Pop singer-songwriter Julia Michaels has noted to Billboard how difficult it has been for her to listen to “Heavy,” the moving track featuring electropop artist Kiiara that she co-wrote with the late Chester Bennington.
Released this past February 17, “Heavy” was the first single to be released off Linkin Park’s seventh studio album One More Light, which dropped in May via Warner Bros. Records and Machine Shop just eight weeks before Bennington’s death last month.
Recalling the moment when Bennington approached Michaels about writing a pop rock hit, Michaels says, “He was like, ‘I wanna write a song about how sometimes you get really weighed down by your problems, and sometimes it’s really hard to get out of that.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’ And we wrote the song in about two hours.”
Continuing on about their professional banter during the writing process, she said, “He came in and was really funny and really warm, and had the biggest smile on his face. He was just cracking jokes and having the best time, and Mike and him were going back and forth, just making each other laugh.”
Along with Bennington, Michaels worked on “Heavy” with longtime collaborator and friend Justin Tranter who has written hit songs for artists such as Britney Spears, Fall Out Boy, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, and Selena Gomez (to name a few).
Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson are also acknowledged with songwriting credit for “Heavy.”
“They were so excited about putting our new music and just so happy and just so lovely so it’s really strange that these circumstances have happened,” she went on. “I have a really hard time listening to the song now because of it.”
Julia Michaels recently debuted her first EP Nervous System via Republic Records, which highlights her single “Issues.”
Listen to “Heavy” (Linkin Park) and “Issues” (Julia Michaels) below.