Artist Of The Week: Julia Michaels

(Photo courtesy of Billboard)

In the world of unsung heroines, one woman is finally finding her voice after years of living behind lyrics. This 23-year-old singer-songwriter has been credited with writing songs for big name artists such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Bieber, Fifth Harmony and Nick Jonas, just to name a few. Now, she’s released her debut single “Issues,” which has been climbing the charts and helping to give the previously-invisible singer a name: Julia Michaels.

Since 2013, Michaels has been immersing herself in the music industry. Her earliest songwriting credits come from work she did after meeting multi-platinum songwriter Lindy Robbins and Joleen Belle while in her late teens. Together, they composed the lyrics for Demi Lovato’s “Fire Starter” and Fifth Harmony’s debut single, “Miss Movin’ On.”

After penning a few Selena Gomez hits in 2014, Michaels developed a taste for singing and began to experiment with her own solo career by pairing up with DJ trio Cash Cash and appearing as an uncredited vocalist on their single “Surrender.”

2015 was a busy year for Michaels as well; she helped compose the entirety of Hailee Steinfeld’s debut album, “HAIZ,” wrote “Sorry” and “The Feeling” for Justin Bieber, and wrote “Good For You,” “Me & The Rhythm,” and “Hands To Myself,” among other hits off of Selena Gomez’s album “Revival.” Little Mix, Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora and Zedd also credited her with several songs that year.

While composing these songs, Michaels jumped on the featured-artist train and performed as an uncredited vocalist on two of Zedd’s songs from “True Colors”—“Straight Into The Fire” and “Daisy”— and finally landed herself a credited feature on Jason Derulo’s “Trade Hearts” off of his album, “Everything Is 4.”

In 2016, Michaels showed no sign of slowing down. She wrote the majority of Gwen Stefani’s album, “This Is What The Truth Feels Like,” several songs off of Britney Spears’ latest album, “Glory,” and “Hurts So Good” by Astrid S. Michaels was also one of the masterminds behind Fifth Harmony’s hit “All In My Head (Flex),” featuring Fetty Wap, and the sensual duet “Close,” by Nick Jonas and Tove Lo.

Michael’s only appearance as a singer in 2016 was on Kygo’s sixth single, “Carry Me,” off of his debut album “Cloud Nine.” The duo performed the song together at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2017 is sure to be Michaels’ year; she released “Issues” in January 2017, and the song has already broken into Billboard’s Hot 100, charting in nine countries overall. The song features a gorgeous string ensemble as Michaels chants the iconic lines “Yeah, I’ve got issues. / And one of them is how bad I need you.” It’s a great song that definitely deserves a listen. If it’s doing this well already, I have no doubt that we’ll see the song climb to the very top. Julia Michaels has spent far too much time behind the scenes; now it’s her time to shine, and I couldn’t be more excited.


Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.