Ella Mai. Remember the name? After breaking the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard Airplay chart for any song by a woman, Mai’s 2018 hit Boo’d Up gave her a place of recognition within the industry. This is no one hit wonder though. Ella Mai. Remember her name, because I can undoubtably say, you will most likely be hearing it again and again and it is a good sound.
With her debut album receiving almost 6 billion streams, it is no surprise that Ella is now a Grammy Award and Billboard Music Award winner with many other awards under her belt as well. Now, Ella Mai’s sophomore album Heart On My Sleeve is available on all streaming platforms and has received some very exciting features to support this amazing woman who is offering a relatable sound for her audience, brilliant hits and a distinct take on the genre. Artists such as Latto, Lucky Days and Roddy Ricch are featured, as well as a selection of talented producers including Jahaan Sweet, D’Mile and Mustard.
Merging her background of love songs with this genre was a genius idea. Love songs can be deflating, uplifting, emotive and have so much potential for experimentation if an artist wishes to switch up the formula. Mai has taken her new album and showcased her captivating vocals, thought-provoking lyrics with a unique collection of concepts. For example, Fallen Angel includes such an interesting change of tone and pace in the final minute, with a gospel introduction which seemed odd at first but matched the songs ideas perfectly. How (feat Roddy Ricch) involves an intriguing selection of vocals, beginning with a solo affected voice accompanied by just a piano. Twenty seconds in, Mai brings in the beat, backing and the entire vibe of the song is set into motion. Throughout the pace is manipulated and varied, elevating the track.
A strong sophomore album, Heart On My Sleeve carried remnants of her previous hits but gives Ella Mai a chance to showcase a range of her style, making her mark in a deeper way. If you want to catch a glimpse of this artist in person this year, Mai is returning to the concert scene, having just performed at the inaugural Strength of A Woman Festival this May and headlining Strawberries & Creem this June.