We’ve got a favorite new singer in our sights, and she’s been hiding in plain sight: 23-year-old songwriter Julia Michaels.
While you might think that you’ve never heard of Julia Michaels before, you’ve certainly heard her music. She’s one of the songwriters behind the biggest hits from the last few years, including Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” (!), Selena Gomez’s “Hands To Myself” and “Good For You,” Britney Spears’ “Slumber Party,” and DNCE’s “Cake By The Ocean” to name but a few.
Well, as is the way with these things, Julia Michaels has decided to try her hand at the spotlight with her debut single “Issues,” and we can’t get enough of it.
“I definitely always thought of myself as a songwriter before a singer,” she admitted to Billboard. “I’ve been the person who hides behind people and lets everyone else do their thing, and I’ve been content there.”
However, after performing at the Olympics this year, the singer signed a record deal with Republic Records and the rest is history.
“Issues,” her debut solo single, was written alongside her longtime collaborator Justin Tranter, who also had a hand with some of those amazing songs above. Speaking about the track, Michaels recalled how she felt it was just too personal to give away to another artist.
“My boyfriend and I like to fight a lot. 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,” she said to Bradley Stern of MuuMuse and PopCrush. “‘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.”
Indeed, Michaels feels that she wants to carve out a sadgirl niche in pop music.
“Women often don’t want to be typecast as the girl that’s sad,” she said. “On the radio now, it’s all men who are doing emotional songs. But I think being emotional is really strong.”
We’re pretty darn obsessed with “Issues.” And with news that an EP is expected later this year, we think we’ll be hearing more from pop music’s (now not so) secret weapon.