The Era of Ella Mai Has Begun

The Era of Ella Mai Has Begun

The ascendant talent’s “Boo’d Up” follow-up is sultry, emotion-laden pop.

The ascendant talent’s “Boo’d Up” follow-up is sultry, emotion-laden pop.

Text: Czar Van Gaal

After her song-of-the-summer contender “Boo’d Up” cracked the Top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100, R&B artist Ella Mai has proven she’s far from a one trick pony.

This past Friday, the UK-born singer-songwriter released her highly anticipated album, Ella Mai, a mix of classic R&B and millennial-infused reflections on love. Expanding on the percussive sweetness of “Boo’d Up,” Mai’s up-tempo harmonies prove there’s no set formula for catching feelings—from “Whatchamacallit” featuring Chris Brown, an ode to casual polyamory, to “Everything,” a snapping, 90s-inflected duet with John Legend.

Mai continues the slow-burning British invasion underway in R&B and pop—one largely led by women; with her first full-length album currently trending across streaming services, she joins the ranks of Jorja Smith and Stefflon Don. But her eponymous album is aptly titled; Ella Mai makes it clear that this name is one to be remembered.

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