Julia Michaels is both the Artist We Want & the Artist We Need

The musically gifted Michaels is more than just a female songwriter with tattoos

We all have issues and Julia Michaels is here to save us all. During the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympic games this girl got on stage with Kygo and preformed in the rain and most of the public probably were wondering, who is this girl and why haven’t we heard her yet? There is a good reason for that.

In just over three years, Michaels was a co-writer for eight top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 including Selena’s “Good for You” and Bieber’s “Sorry.” Dare I mention she also worked on Hailee Steinfeld’s EP? She worked with Demi Lovato on her hit “Fire Starter” and Fifth Harmony’s “Miss Movin On.” She has also worked with Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Rita Ora, Gwen Stefani and even on Britney Spears’s newest album “Glory.” Talk about how great of a feat this actually is. It is hard at this early point in her career to not know or to not like songs that Julia has had a creative hand in.


She bares tattoos that run up and down her arm, a treble clef, a piano, a microphone and a quill that leads to her right bicep which carries a typewriter. Beyond the typewriter is a faceless woman. Michaels believed she was always a writer over a performer, and yes, she is definitely great at the former; enough so that she visually can tell her story up to 2017. In an interview with Billboard she said, “ I’ve been the person who hides behind people and lets everyone else do their thing, and I’ve been content there.”

This year there is a pivot, now we are all witnesses to her own artistry with her hit single “Issues.” The song embraces the fact that in a relationship there are issues but love can help both people start to work past them. In her interview with Billboard, Michaels discussed “Issues” and her future music as such:

“Women often don’t want to be typecast as the girl that’s sad…On the radio now, it’s all men who are doing emotional songs. But I think being emotional is really strong.”

Her ­ambitions as an artist are simple: “I just want to write fun, ­interesting music that pushes ­boundaries and is still true to myself. I want people to feel something.”

“Issues” takes on more than just pen to paper, it represents her story.


As someone in the industry, Julia thought the music and the performances should be left to those who know how to at a high level. She did not think she was on the level of a Selena or Hailee — trust me, she is — as in someone who is always the center of attention. Her story is one to look back on now, while we prepare for her first full album. Michaels has collaborations and features coming her way — well it seems like it has to be.

For those looking for a comparison, Michaels’ rise is like that entry level salesperson. One who stays with the same company for years getting small promotions along the way, and finally gets rewarded with running a department after years of working hard and without notoriety. In a sports minded theory, Julia is a sixth round pick who makes the team because she can contribute on special teams, not knowing how good she can be. Then, she gets playing time two years or so down the road, and ultimately, four years later becomes a household name and a key piece to a winning team or a superstar.

The transition from getting your foot wet as a songwriter to performer seems as logical as waiting your turn to be the next person up in any industry or on any team.

After two EPs, a few features and now her second single, Michaels is ready to take over. Her writing has put listeners in a trance already, now we just have to be ready for her domination.

We are at the beginning of what could be one highly decorated career for Michaels, beyond just writing. She has transitioned from songwriter and demo singer to a budding star.

Folks, be ready, Julia Michaels is tattooed with meaning, talented with lyrics, blessed with a voice, and ultimately is ready to take the world by storm.

Watch the new music video of Julia Michaels’ single ‘Issues’ now:

Some information for this piece originally appeared in Billboard.

**This piece was updated on 3/8/17 to include ‘Issues’ music video instead of the audio version**

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