Julia Michaels is a household name in the music industry, having written and sung some of the most loved records of this generation. Michaels was one of the many who flocked to Miami to participate in the excitement and culture surrounding Miami Art Week and Art Basel this year.
Michaels performed at the Mark Levinson Vinyl Lounge, in celebration of the brand’s 50th anniversary in 2022. This performance was Michaels’ first performance following a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic, which she deemed quite nerve-wracking. “It was the first time I had performed in front of people that weren't my fans in a long time too, so that's always even more nerve-wracking.” Michaels explained, “Because you feel like you're on a blind date with 300 people.” But those nerves didn’t stop Michaels from stealing the show and doing what she does best.
The team at the Mark Levinson Vinyl Lounge asked Michaels to perform to explore the notion that being a singer-songwriter is all about listening. The lounge has some of the highest quality audio equipment, speakers, sound systems and turntables, and the catch is that you will be able to discover details in songs that you’ve never noticed before.
The event took place on the heels of Miami Art Week on December 4, with a star-studded guest list and of course, an amazing performance from Michaels herself.
Michaels and her boyfriend, a fellow musical artist, JP Saxe were both in attendance at the event. Michaels and Saxe looked stunning together on the red carpet and spearheading off that, we asked Michaels how she tries to balance her work and personal life having such close ties with someone else in the industry. “We're both very passionate people, we both really love what we do. So, when he writes a new song or I write a new song, he’s the first person I show and vice versa.” Michaels continued, “We also really love writing together, we write surprisingly well together. I think it's just because we have a lot of respect for each other's craft.”
This exciting performance was Michaels first time in two years on stage, as she explained she spent the last two years writing. Michaels reflected on the last two years when she expressed, “I really got to just be home and be bored. I think a lot of creativity comes from boredom because you're stuck with yourself, and then you're stuck with your thoughts and you're stuck reflecting you're like, okay what haven't I done yet.” Michaels hinting that new music is on the way soon.
Another exciting and recent milestone for Michaels is her Grammy nomination for Album of the Year under H.E.R’s album, Back Of My Mind, which Michaels co-wrote, “Cheat Code." Michaels noted on her excitement for this Grammy nomination, “This is the first year that songwriters are actually able to get a Grammy in that category. It's taken about six years for this to happen.” Michaels hopes that this is a step in the right direction and that this opportunity will open up more categories for songwriters in the future.
Miami Art Week and Art Basel was just the start of an amazing post-pandemic life for Michaels. She is crossing her fingers for a tour next year and eager to get back on the road doing what she loves. Luckily for the Miami community, we were able to get a glimpse into the world of Michaels and her first live performance in quite some time.
Photography by: Courtesy Mark Levinson Vinyl Lounge