Yes. We ended up talking every nine months or something because our paths cross or something cool happens. But it was really neat when it first started happening for me as a pop songwriter -- I think when the Gwen song came out, somehow it came across her radar that I had done other couple hits before that and I got 25 texts in a row like, “Wait. What the f--k? What are you doing? Where are you? What’s happening? I’m so proud of you! Woah! Woah! Wait, really? Wait Bieber. Wait Selena. Wait Gwen.”
That was a really cool moment just because it’s been a long journey of us back in her New York days of Gaga opening for us and then us opening for Gaga. I think Lady Gaga and people from the past know how hard I’ve worked I think are all very, very proud of me, which is really cool.
You co-wrote Julia’s song, “Issues” -- how did you two know that was going to be her song and not someone else’s?
That was such a special moment. The minute I met Julia, I knew she had a very, very specific story to tell. Everyone that ever met her was like, “You’re an artist, you’re a star,” and I could see just the thought of that was very overwhelming for her. So, I did my best to say it as little as possible, even though I wanted to say it every f--king day. What was cool, it was kind of like a double whammy -- when we wrote “Issues” she was so connected to it, as she should be.
There was another song that she was maybe going to be a feature on and it ended up not happening and they put a different artist on it. She was so devastated that they weren’t going to keep her vocals on the song that she was so close to -- this was a different song than “Issues.” It was right around the same time and I kind of just said to her when she was in the bathroom crying in the middle of the session -- which is very normal for us, it’s not like a big drama. We’re songwriters, it happens. So, I kind of knock on the door, “Hey, honey I think we need to think about this. If your voice not being on the song is hurting you that much, I think it’s time for you to own the facts that you’re a fucking superstar.”
We had luckily written “Issues” in that same realm, maybe in the same month or so. It was kind of that moment like, “Oh wait. Yep I’m very upset about this feature and I have this song that is still so important to me.” All the songs that we have written are very much our stories, but “Issues” -- it was like, “this is Julia, this is her.” She had to f--king keep it and I was so supportive. The other people we wrote it with were a little skeptical just because it’s such a special song and if you put it on a superstar, it has a better chance of working. But me and Julia were like, “Nope, bitches, that’s her song.” So, it was really cool and now to see it work so well it’s just one of those moments you read about happening in somebody else’s life and you don’t think it’s going to ever happen in yours but it’s really cool to be a part of that.
"Issues" has really taken off -- it’s one of the biggest songs of the year. Should we expect solo music from you anytime soon?