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Singer, songwriter, and composer Cody Fry never forgot his Chicago area roots

Singer, songwriter, and composer Cody Fry never forgot his Chicago area roots
Singer, songwriter, and composer Cody Fry never forgot his Chicago area roots 04:26

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A hometown guy is making his mark in the music world, while never forgetting where he came from.

Cody Fry grew up in the north suburbs, and now lives in Nashville, but he recently returned to Chicago for a very memorable one-night event at the Chicago Symphony Center.

It was a dream homecoming for the 33-year-old Chicago area native as Fry shared the stage with none other than the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He said it was an unbelievable thrill to come back to Chicago to perform with one of the world's great orchestras.

"It's surreal. This is the orchestra that I used to come watch," Cody said. "That's kind of my mission right now, is just I want to be a part of the  reinvigoration of the orchestra, and I just love orchestras so much."

Reinvigorating the orchestra is a tall order, but Cody's ambition is matched by his towering talent. The singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist is wowing audiences, and crossing several musical genres.

How has he managed to do all that?

"I just get bored very easily. I don't like to do one thing for too long, and I love so many different types of music," he said.

Music was at the center of Cody's home life in suburban Northfield. His father, Gary, was a successful composer and arranger – writing music for commercials and film. It rubbed off on Cody.

"Ever since I was a kid, I just I knew my dad was doing music for a living, but it just looked like he was having a party all the time," Cody said.  "It just looked like such fun, I thought, 'If that's a job, I'd like to do that job.'"

Gary said Cody was a good singer since he was very little.

"His sisters all sang very well. We made a little family singing group out of the kids," Gary said.

It was fun, but for Cody it was also serious business. After graduating from New Trier High School, it was on to Belmont University in Nashville, where he studied music. A big break came when he made it onto American Idol in its 14th season.

Cody said that helped him grow.

"So now I can walk into any performance environment, and I just feel pretty comfortable, because I went through the crucible of American Idol," Cody said with a laugh.

This is a challenging time for young musicians. Streaming music services are not at all lucrative for the artists, and there's so much content competing for our attention.

Cody said he has to be creative from a business standpoint to get his music out there. Creative he's been; producing music videos and concerts, and aggressively using social media to share his music with the world on his own terms.

"My most popular song is called I Hear a Symphony," Cody said. "I think if I had taken that song into a room full of record executives, and played it for them, and said this song was going to be a gold record, I would have been laughed out of every room."

I Hear a Symphony's enormous popularity on TikTok helped make it a big hit around the world. Today, Cody's playing the likes of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, and of course Chicago Symphony Center. A happy and triumphant homecoming, indeed.

"I take pride not only in his musical abilities, and his great gift for reaching people with his music, but also that he was able to carve out his own path in today's music business. That's not easy," his father said.

What does Cody see for himself 30 years down the line?

"What more could I ask for? I just feel I'm the luckiest guy," he said.

Cody's celebrating yet another achievement, his biggest one – he and his wife, Haley, have a baby girl named Ruby.

To hear more of Cody's music, check out

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