An explosion of new energy has burst onto the pop scene in the form of 17-year-old 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. Yahoo.com has called her “the next Taylor Swift” and her video of “Justin Bieber’s Girlfriend” has received over 2 million YouTube views. 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, E! News and many other shows and websites.
Honing her talent at the age of 8 with piano lessons and singing in her local church, it was clear to anyone 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. Everyone 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 was 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. “I am a big fan, but I know there are millions of other fans out there, so I knew that they would relate to dreaming about being Justin’s girlfriend.”
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 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.
Don’t be fooled. Michaela is far from a novelty one-hit artist. “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 mature track Michaela co-wrote about not being able to love the person you’re meant to be with are just some of the songs in her arsenal.
Michaela spent the summer on the road playing for kids across the country as a part of Camplified, a tour that hits dozens of summer camps around the U.S. “The Camplified Tour was a blast!” said Michaela, “The campers were amazing and they gave me the inspiration to write more music and get back in the studio.
Focused on bringing her music to a whole new audience Michaela continues to pursue her dreams. “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.” Soon, everyone will find out.