An explosion of new energy has burst onto the pop scene in the form of 14-year-old singer/songwriter Michaela Wallace, who has blown into the consciousness of the mainstream with her single “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend” off her EP of the same name. With a voice and poise that belies her age, Michaela is generating a deafening buzz that’s less about the song and more about her incredible singing and style.
Honing her talent at the age of 8 with piano lessons and singing in her local church, it was clear to any one who heard her that Michaela had a gift. Growing up in the small town of Monett, MO, the last one to be convinced of how good she was? Michaela herself: “I’d been singing since, like, forever. I’d sing at home, at church, for my family and friends. Every one always told me how good I was but I thought they were just being nice! It wasn’t until people started commenting on videos I posted on my Facebook that I began to believe it.”
While keeping her skills to herself, Michaela spent many a night in her room singing, writing her own songs and noodling on the guitar, which she taught herself after a few group lessons at church. The impetus? Taylor Swift, an artist who Michaela looks up to tremendously. “I love Taylor, so after I learned basic chords I went online and learned to play her songs, and then started messing around, writing some of my own stuff.”
Getting the attention of Nashville songwriter Deanna Harper via songs posted online, she was invited to come down for a meeting. Already planning on visiting the city with her parents for the CMA Music Fest, Michaela arrived armed with a video of a performance in a local talent show. Harper was sold, asking the family to spend time in Nashville over the summer of 2010, working with her and the production team of Sorted Noise (Jason Collum, Josh Collum and Sugarland’s Thad Beaty and Annie Clements). The result is pure pop perfection, lead by instant ear bug – just try and get it out of your head – single “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend,” a tune that Michaela knew other girls would relate too. “The song was written in just about five hours. I am a big fan, but I know there are millions of other fans out there, so I knew that many girls would relate to wanting to date Justin.”
Not only could girls relate, but perhaps with a little bit of jealously added in, as Michaela even scored a meet & greet with Bieber at a Nashville show. The “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend” video caught fire, collecting over one million views on YouTube (still rising) and many postings all over the Internet. The fun clip – a throwback to the “old” days when videos told a story – garnered so much buzz that Michaela was quickly featured on CNN Showbiz Tonight, MTV, AOL Popeater and MSN Wonderwall chatting about the making of the video, her music and, of course, Justin Bieber.
The EP is rounded out by a cover of the song “Again,” written by Secrets in Stereo, the bouncy “Boys Boys Boys,” a track co-written by Michaela about, what else, not taking boys too seriously and “Don’t Make a Sound,” a duet with Secrets in Stereo, a more adult track Michaela co-wrote about not being able to love the person you’re meant to be with.
While she cherished every second of her first studio session, Michaela is now eager to get out on the road, a goal she has had since she began recording these songs. There was a time when Michaela wasn’t sure she was ready to share her gift with the rest of the world but now there’s nothing that can stop her. “Music is just so important in my life in every single way. It’s my passion, it’s something I just have to do. Singing and writing songs helps me be myself; as silly as it might sound, it lets me know who I am.”