London singer Ella Mai is currently blowing up on the strength of her sumptuous ’90s R&B throwback hit “Boo’d Up.”
This year is already looking like it is “one for the books” as she tweeted after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and selling out her tour tickets in just under 3 hours.
The 23-year-old is also due to headline Baltimore’s AFRAM festival this August, alongside local legends Dru Hill, Jacquees and VaShawn Mitchell. AFRAM Festival is a celebration of the city’s African-American culture, art and life – the festival is 42 years old now.
Ella released Ready in February 2017, but the set has grown thanks to its breakout track “Boo’d Up.” Her first song to appear on any Billboard chart vaults from No. 55 to No. 37 on the Hot 100, while rising 34-24 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
The single drew 27.8 million radio audience impressions (up 17 percent) and 15.6 million U.S. streams (up 42 percent) and sold 9,000 downloads (up 51 percent) in the tracking week.
“Boo’d Up” became a surprise hit a year after its release, but Ella is just getting started.
Ella was discovered on Instagram by Mustard after she posted a cover of 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” as a student in 2015. Her story is a modern-day fairytale. With the help of Mustard, who signed her to his 10 Summers imprint, Ella released three EPs — Time, Change, and Ready — over the course of 12 months in 2016 and 2017.
Ella imbues her music with detailed storytelling and gut-wrenching emotion that captures the ups and downs of falling in love.
However, Ella also has a bite to her, which is what first drew me to her music; for every hint of heartbreak, she doubles down on self-love, self-empowerment, and perfecting the art of being unbothered.