Cody Simpson on Relationship with Ex Gigi Hadid: 'I Was Straying Away from Who I Was as a Whole Person'

Simpson says he will "always" love his ex

Photo: Brian Birzer/MixRadio/Getty

Two months after his split from Gigi Hadid, Cody Simpson maintains breaking up was the best option for the pair.

“I love my ex-girlfriend, I always will. It was an amicable, mutual decision, and we still talk every now and then, but the highly publicized thing made me uncomfortable,” the Free singer says in the new issue of DuJour.

The singer, 18, adds he started to lose his sense of self during the high-profile relationship.

“Going out to dinner and there being all this paparazzi and stuff as soon as we split I had the realization that I was straying away from who I was as a whole person. I want to keep it low-key and focus on my music.”

Simpson and model Hadid, 20, are still friendly exes, but, as her rep told PEOPLE back in May: “They love each other dearly and have split up in hopes that growing on their own paths will bring them together in the future.”

With his first independent album out, Simpson hopes to maintain his low-key lifestyle.

“I just want to hang and be a dude, and do stupid stuff like surf, and get drunk, and jam for hours, he added to DuJour. I feel like at 18, you’re half of someone else, as opposed to all of yourself. You’re still figuring yourself out.”

The Aussie notes that finding the right friend group has been a key part of finding his identity. And despite reports, he says he isn’t super-close with Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez; the former is “a mate.”

“You know, as far as public perception goes, if you get seen with some people one time, everyone thinks you’re in that group. But when it comes to hanging out with friends on a daily basis I never really see those people,” he told DuJour, also adding that Bieber “is definitely a mate – we chat a bit, and party sometimes, and I’ve skated with him – but we actually live totally different lives.”

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