London-born singer Ella Mai has stormed the charts with her song “Boo’d Up,” with the track peaking at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, while also being certified platinum by the National Recording Industry of America (RIAA) and topping the Adult R&B Songs airplay chart. As part of the “How It Went Down” video series, Billboard sat down with Mai to find out a bit more about the hit.
The song, which was recorded over a year ago in January 2017, appeared on Ella Mai’s third EP Ready, which dropped in February of that year. That was around the same time when she was supporting Kehlani on tour and, as Mai explains, at the start of the tour, “Boo’d Up” didn’t even make an appearance on her set list.
“I thought it was too new and I was like, ‘No one’s gonna know what I’m talking about,’ so I just left it out and performed some of my older songs,” Ella Mai tells Billboard. However, when she spoke with fans after the shows at her merch booth, they would constantly ask why the song wasn’t being performed live. So due to popular demand, Mai decided to add it to her set.