Julia Michaels’ journey from songwriter to singer continues with the airy “Heaven,” off the upcoming Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack. There, she manages to summarize the entire Fifty Shades franchise in just two lines: “They say all good boys go to heaven / but bad boys bring heaven to you.”
Michaels spent a few years writing disarmingly intimate pop for Selena Gomez (“Hands To Myself,” “Bad Liar”), Justin Bieber (“Sorry”) and Hailee Steinfeld (“Love Myself”), before she released her debut EP Nervous System in 2017. The Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack features other boldfaced names in pop, like Sia, Ellie Goulding and Liam Payne. But Michaels is the only artist who appears twice, with “Heaven” and the unreleased “Are You.”
Next, Michaels will see whether she wins either Best New Artist or Song Of The Year at this year’s Grammy Awards. (She is a first-time nominee.) She is also writing her debut album, out this year. While Michaels seemed nervous in interviews to enter the spotlight, she seems encouraged by the warm reception over the past year especially.
“It’s nice to be able to go in [the studio], confront my problems, say everything I wanna say, and not have to censor myself,” Michaels recently said to GQ. “Once I’ve sung something, once it’s out of my body, I’m like, okay, this is absolutely what I want.”