JULIA MICHAELS

95.7 The Party Presents

JULIA MICHAELS

Billy Raffoul

Tue Apr 2

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Fox Theatre

$20.00 - $25.00

This event is all ages

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Julia Michaels
Julia Michaels
Julia Michaels always speaks directly from the heart.

“I try to put as much of myself as possible into everything I write,” she affirms. “It’s all me.”

Unabashed honesty and warm vulnerability turned the Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and performer into 2017’s biggest global breakout star. Audiences first properly experienced her unbridled emotional artistry on the 2016 debut single “Issues.” Certified RIAA double-platinum stateside, it crossed worldwide consumption of 5 million in less than six months and became “the best-selling song by a new artist released in 2017”—according to Nielsen Music—as well as the “highest on-demand audio streaming song by a new artist released in 2017.” That same honesty also defines her very first “mini-album,” Nervous System [Republic Records]. With these seven tracks, she fortifies her emotional bond with millions of listeners everywhere.

“A lot of my songs have to do with the nervous system and things that are stimulated by touch and emotion,” she explains. “One day, the title just popped into my head. It made sense with how emotional the songs I’ve written are and who I am. Of course, I personally am a fucking nervous system as well, so there’s that,” she laughs.

As “Issues” achieved stratospheric success, she quietly assembled what would become the “mini-album,” writing and producing alongside frequent collaborators such as Mattman & Robin [Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Hailee Steinfeld], Justin Tranter [Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez], and more in L.A. In addition to “Issues,” the follow-up single “Uh Huh”—which earned early praise from Time, V Magazine, and many others—paved the way for the release of Nervous System. Slipping from acoustic guitar into a rush of electronic production and a chantable chorus, the track captures a fleeting and fiery moment.

“It’s about wanting the person you want to make the move,” she explains. “He hasn’t yet, so you’re like, ‘Shit, should I just do it myself?’ You don’t know how he feels though. It’s this weird tension. When that move does happen, it’s the most magical and pure feeling in the world. That’s something we can all relate to.”

Delicate piano and skittering synths entwine with her soulful delivery on “Worst In Me.” Originally culled from a voice note on her phone, the song sees Julia open up about a failed relationship.

“I wrote it about my ex-boyfriend,” she admits. “It chronicles our downfall and why we couldn’t work. Sometimes people are so afraid of something really good that they sabotage the relationship because they think it can’t be real. All of these little tiny things manifest into problems. You lose the bigger picture, which is that you love each other and genuinely care.”

Elsewhere, off-beat percussion drives “Make It Up To You” where she candidly confesses, “I wish I could be the tender stable girl that you want—but I’m not.” Further exploring the dissolution of this pivotal relationship in her life, “Just Do It” discusses what the artist calls, “The moment you’re on the verge of a breakup, but just can’t end it.”

The clever and coy “Pink” showcases another side of Nervous System and Julia. Tempering a rich sonic backdrop with lyrical double entendre, you might find yourself smiling after each verse.

“It’s pretty self-explanatory,” she grins. “I don’t know how to describe it without it sounding extremely sexual!”

Nervous System concludes with “Don’t Wanna Think.” Performed on piano and written solely by Julia, it stands out as a shining finale, conveying raw and real emotion over each chord between sips of tequila.

“I wrote that one alone,” she recalls. “As you can see, my ex and I had a very toxic relationship. I was at the piano drinking tequila at Henson Studios in Hollywood. It’s going to sound crazy, but sometimes I feel like I write my future. I write about things as if they’re going to happen. When they happen, it’s a completely different perspective. What you hear is just me at the piano singing and crying. It’s the most special song I’ve written. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”

Nervous System continues a tradition of honesty that Julia began as one of pop music’s most in-demand songwriters. Emerging in 2013, she solidified herself as a prolific force, co-writing a string of Billboard Hot 100 hits alongside Tranter, including smashes like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Nick Jonas ft. Tove Lo “Close,” Selena Gomez’s “Good for You” [feat. A$AP Rocky] & “Hands To Myself,” Hailee Steinfeld “Love Myself,” Britney Spears “Slumber Party,” Gwen Stefani “Used To Love You” and, most recently, Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar,” Ed Sheeran’s “Dive,” and John Legend’s “Surefire.” The cumulative worldwide stream count for songs she has co-written exceeds 10 billion to date.

In the end, Julia will always connect by just being herself. Nervous System is proof.

“I hope people can find a little bit of themselves in the music,” she leaves off. “There’s nothing fake about this. Every word is part of my life. I hope you can find your own perspective in it.”
Billy Raffoul
Billy Raffoul
Billy Raffoul’s anthemic debut single “Driver” serves as a potent calling card for the 22-year-old singer, songwriter, and musician. His signature sound is a rough-hewn, low-timbered rock and roll that nods to the likes of Jeff Buckley, NeilYoung, and Joe Cocker, and is powered by Raffoul’s gravelly, soulful voice and deeply felt lyrics. “That’s one thing for me — a song needs to be about something I’ve experienced or something someone close to me is going through,” Raffoul says of his sources of inspiration. “I find myself going back to moments of time from the past, picking apart these little experiences and building them into bigger things. I want people to know that the songs are genuine, that they've been lived in.”“Driver” is one of those lived-in songs. It was inspired by his family picking up a hitchhiker one night after Raffoul and his musician father Jody played a gig on Pelee Island in the middle of Lake Erie. “This guy was really out of it, so he ended up staying with us for a few hours,” Raffoul says. The following weekend Raffoul told his story of the hitchhiker to songwriter Simon Wilcox and songwriter-producer Nolan Lambroza during a writing session in Los Angeles. “We turned it into something a little more sentimental, in that maybe I’m not singing about someone being lost on the side of the road, but maybe someone lost in life who doesn't know where they’re going or what they’re supposed to be doing,”heexplains. Raffoul has been fairly certain of what he wanted to do with his life from a young age. He grew up in a creative family in the small farming town of Leamington, Ontario —“the tomato capital of Canada,” as he puts it. His mother is an artist, writer, and teacher and his father Jody Raffoul is a solo artist and hometown hero who has opened for everyone from Joe Cocker to Bon Jovi. Raffoul’s earliest musical influences come from his dad. “The Beatles were like Jesus in our house,”he recalls, adding that he also listened to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. On his tenth birthday, Billy received a ‘British Invasion’-inspired guitar with a Union Jack on its front from Jody and started teaching himself to play. By 16, had bought his first real guitar —a 1968 Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty. “It’s the same model and year as the only one Jimi Hendrix was ever photographed playing,” Raffoul says. When Raffoul was in high school, he watched his dad headline a show for 4,000 people at his school’s stadium. “I remember in that moment thinking, ‘This is cool,’” he says. “I had appreciated music and written songs up until then, but I didn't think I wanted to be a live performer until that one show.” Raffoul’s first paying gig was playing to long-haul drivers at a local truck stop. “For the next three or four years I just put everything into it, playing out four and five nights a week in bars from Leamington to Detroit and back.”

Every so often Raffoul would get a gig singing demos for hire. “Just getting paid hourly to be the vocalist,”he explains. “One day I went into the studio to sing on some Kid Rock demos. The guys heard my voice in the booth and asked if I had any original stuff. I played them two acoustic songs. They shot an iPhone video and sent it to my now-manager, who used to work with Kid Rock. The next day we drove down to Nashville.”Raffoul now splits his time between Nashville and Los Angeles where, in between playing shows, he has been collaborating with other songwriters and slowly but surely assembling his debut album. “Since it’s my first record it feels like I’ve been writing it my whole life,” he jokes. In addition to “Driver,” Raffoul is proud of another new song called “I’m Not A Saint,” which emerged from a conversation Raffoul had with his co-writer Julia Michaels. “We were talking about things we do or that we shouldn’t do, like swear too much, smoke too much, lie too much, and it just flowed from there,” Raffoul says.

“Forty-five minutes later it was done.”As he gears up to finish his debut album, Raffoul is also eager to tour and see the world. “I’m putting everything into this record," he says, "but I want to build my career on the live show. I want to be a true working musician." He knows that makes him sound like a traditionalist and he's fine with that. "It’s more of the old school way of doing things," he says. "But I think that even in this ever-changing music business there will always be a thirst for live performance and that’s what I want to do. That’s always been the goal. Connect with people, one room at a time.”
Venue Information:
Fox Theatre
1135 13th St
Boulder, CO, 80302
http://www.foxtheatre.com