It’s been a hot two years since London’s own R&B star Ella Mai touched down on our shores for first a Bay Dreams gig and then her own solo show at Logan Campbell Centre. Making waves with her debut hits ‘Trip’ and ‘Boo’d Up’, Mai cleaned up several awards and nominations back in 2019, including Billboard’s Top R&B Artist for the year. But what has she been up to since? In honour of her brand-new single ‘DFMU’, we do a deep dive and find out how Mai has been keeping busy.
She released her debut album
Just to recharge your memory and make sure we’re all up to speed, Mai dropped her debut self-titled album back in 2018, and it gained rave reviews. With features from Chris Brown, John Legend and H.E.R, the album acted as a throwback R&B record and it went down so well it not only received two Grammy noms at the time, but another one in 2020. Ella Mai debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and earned a gold certification only two weeks after being released.
Tour, write, record, repeat
The world of music spins so fast, if you don’t keep up for even a second you face the risk of falling right off its axis. It’s been a slow few years for Mai since her album drop, as the star has really focused on crafting her second project. She spent the majority of 2018 and 2019 touring, both on her own and as a supporting act for the likes of Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars, and sort of came to a standstill like the rest of us when the pandemic hit in 2020. Retreating to her home for quarantine, Mai was able to gather her thoughts, catch up on sleep, and really sit down and begin to pen her second album.
She dropped a single
In September of 2020, Mai tweeted the news that she was dropping the single “Not Another Love Song’ on October 2, which went down an absolute treat with her fans who had been waiting for new music since 2018. “Thank you for your patience,” Mai wrote. “We back baby.” The track, written by Mai and fellow collaborator Varren Wade, is a steamy, laid-back R&B tune and the accompanying video gives a nod to early 2000s R&B divas. It earned Mai her fifth Top 10 hit.
She dabbled in acting
When she isn’t busy making music, Mai is flexing her comedic chops by appearing on Nickelodeon’s sketch show All That. Back in 2019, the star jumped on an episode called ‘Boo’d Up’ that acted as a paranormal parody of famous game show The Dating Game. In the sketch, Mai is asked to pick a ghost to haunt her home but instead of choosing from the three new contenders, she reconnects with the ghost who used to haunt her.
She released another single!
That’s right, Ella Mai is back baby. Clearing away her Instagram and making way for her new era, the star released her first single off her upcoming sophomore album on January 28. The track, ‘DFMU’, begs a lover to not let her down, and features all the classic Mai trademarks we’ve come to know and love. Oozing with confidence and class, the star is finally ready to embark on her new long-awaited journey and she’s already got fans buzzing with excitement. Keep an eye out, we’re sure there’s plenty more up Mai’s sleeve!
Ella Mai’s new single ‘DFMU’ is available to stream now.