Within 48 hours, songwriting extraordinaire Julia Michaels has released a brand new music video for her single Uh Huh, received a VMA nomination for Best New Artist, released her debut EP Nervous System and most recently been announced as the support act for Shawn Mendes upcoming Australian & New Zealand tour dates.. A swell of amazing news the singer excitedly gushed, “my brain doesn’t know how to process.”
Prior to crafting smash hits of her own, Michaels has penned Gwen Stefani’s Make Me Like You and Nick Jonas,’ Close, on top of eight songs for Selena Gomez and seven for Britney Spears. She also wrote Justin Bieber’s Sorry in just 30 minutes, and that’s only her writing credits from the past two years.
Describing writing as her “way of not feeling alone,” Michaels admits she’s loved words from a very young age. “I could never really understand why I always felt so alone, but words helped me through that, so writing has always been a huge part of my life. I always knew I was going to do something with it, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would end up here and I’m so grateful for that.”
“Songwriting was my first love and the first thing that made me feel like I had a purpose, so when I write with other people or for other people, that’s their song, their baby, I’m not the kind of person to hold onto things,” she acknowledged. “If I’m writing for myself I will sometimes just jump on the mic and freestyle an entire song from start to finish, but if I’m writing for somebody else and it’s their perspective, I don’t have any obligation to that song.”
Whilst skyrocketing to fame since releasing her debut single Issues in January this year, Michaels friendly and high-spirited nature and views on fame are both a breath of fresh air and a clear sign she appreciates hard work. A feat that proves just how much she deserves all of the success that is undoubtedly about to come her way.
“Issues is from such a personal event and experience in my life, so when it came to having somebody else cut it, I realised this song was giving away too much of myself and for the very first time in my life, I held onto it. My naive mind just thought I could put out this song and maybe six people would hear it and like it and that would be amazing, but I definitely had no idea that it would cross countries and connect with so many people in the way that it has.”
“It’s all still very new to me,” she speaks of her new found fame. “I always told myself I just wanted to be a songwriter and stay in the background and I was very content with that because I never really had any confidence in myself. But once I found someone who really believed in me and believed that I could do this, I suddenly started to believe in myself.”
“I still try to manage my time between writing and performing so it doesn’t feel like my world has completely turned upside down,” she chuckled. “I write for about two weeks of the month and spend the other two on promo tours, so I’m trying to keep it all pretty stable and even, because you just have to.”
However, Micahels’ performance anxiety is currently one of the biggest curve balls challenging her new rise to the stage. “It is definitely still an issue, but I think everyday it gets better and better. The first time I had to perform Issues in February was for a pre-recorded radio show, but I was no nervous that I wasn’t going to hit the notes that I sang it eight times! But now I can sing it just once or twice and tell myself – okay, that was good, just let it go. Otherwise I’ll just sit there for an hour, I’m such a mess!” she giggled.
“There’s a lot of really personal songs on there to do with my last relationship,” Michaels speaks of her debut EP, Nervous System, which was released on Friday. “So people are going to get a very real and detailed look into my life and what that has looked like for the last three years.”
“I think it talks about a lot of relatable subjects, even though they are very much my story, I hope people can final a little piece of themselves in each song and find a way for it to help them in their time of need.”
Wanting to remind any females that may be struggling, to talk to somebody. “No good will come from keeping it inside and don’t ever think that you’re burdening people by talking about your problems, and if you’re interested in being an artist, just be you, unapologetically! Write what you want to write and don’t think that you have to write anything to please anybody other than yourself.”
Tickets to Shawn Mendes AU & NZ shows featuring support from Julia
are on sale now.