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Michal Leah Reflects On How ‘Growing Up Is Weird & Hard’ When Discussing Her Debut EP (Exclusive)



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Image Credit: Willie Jane

Michael Leah writes beyond her years, as evident in the songs on part one, the debut EP she released on Feb. 3. Though she’s still “technically a teenager,” she says to HollywoodLifeMichal has already experienced some profound experiences that she has effortlessly translated into a quintet of ethereal soul-pop songs. part onewhich collects the previously released “The Way I Love You” and “Used To It,” formally introduces Michal as another star in the constellation guiding people through their journeys of growth and heartbreak.

“Growing up is weird and hard,” Michal tells HL when discussing “Pretending,” one of the songs on part one. She has spent the last year digesting this needlessly complicated process we know as life, which has produced such observations on how we act when others are around (“Tinted Windows”), how changing means letting go of people you once held close (“Pretending ”), and how love is a process that leaves no one unaffected, good or bad (“The Way I Love You”). For someone her age, these are poignant revelations that touch upon some profound, universal truths, hinting that part one is just the beginning of a very dynamic creative career.

For the 840k followers on TikTok and the over 118k fans on Instagram, Michal has been that sad soul-pop singer helping them smile through their tears (they also caught Michal when she toured with Eloise in late 2022, and are eagerly watching Michal’s social media for announcements of future shows.) Those fans have also been playing part one on repeat since its release, but for those who haven’t heard her EP yet (or for those who would like some extra context to the songs), Michal has shared with HollywoodLife the following track-by-track breakdown.

(Willie Jane)

“Used To It”

“When people listen to ‘Used To It,’ I want them to picture revisiting the room they were standing in when they knew it was over. Those first few steps you took down the stairs of your now ex’s apartment building onto a once familiar sidewalk. Was it cold? Where did you go first? How long did you wait to download a dating app? When, if ever, did you stop comparing every date to that person? The feeling is temporary, I know that, but when you’re in it there is not enough empowering break-up songs in the world to pull you out of it. You know it won’t feel like this forever, but also wonder, what if it does? I wrote this for that moment, people inside of it deserve some company.”

“Tinted Windows”

“Some people wear sunglasses at night to look cool, others to hide the fact that they are scared shitless of big social gatherings, like hiding behind ‘Tinted Windows.Even extroverts get social anxiety, and I became aware of myself at the start of high school when I went to my first, like, really big high school party. It was almost like watching myself from behind tinted glass, or wanting to watch others from a place I could hide a little.”

“Almost Loved You”

“I’ve never been to London, but when I do finally get the chance to go, there is one guy, in particular, I plan to avoid like the plague. I was 17, he was 21, he was so cool and evasive and bounced between being available and unavailable so often that if I cut my hair every time he stopped talking to me, I’d be completely bald right now.

“Due to the distance of me being in Chicago and him being in the UK, all we could ever do was talk, and he always knew exactly what to say to keep me falling. ‘Almost Loved Youis a song I wrote at the height of realizing this guy was full of it, and it was time to move on.”


“These past 6-12 months have been a time of such massive growth for me that it’s hard for me to believe I’m technically still a teenager. Everyone always says that growing up comes with a lot of growing pains, like moving, trying your first really, really bad beer, and growing apart from friends you were once inseparable with. As I learned more about who I was, I also learned more about who I wasn’t, and there were some people in my life that made me feel more like myself and others who didn’t. I wrote ‘pretending’ about the shrinking I felt I needed to do around one of my life-long friends. Growing up is weird and hard. I still love this person a lot, I just want to learn how to love myself, too.”

“The Way I Love You”

“The Way I Love You” is about a boy who changed the way I look at love and look at loving myself. I am just so in love with my boyfriend, it’s cheesy and annoying, and I don’t even care. I’m so proud to be a part of a love like this, and this song just poured out of me. Seeing everyone’s reaction and connection to it has multiplied the meaning of this song for me by infinity. This song changed my life, and so did this boy.”

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