Justin Bieber and producer BloodPop recruited Julia Michaels for a remix of their electro-pop hit “Friends.” Michaels – who co-wrote the song with the two artists and her frequent writing partner Justin Tranter – weaves in a sleek croon on the first verse and harmonizes with Bieber throughout the song.
The two vocalists finish each other’s thoughts, inhabiting the headspace of a couple who try to mend their relationship after a break-up. “Wonderin’ if you got a body/ To hold you tighter since I left,” Bieber sings over BloodPop’s pulsating synths. “Wonderin’ if you think about me/ Actually, don’t answer that.”
Bieber and BloodPop previously collaborated on “Sorry,” a massive hit (and Michaels co-write) from the pop star’s 2015 LP, Purpose. “Friends” marks Bieber’s first solo release since that album, though he’s scored a pair of Number One hits this year as a featured artist: DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” and a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito.”
Michaels started her career as a songwriter, penning tracks for artists like Bieber, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas and Pink. She emerged as a solo artist this year with the breakout hit “Issues,” followed by her debut EP, Nervous System.
Michaels recently spoke to Rolling Stone about her musical evolution and writing process. “The music is very simple – just an added texture to tell the story,” she said. “I’m a perfectionist and like things clean and in their space.”