Julia Michaels always speaks directly from the heart. “I try to put as much of myself as possible into everything I write,” she affirms. “It’s all me.” Unabashed honesty and warm vulnerability turned the Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and performer into 2017’s biggest global breakout star. Audiences first properly experienced her unbridled emotional artistry on the 2016 debut single “Issues.” Certified RIAA double-platinum stateside, it crossed worldwide consumption of 5 million in less than six months and became “the best-selling song by a new artist released in 2017”—according to Nielsen Music—as well as the “highest on-demand audio streaming song by a new artist released in 2017.” That same honesty also defines her very first “mini-album,” Nervous System [Republic Records]. With these seven tracks, she fortifies her emotional bond with millions of listeners everywhere.
“A lot of my songs have to do with the nervous system and things that are stimulated by touch and emotion,” she explains. “One day, the title just popped into my head. It made sense with how emotional the songs I’ve written are and who I am. Of course, I personally am a fucking nervous system as well, so there’s that,” she laughs. As “Issues” achieved stratospheric success, she quietly assembled what would become the “mini-album,” writing and producing alongside frequent collaborators such as Mattman & Robin [Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Hailee Steinfeld], Justin Tranter [Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez], and more in L.A. In addition to “Issues,” the follow-up single “Uh Huh”—which earned early praise from Time, V Magazine, and many others—paved the way for the release of Nervous System. Slipping from acoustic guitar into a rush of electronic production and a chantable chorus, the track captures a fleeting and fiery moment.
Nervous System continues a tradition of honesty that Julia began as one of pop music’s most in-demand songwriters. Emerging in 2013, she solidified herself as a prolific force, co-writing a string of Billboard Hot 100 hits alongside Tranter, including smashes like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo “Close,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” [feat. A$AP Rocky] & “Hands To Myself,” Hailee Steinfeld “Love Myself,” Britney Spears “Slumber Party,” Gwen Stefani “Used To Love You” and, most recently, Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” Ed Sheeran’s “Dive,” and John Legend’s “Surefire.” The cumulative worldwide stream count for songs she has co-written exceeds 10 billion to date. In the end, Julia will always connect by just being herself. Nervous System is proof.
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