Julia Michaels has been fortunate in her short career. She recently wrapped a tour with Keith Urban in Australia. Now, she’s ready to hit the road with Pink on her “Beautiful Trauma” jaunt, which comes to Gila River Arena on Friday, March 30.
“This is actually my first tour with a woman and my first tour without men,” Michaels says. “It’s exciting. I get to be around someone I have looked up to for a long time.”
Michaels hopes to make the same mark on fans during her stint opening for Pink.
“There are going to be lots of fun moments, lots of broken-down moments,” she says. “I wanted it to resemble life. I wanted there to be highs and lows. I don’t want everything to be one emotion. It will be a rollercoaster of life all in one night.”
Michaels is touring behind her EP,“Inner Monologue Part 1,” during which she talks about her experiences with depression and anxiety. “‘Inner Monologue’ has thoughts on heartbreak, thoughts on love, thoughts on anxiety.
“It was definitely cathartic for me. I get to talk about things I go through on a daily basis and it’s stuff not regularly talked about.”
She hopes by spilling her secrets, she can connect with fans. However, there wasn’t a specific moment that inspired her to write something so personal.
“There are so many things that happen in life,” she says. “There are so many ups and downs. Ninety percent of the time I write when I’m sad and those songs just come out of those moments.”
Once she dropped the EP, Michaels says fans messaged her on social media thanking her for the album and saying they were going through something similar.
“It was a “really special moment,” she says.
Included on “Inner Monologue Part 1,” Michaels collaborated with Selena Gomez and Niall Horan, which she says was fun.
“I’ve known both of them for a very long time,” she says. “Getting to work with my friends and perform really personal and beautiful music is a blessing. I’m very grateful and very lucky.”
A special song for her is “Happy,” which is on the EP. Although all of her songs are special, Michaels says this song was fun to make.
“It’s about depression and how you sabotage love because you’re scared, but then you’re bitter about it because you still want it,” Michaels says. “It’s a song everybody screams at the top of their lungs.”
Before “Inner Monologue Part 1” and 2017’s “Issues,” Michaels wrote or co-wrote songs for artists like Janelle Monáe, Christina Aguilera and Shawn Mendes. In 2017, Michaels produced
“Issues,” the first song she kept for herself.
“There comes a time in an artist’s life when a song becomes too personal and,
for me, that was ‘Issues,’” she says. “It was just too personal to give it up and I wanted to produce it myself and that was the turning point for me.”
After the single, Michaels released her 2017 EP “Issues,” which made its way into the Top 50 on the Billboard 200. For it, she received two Grammy nominations: best new artist and song of
Michaels continues to work with fellow artists and friends, like James Bay, with whom she wrote “Peer Pressure.”
“I got to do another song with a friend and it’s awesome,” Michaels says.
“I’ve known James for a minute and James was like, ‘We should write together,’ and I was like, ‘Hell yeah, I’d love to.’”
The two friends then sat down and discussed Bay’s thoughts, which included writing about “societal peer pressure and things of today.” However, Bay didn’t know how to approach the
topic. The two continued to work and came up with the idea of making the song “fun and sexy.”
Michaels says the song’s lighthearted and fun twist made it easier to write, and Bay asked her to sing backup. Michaels agreed and the two released the song on February 15.
Michaels says she is looking forward to coming to Arizona and performing.
“It’s going to be really fun and really emotional. It’s going to take you through all of the feelings,” she says.
Her advice for the audience: “Singing is encouraged, letting go is encouraged and having fun is encouraged.”
Pink w/ Julia Michaels
Gila River Arena, 9400 W. Maryland Avenue, Glendale,
com, 8 p.m. Saturday, March 30,
The Rialto Theater, 318 E. Congress Street, Tucson,
8 p.m. Friday, March 29, $22-$27.