Ella Mai

Ella Mai

“Boo’d Up” had been in the world for more than a year before it became an out-of-the-blue smash, and no one was more taken aback than the person who made it. But Ella Mai didn't rush into a studio to capitalize on the success by immediately coughing up an album—the British singer and DJ Mustard protégé had already been at work on her full-length debut for a year. “When ‘Boo’d Up’ really did start to take off, we already were prepared, because I already had stuff in the vault ready to go,” she told Beats 1 host Julie Adenuga. “I didn’t feel like I had to just put something together or be like, ‘Aw, this might not be good, but we need to put it out.’ And I never wanna feel like that.” Indeed, Mai arrives fully formed, as at ease with the upbeat (“Dangerous”) as she is with slow and sultry (“Run My Mouth”), and holding her own with both fellow up-and-comer H.E.R. on “Gut Feeling” and R&B royalty John Legend on “Everything.” And she makes stepping into pop stardom look effortless. “Luckily,” she told Beats 1, “everything's gone to plan so far.”

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