The Success of Ella Mai

The "Boo'd Up" Singer Isn't Going Anywhere

BY: Georgia Davis

Ella Mai is riding high off her two Grammy nominations, including Song of the Year for “Boo’d Up,” and the 24-year-old R&B singer isn’t going anywhere. In fact, her career as a hit musician is just starting.

Mai grew up in London, but went to a performing arts school in New York for some time to study musical theater. When she realized singing was her true passion, she moved back to London and found the girl group Arize. The group tried out for The X-Factor, but it dissolved when it didn’t work out. That’s when Mai started working on her solo career.

It all started with short clips of her singing covers of popular songs from artists like Kehlani, Big Sean, Fetty Wap and Michael Jackson on her Instagram. From there, she went on to lay down her first EP in 2016, and two more 6-track EPs followed until she released her debut self titled album last year.

The 16-track album was an impressive debut for the next generation of artists. Mai had the help of seasoned veterans and a newcomer on Ella Mai, including Chris Brown, John Legend and fellow Grammy nominee H.E.R. Mai’s first top-10 hit “Boo’d Up” garnered her the support of R&B legend Stevie Wonder, who said he loved the song.

Mai made her Saturday Night Live debut in November, introducing her to people who may not have heard about her before. On the episode hosted by Steve Carrell, Mai performed “Trip” and “Boo’d Up.”

The singer-songwriter released a video for her latest swanky hit “Shot Clock.” The song is about being a relationship that is on the verge of breakup. Mai gives the man an ultimatum: If he doesn’t make a move now, then he will run out of time — just like the basketball term the song is named after.

Mai gives off a sexy attitude that is commendable and memorable, solidifying her as another badass woman in the music industry right now. With such potential and a strong sense of who she is, it’s undeniable that Mai will be around for a long time.