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Artist Of The Month: Julia Michaels

Julian Michaels-Photo Credit Catie Lafoon Via Republic Records
  – Julian Michaels-Photo Credit Catie Lafoon Via Republic Records

There are artists who have undeniable star power, vocal prowess, and magnetism, and there are songwriters who have the uncanny ability to write hit songs – With Julia Michaels, comes the rare talent where the two collide.

Julia Michaels has always been a songwriter. Having an early fascination with words, Julia has spent her young life quietly honing her craft, writing songs that carry complex emotion and powerful vulnerability. The difference maker – these songs happen to have an innate knack for translating into multiplatinum hits.

Julia has solidified herself as one of pop music’s most in-demand songwriters, co-writing a string of Billboard Hot 100 hits alongside Justin Tranter—including inescapable smashes like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” [feat. A$AP Rocky],  and “Hands To Myself” ” Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo “Close,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You,” & “Hands To Myself,” Hailee Steinfeld “Love Myself,” Britney Spears “Slumber Party,” Gwen Stefani “Used To Love You” and “Misery”, most recently, Linkin Park’s “Heavy,” Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” Ed Sheeran’s “Dive,” and John Legend’s “Surefire.” and Blood Pop and Justin Bieber’s “Friends.”

Related Media 

Justin Bieber 

“Sorry”

From Purpose

Def Jam Recordings 

Selena Gomez 

“Good For You”

From Revival

Interscope Records

Selena Gomez 

“Hands To Myself”

From Revival

Interscope Records

Nick Jonas Featuring Tove Lo

“Close

From Last Year Was Complicated

Safehouse/Island/Republic Records

Hailee Steinfeld

“Love Myself”

From Haiz EP

Republic Records

Britney Spears Featuring Tinashe

“Slumber Party” (Single Remix Version) (Explicit)

From Glory

RCA Records

Gwen Stefani

“Used To Love You”

From This Is What The Truth Feels Like

Interscope Records

Gwen Stefani

“Misery

From This Is What The Truth Feels Like

Interscope Records

Linkin Park Featuring Kiiara

“Heavy”

From One More Light

Warner Bros. Records

Selena Gomez 

“Bad Liar”

Interscope Records

Ed Sheeran

“Dive”

From ÷ 

Asylum/Atlantic Records

John Legend

“Surefire”

From Darkness and Light 

G.O.O.D. Music/Columbia Recordings

 Bloodpop And Justin Bieber

“Friends”

GENPOP/RBMG/Schoolboy/Def Jam/Republic Records

But a song written by Julia Michaels is not just a hit – it is Julia Michaels. It’s a piece of her.

Drawn from real experiences and feelings, Julia’s work effortlessly flows out of her inner being. There’s not a formula for this kind of songwriting. It’s a personal process, one that has become so intimate she can’t let go.

It wasn’t until recently that this attachment to her work really hit home. After writing one of the biggest pop hits of the last year, and after giving it away, Julia recognized her deeper desire to be an artist – to use her voice to sing her songs.

“When I found out someone was recording it, I cried in the bathroom for an hour-and-a-half,” she says, “I didn’t want to admit it to myself. I had shunned the thought of actually being an artist for so long. I only thought I could be a writer, but I just realized how much that particular song felt like me. I thought, ‘Maybe there’s something missing.’ I had to make a change.”

Though obvious to anyone who’s seen her in the studio or on stage, Julia has come to the realization that the time for this change – from writer, to singer-songwriter artist – is now.

After relocating from Iowa, Julia spent her childhood in Santa Clarita, an L.A. suburb known for Magic Mountain, where she opted to be home-schooled in order to spend every free minute writing poetry and lyrics. Julia then met Tranter in 2013 and began the songwriting partnership. At that point Michaels had already had key singles placed on albums by both Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony.

 

Fifth Harmony 

“Miss Moving On”

From Better Together EP

Syco Music/Epic Records

Demi Lovato

“Fire Starter”

From Demi

Hollywood Records

After collaborating with Lindy Robbins on tracks for both Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato in 2013, Julia collaborated with Robbins once again by co-writing on the 2014 EDM single “Surrender,” by New Jersey DJs, Cash Cash. This will become the first hit single that Michaels wrote that she also would lend her vocals to as a featured artist.The song was included on season 20 of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars when Iraq War veteran, Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess chose it for their final dance on May 19, 2015.

Cash Cash Featuring Julia Michaels 

“Surrender”

From Blood, Sweat & 3 Years 

Big Beat/Atlantic Records

At that point her career as a songwriter was beginning to kick into high gear. After working in the Los Angeles songwriting circles since the age of 16, her collaborations with career veteran songwriters like Mitch Allen, Jason Evigan, Lindy Robbins and later Mattman & Robin Justin Tranter lead to a string of high profile songwriting placements for big names like Nicole Scherzinger, Selena Gomez, G.R.L, Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Bieber,Kelly Clarkson and many more.

 Select Related Media

Nicole Scherzinger 

“Run”

Epic Records

Selena Gomez 

“Slow Down”

From Stars Dance

Hollywood Records

Hailee Steinfeld Featuring DNCE

“Rock Bottom”

From Haiz EP

Republic Records

Justin Bieber Featuring Halsey

“The Feeling”

From Purpose

Def Jam Recordings 

Kelly Clarkson

“War Paint”

From Piece By Piece

19/RCA Records

By 2016, Julia inked a deal with Republic Records and began working on her forthcoming debut EP.

On the first single “Issues,” her powerful, poignant, and passionate voice spins a tale of relationship trials and tribulations before shining light at the end of the tunnel.

“My boyfriend and I like to fight a lot,” she says. “I have a lot of problems. He has a lot of problems. Somehow, we always work them out and find a way back to each other. ‘Issues’ is knowing and accepting you have problems and your partner has problems and when shit gets hard, you don’t just walk away, you make it work—no matter how fucked up you are. You’re there for each other.”

With “Issues,” people will really get to hear Julia for the first time; and it’s a wonderful thing.

Julia gave the world a preview when she performed “Carry Me” with Kygo at the 2016 closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Rio. Singing in the pouring rain in front of tens of thousands, Julia looked as at ease as if she were in the studio in LA with Tranter. When a star like this is born, all anyone else has to do is sit back at watch. Because when Julia Michaels sings her songs there’s tangible meaning that fills the song, fills the studio, fills the stage. You can feel a Julia Michaels song.

Kygo Featuring Julia Michaels 

“Carry Me”

From Cloud 9

Ultra/RCA Records


“When I’m writing for myself, I don’t have to worry about what I say,” she leaves off. “I’m a very emotional person, and I put it all out there. My music will always be something you can feel whether it’s something sexual, something that pulls on your heart, or something fun. You’re always going to feel it.”
She may not have known it until now, but Julia Michaels the artist was always going to be. She’s undeniable. It was only a matter of time.

Issues reached #4 on both the iTunes Top 200 Songs Chart and US Top Pop Songs Chart, and is the first song to reach the Top 5 at Top 40 radio by a debut artist with a 2017 release. The song entered the Top 10 on Spotify’s Global Top 50 Chart and reached Top 15 on the US Top 50 Chart following its debut at #1 on the US Viral 50 Chart and #2 on the Global Viral Chart. It also recently entered the Top 10 on the Shazam Chart (US).  What’s more, “Issues” is Top 10 on iTunes in over 50 markets worldwide, has been certified 3x platinum in Sweden, 2x platinum in Norway, Australia, and Canada, certified platinum in the Netherlands, and Gold in France, Italy, Spain and Denmark. With no sign of slowing down, “Issues” has been named a “song of the summer” contender by outlets such as FADER, W Magazine & Entertainment Weekly.

Julia Michaels 

“Issues”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

Her second single, “Uh Huh,” proved to be a solid follow up, as well with over 20 million Spotify streams, and glowing praise from Time, V Magazine, Idolator, and more.

 

Julia Michaels 

“Uh Huh”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

 

That success lead to the July 28th  release of Nervous System—featuring her breakout debut single “Issues” and a collection of highly anticipated new music.  In a post to fans, Michaels  shared her excitement for what she calls her “mini-album”

 

NERVOUS SYSTEM TRACKLISTING

Julia Michaels “Nervous System” Republic Records

  1. Issues
  2. Uh Huh
  3. Worst In Me
  4. Make It Up To You
  5. Just Do It
  6. Pink
  7. Don’t Wanna Think

 

About Nervous System, Michaels  shares, “A lot of my songs have to do with the nervous system and things that are stimulated by touch and emotion. One day, the title just popped into my head. It made sense with how emotional the songs I’ve written are and who I am. Of course, I personally am a fucking nervous system as well, so there’s that,” she laughs.

From the off-kilter nineties-inspired groove of “Make It Up To You” and the urgent breakup anthem “Just Do It to the hyper-flirty and fiery come hither of Pink and the soul-stirring piano and vocal finale Don’t Wanna Think”—solely penned by Michaels—she further cements her status as one of this generation’s most prolific songwriters and best new acts.

Julia Michaels 

“Make It Up To You”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

Julia Michaels 

“Just Do It”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

Julia Michaels 

“Pink”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

Julia Michaels 

“Don’t Wanna Think”

From Nervous System EP

Republic Records

As part of the Vevo “Stripped” series, she released powerful performance videos over the summer. Following a popular rendition of Uh Huh, she unveils a brand new “Stripped” take on Worst In Me.Vevo’s “Stripped” series is part of Vevo’s LIFT program, which is dedicated to elevating a select group of emerging artists.

 

Julia Michaels 

“Worst In Me”

From VEVO Stripped

VEVO

Julia Michaels 

“Uh Huh”

From VEVO Stripped

VEVO

 

New Music 

Maroon 5 Featuring Julia Michaels 

“Help Me Out”

From Red Pill Blues

222/Interscope Records

ON TOUR WITH SHAWN MENDES

11/25               Auckland, NZ              Vector Arena
11/29               Brisbane, QLD            Entertainment Centre
12/1                 Sydney, NSW             Qudos Bank Arena
12/3                 Melbourne, VIC           Rod Laver Arena
12/6                 Perth, WA                   Perth Arena