Julia Michaels’ Performance Anxiety Was ‘Crippling’ — Until A Fan Changed Her Life

Julia Michaels is one of the most vulnerable pop artists in the game, and every single shred of that tenderness comes from a real place.

Before she started performing live, Michaels was a songwriter who faced such severe stage fright that attempting to get up in front of a crowd was legitimately painful for her. Still, after she wrote a song like “Issues,” which was so personal she couldn’t give it away to another artist, it was time to quite literally to face the music, and begin performing.

So what was it that finally helped Michaels break through, from those moments of fear into the accomplished, confident performer she is today? The strength of connection she felt between her music and her fans — when she saw an audience member doing something unexpected. “There was one day when I was singing and I saw someone in the crowd singing every word, and it completely changed everything about me being on stage,” Michaels remembered.

Now, her debut album Nervous System and the Inner Monologue EPs have catapulted Julia to the forefront of the pop world, which means bigger and bigger stages every day. And that’s just fine with her. Watch her explain that life-changing moment with a fan above.