INTO THE SPOT­LIGHT

AF­TER A BUSY FEW YEARS WRIT­ING HIT AF­TER HIT FOR SOME OF POP’S BIG­GEST STARS, JU­LIA MICHAELS IS GO­ING SOLO.

Gotham - - Contents - BY TIM LATTERNER

Af­ter a busy few years writ­ing hit af­ter hit for some of pop’s big­gest stars, Ju­lia Michaels is go­ing solo.

At first lis­ten, Ju­lia Michaels’s de­but sin­gle, “Is­sues,” re­veals a singer-song­writer that has a story to tell. Only 23 years old, Michaels has al­ready co-penned smashes for Justin Bieber (“Sorry”), Selena Gomez (“Hands to My­self”), and Nick Jonas (“Close”), and “Is­sues” draws on the same hit-mak­ing for­mula that helped pro­pel those acts onto the Bill­board charts: A stripped-down track puts the fo­cus on a sim­ple, catchy melody and more-hon­est-than-usual lyrics. “That’s the case for a lot of the songs I’ll have com­ing out,” says Michaels. “I’ve writ­ten these lyrics, and I want the mu­sic to be an added tex­ture to tell a story.”

While Michaels has helped other mu­si­cians ex­press them­selves in ra­dio-ready tracks, she’s added a lit­tle of her­self to each one. “I al­ways put my­self into ev­ery­thing I do,” says Michaels. “A lot of the things you’ve heard that I’ve worked on are a lot of me as well as the other artists.”

Michaels’s first foray into the spot­light has al­ready landed her in the itunes Top 20, but this time she’s the one put­ting her­self out there. “I had writ­ten ‘Is­sues’ about a fight with my boyfriend,” she says. “At the end of it, we were like, ‘This is some­thing so petty, we love each other, and that’s what mat­ters.’ It felt weird to me that some­one else would sing such a per­sonal story. I knew it was mine.” @imjmichaels

“i can ONLY WRITE Three SORTS OF SONGS: emo­tional SONGS, sex­ual SONGS, AND sex­u­ally emo­tional SONGS. i’m HOP­ING Peo­ple Will Be able TO CON­NECT TO That.” — ju­lia michaels

With her de­but sin­gle, “Is­sues,” singer-song­writer Ju­lia Michaels moves from be­hind the scenes to be­hind the mic.

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