Julia Michaels on Pressure Writing Songs for ‘Wish’ (Exclusive)

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Julia Michaels is reflecting on the pressure she felt when writing music for the Disney movie Wish.


Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE at the U.K. premiere of the film on Monday, Michaels, 30, revealed that the songwriting process felt  “overwhelming” at times due to wanting to create “something as great” as Disney’s past musical classics.


“I think a lot of the challenges came from me,” the “Issues” singer tells PEOPLE. “Just Disney’s legacy is music and so the expectation to create something as great as what’s come before me was very overwhelming.”


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Julia Michaels attends the ‘Wish’ UK Premiere in London on Nov. 20, 2023.

Mike Marsland/WireImage


Despite the pressure, Michaels reveals that she managed to get through it with the support of those around her.


“I had so many people on this film that were so supportive and believed in me and it really got me through the process,” the Grammy-nominated songwriter says. 


Michaels co-wrote Wish’s music with her songwriting partner, Benjamin Rice. “It was a group effort,” the star tells PEOPLE, adding that they would have “discussions with the screenwriters, the directors and producers” and “talk about the characteristics of the characters and how we wanted them to sort of person. And then we would go back and be like, ‘Okay, how do we do this sonically?’ And it was so fun and amazing.”




Michaels looked elegant in a black turtleneck gown as she attended Monday’s event at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square. The star, who has co-written hits for many artists including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and John Legend, also wore her hair in a ponytail as she displayed a bright smile on the blue carpet.


Posing alongside actress Ariana DeBose, who voices Wish’s lead character Asha, Michaels reposted a video on her Instagram story of the duo laughing together. The two were also pictured taking a snap with British presenter and singer, Rochelle Humes, who voices the character of Rochelle.


Michaels recently penned an inspiring message about her career journey as she posed on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter with fellow songwriters Billie Eilish, Cynthia Erivo, Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo and Jon Batiste.


“4-year-old me that grew up watching Disney films and fell in love with Disney music wouldn’t believe that I get to be apart of the music that shaped so much of my childhood,” Michaels wrote in her Instagram caption. “And to share the floor with these incredible people?!! My imposter syndrome doesn’t know how to take it all in.”

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