By Lauren Robinson A.K.A Nobody’s Millennium
Ella Mai is an English singer/songwriter from London, England, born November 3, 1994. Mai moved to New York City at age 12 but then returned to England once she graduated high school. In 2014, Mai can be seen on season 11 of the U.K. show The X Factor with a trio called, Arize. The group didn’t go past the initial audition for the judges and broke up shortly after. That following year, Ella Mai created a four-track solo EP titled, Trouble, to SoundCloud. Through the use of the social media platform, Instagram, Mai signed to DJ Mustard’s label 10 Summers Records.
She released three extended plays (EPs). In February 2016, she released Time, the first in her EP trilogy. The six-track EP included the single, “She Don’t”, featuring Ty Dolla Sign. Her second EP, Change, was released in November 2016. Her most recent EP was released February 2017 and titled, Ready. Her biggest song “Boo’d Up” began to catch traction on social media, and radios played the track regardless of it being released as a single in 2017. Originally, Mai didn’t “work” the song at all by trying to get it played on radio or forcing it to be a hit. Instead, she hoped her single, “Naked”, would be her biggest hit because of the steam it gained on social media. The song peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100, and on April 26, 2018, she released a music video for “Boo’d Up”, which went viral as well.
In various interviews, Mai name drops Lauryn Hill, Chris Brown, Brandy, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, and Mariah Carey as major influences in her music. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, Vibe, proclaims that, “[her] perception of the powerful emotion is kindred to R&B heartthrobs of the ‘90s, who flooded the radio airwaves with soulful ballads, baby-making tunes, and heart-wrenching break-up anthems.”