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Julia Michaels at Royal Oak Music Theatre, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2019

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Even if she wasn't a recording artist in her own right, Julia Michaels would be a music success story.

The Iowa-born artist made a name writing songs for Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and others -- which earned Michaels (nee Cavazos) a nomination as the Top Covered Artist at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. But since stepping out on her own with the hit "Issues" that same year, Michaels has been making plenty of noise on her own, with two Grammy Award nominations, an album and a pair of "Inner Monologue" EPs.

Michaels, 25, is scoring onstage as well. She's opened for P!nk, Maroon 5, Niall Horn and Keith Urban, and this fall she's on her first-ever headlining jaunt, the Inner Monologue Tour. The only "Issues" here may be keeping up with demand...

Michaels says by phone that her artist career has been a surprise. "I always thought I was just going to be a sort of Diane Warren-type of situation (as a songwriter). But I think there comes a time in every songwriter's life when they write a song which is a bit too personal to give away. That's what happened with me (with 'Issues'). It's great when people like the songs you've written for other people, but it's so fulfilling when they're your own. I'm just happy people resonate with my music and relate to me."

Michaels says that finally having a tour of her own "is so amazing. Our sets are longer, for one, so we get to have more choreography and do more fun things with the lighting and have way more interaction with the fans. I'm so grateful to have been able to open for those people who took me out, because at least 100 of their (fans) will come to our show, which has been really special."

One thing Michaels does not do during her own shows is the medley of the hits she wrote for others, which has been part of her opening act. "We don't do that because we don't have to. We mostly did that medley so that people could kind of get more familiarized with me. But for my shows we don't have to do that, which is so nice, and now we get to just focus on all of my flaws (laughs) in songs, which is really fun."

With the two "Inner Monologues" now out, Michaels says EPs are the way she prefers to release music now. "I think on albums things get sort of lost, and (the songs) all mean something to me. They're all important to me, and I just want people to be able to digest them in parts and not just a whole where things may sometimes get lost."

Michaels "wrote a lot of songs over the summer I really like," and predicts she'll be showing some different sides of her music and herself in the material to come. "I think something I haven't really talked about a lot, I guess, is my sexual side -- which everyone has, but I don't really talk about it very much. I more talk about my emotions and my feelings and being vulnerable and being OK with being vulnerable. I think if I were to put out more music, that (sexual side) is where I'd lean. But we'll see. I write very personal songs, and I know that I'm sort of an acquired taste sometimes."

Julia Michaels and Rhys Lewis perform Monday, Nov. 4, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors at 7 p.m. $25 advance, $30 day of show. 248-399-2980 or royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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