Julia Michaels — Grammy Best New Artist nominee, accomplished songwriter, and go-to collaborator for Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and more — slid into view strongly as a solo performer in 2017 thanks to her breakout single, "Issues." In addition to performing it at the VMAs, Michaels enjoyed the song's rise to the 11 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
But "Issues" is just one of the raw, confessional, and often sexually celebratory tracks in Michaels' body of work, including on her debut EP, Nervous System. There's "Pink," whose flower imagery and color clues suggest an ode to anatomy, and the self-love anthem she penned for Hailee Steinfeld in 2015, "Love Myself.
Her penchant for sex-positive and body-positive songs comes from a very genuine place, as she recently told The Guardian in a new interview.
"I'm very pro being in touch with your body," Michaels said. "If men can openly talk about sex, why can't women? And if we can do it in a creative, inventive, innovative way that gets people to be more accepting, then why not?"
"People who saw being vulnerable and emotional as a weakness are now seeing it as a strength," she continued. "And that makes me happy."
Earlier this year, Michaels told MTV News about what inspired the romantic rush of her song "Uh Huh."
"I started writing that basically about the idea of that initial breath before the kiss, that tension moment when you desperately want that person to make the move, and you don't know if they like you like that," she said, "but you want them to, and then you're like, maybe I should do it. And it's that whole conflicting emotion, and when it happens, it's just the most pure feeling in the world."
Check out the rest of that interview below.