no one else got to see and experience for themselves. “If you can turn it into a moment that feels like the crowd got to see something that no one else got to see, that is like a huge win,” Fry advises. 

Fry says that he has wasted so much time in his career waiting to be successful. Rather than waiting, Fry says the best thing to do is to just practice, then practice more and more, write good songs, learn the best way to distribute those songs, then redo it all over again as many times as necessary. The second piece of advice Fry gives, is one has to get to know themself. Fry says, “knowing yourself is super important because you have to realize that and figure out how to make art out of it.” 

He adds, “the second I let go of those previous expectations and moved into more of a mindset of, ‘I want to create something that only I can do,’ that was when success found me.”


“I think there’s like a superpower for humans; being able to tell what you really love, and it’s like the thing that when you’re doing it, you totally lose track of time,” says Fry. “Find that thing that you lose track of time doing, and just figure out how you can do that as much as possible.” 

Everyone is capable of being great, as Fry said, it’s all about finding that thing that you lose track of time doing. If you can take something that you’re passionate about, with enough work you can go far with it and Fry exemplifies that ideology. Having found what he loved from a young age he was able to make his passion for music into something that he still loves to this day, and now inspires others to do the same.