Ella Mai caught up with Billboard’s Tetris Kelly on the red carpet at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala on Saturday (Feb. 9), where they chatted about why her two Grammy nominations mean so much to her.
Mai, who is up for two Grammy Awards — song of the year and best R&B song for “Boo’d Up” — recalls that she first learned of the news when she was about to perform on television. “I’m on TV looking crazy ’cause I was just so in shock, honestly,” Mai tells Billboard. “And then I had to perform … I was a whole whirlwind of emotions.”
“Honestly I’m so honored, I’m so excited,” she adds. “It’s my first Grammys and to be nominated for two awards, it’s just an honor.”
Asked if being nominated makes her feel more validated as an artist, Mai replies, “I always say, as artists, we … don’t solely do it for the recognition because we just do it because we love it. But to get the recognition is an incredible feeling and especially at such an early stage in my career, to get this, the highest form of recognition in music, is really, really amazing.”
You can watch the full video interview with Ella Mai above, and be sure to tune in to the Billboard Grammy pre-show, streaming live on Twitter on Sunday (Feb. 10) at 5:30 pm ET/2:30 pm PT.