Julia Michaels on Bournemouth, anxiety and the future

Julia Michaels, Nervous System, Photo by Catie Laffoon

I arrive ten minutes early to my interview with singer-songwriter Julia Michaels and coincidentally run into her outside the venue. She’s homesick and has spent the morning enjoying Bournemouth beach as she ‘feels slightly closer to home’ there – home being LA. “I close my eyes and pretend I’m there… Even if it is slightly colder here in Bournemouth”.

The 24-year-old is currently supporting Niall Horan on his Flicker World Tour and she’s enjoying every moment – especially the beautiful scenery of the UK. She gushes over “rolling hills, greenery, beautiful brick houses, everything you don’t get to experience at home”. She gets to travel the world doing what she loves and couldn’t ask for anything more.

Julia’s hit song Issues, which you no doubt would’ve heard, is sitting comfortably at 530 million plays on Spotify to date. Although she claims she can never pick a favourite song from her mini-album, she admits Issues would be a strong contender as it gets the biggest reaction from her fans.

Beginning writing songs at an early age, she has written for Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato and Gwen Stefani – to name a few. Asked what her favourite song she’s ever written is, she says “it sounds like a cop out but every song I’ve gotten to be a part of is really special to me, every experience is different, I can’t pick a favourite as I’m so grateful I get to do this in the first place”.

Continuing her success, 2017 brought her mini-album Nervous System, which she describes as ‘personal, very open, emotional, fun, dark but danceable’. She’s spot on, it’s clear there’s some real emotion behind each of the tracks that made it on to the album. Although all of the songs are close to her, she admits Worst In Me has a special place in her heart as it was the last song they made for the album and she really started to open up about her last relationship.

It’s like a confessional. I get emotional on stage because you never know what the feedback will be and if people don’t like it they’re judging you on your emotions – you can feel really vulnerable up there”. She’s the superstar that is afraid of being judged.

Julia Michaels, Nervous System, Photo by Catie Laffoon

FANS AND FRIENDSHIPS

I mention her fans and Julia immediately sighs and touches her heart. She cannot thank them enough for attending her shows and supporting her – she adores them and they have changed her life, after all.

She claims that if it wasn’t for her career she wouldn’t be on social media, but she loves Instagram as she can interact with her fans around the world. “It makes me happy that they are so happy”, she says.

At this moment, Niall Horan interrupts our interview – he pokes his head around the door to chat with Julia briefly and they laugh together. Their relationship is sweet, and she assures me it isn’t for show. “It’s the same for me with Shawn (Mendes) or Adam (Levine), I’m lucky enough to have a lot of these brother/sister relationships”.

Although she describes herself as an anxious mess ‘every day, all the time’ having these friendships help her relax, and she likes to spend time with her band too before shows. Because of her anxiety she likes to listen to relaxing music and slowly get ready before a performance, as well as facetiming her friends, family and her dogs – this girl has her routine sorted.

How about when she’s not on the road getting minimal sleep? She reverts right back to songwriting every single day as an outlet for her anxiety.

THE FUTURE

So, what’s to come for Julia Michaels?

She’ll soon be back in the US and finishing the year on tour with Maroon 5. We can also expect to see new music from her soon which again will be drawing on love and personal experiences.

“I like to write things as relevant as possible, I’m in that mode so that’s how I feel and want to write about – it’s the same with my new album. We wrote 24 songs in 2 months – everything is precious and personal to me”.