Ella Mai is a singer and songwriter who comes from England. In recent times, she has managed to rise to prominence, as shown by how she was able to secure not one, not two, but three awards at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ella Mai:
1. Born in London, England
Mai was born in London, which is a place that most people should be familiar with to some extent. After all, London has been a center of both culture and commerce for centuries with the result that it remains very influential in the present time. As such, the city can claim a number of honors, with examples ranging from it being the biggest city in the European Union to it being the most visited city when based on international visitors.
2. Went to High School in the United States
With that said, Mai is very familiar with the United States. This is because her family moved to the United States when she was still in the eighth grade. Due to this, Mai went to high school in Glen Oaks, Queens before she went back to London.
3. Named for Ella Fitzgerald
Mai’s mother is a huge fan of Ella Fitzgerald, so much so that Mai is named Ella in honor of the Queen of Jazz. For those who are unfamiliar, Ella Fitzgerald managed to find success as a member of the Chick Webb Orchestra, which embarked her to launch an even more successful solo career. In total, Ella Fitzgerald’s career spanned close to six decades. Something that speaks volumes about her staying power as an artist.
4. Is a Methodist
Like a lot of artists, some of Mai’s earliest musical experience came from the church. For those who are curious, Mai’s family are Methodists, which aren’t a single denomination of Protestant Christianity so much as a collection of related denominations that can trace their descent from the English cleric John Wesley. The African Methodist Episcopal Church that they belong to was founded in 1816, thus making it one of the first independent Protestant denominations to have been founded by black people.
5. Very Positive Person
On the whole, Mai is a very positive person with plenty of confidence. She has said that this confidence is something that she has always had rather than something that she developed over time. In any case, Mai likes to focus on the positive side of things without getting dragged down by the negatives.
6. Was Surprised By LA’s Lack of Walkability
Mai has said that the transition from London to New York City was a relatively smooth one for her because the two cities had a lot of similarities. In contrast, the transition to Los Angeles was much more challenging. One of the differences that Mai cited was that it was relatively easy to get around by just walking from place to place in the previous cities, while the same wasn’t true for Los Angeles, where people who wanted to get anywhere had to get a car. In the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t a particularly huge difference, but it was nonetheless something that stood out for her.
7. Doesn’t Get Sushi
Amusingly, one of the other things that Mai didn’t get was the love of sushi that she observed in L.A. residents. With that said, the fondness for sushi in L.A. is very understandable. After all, while there is some dispute over the first establishment to serve sushi in the United States, it was a L.A. establishment that put sushi on the metaphorical map in the United States. Moreover, L.A.’s celebrities did much and continue to do much to drive the popularization of sushi as well as the ongoing evolution of sushi to make it more suitable for American tastes.
8. Got Noticed Because of Social Media
Once upon a time, Mai was one of the numerous individuals who post short clips of themselves singing covers of famous songs on their social media accounts. In fact, this was how she got noticed, thus enabling her to embark on a music career of her very own.
9. DJ Mustard Gave Mai a Lot of Creative Freedom
One of the people who became interested in Mai because of her covers on social media was the American producer DJ Mustard. In fact, he was so interested that he asked her to come to a studio session to see what she could really do when it came to making music of her own rather than just covering other people’s songs, which was an opportunity that Mai took up with obvious enthusiasm. The experience proved to be positive enough that Mai was soon signed with DJ Mustard’s record label, which gave her considerable creative freedom to make her music her music in the truest sense possible.
10. “Boo’d Up” Took Time to Rise
A lot of people will recognize Mai most because of her song “Boo’d Up,” which soared up Billboard’s Hot 100. With that said, it is interesting to note that “Boo’d Up” wasn’t an instant smash hit. Instead, it took some time for it to build up through Bay Area clubs and radio stations while Mai was building up her profile by going on tour with more established artists. Eventually, these processes built up critical momentum, thus enabling “Boo’d Up” to roar to widespread prominence. Something that in turn, established Mai as a notable artist in her own right for a lot of people out there.