What happens when you pair an angelic songbird with a super producer in the studio? Ask Ella Mai, who found out when her Mustard-produced breakout single “Boo’d Up” cracked the top 10 on the Hot 100 and went platinum.
“The first time I found out that ‘Boo’d Up’ went platinum, I was handed the plaque,” she told Billboard on the red carpet at the 2018 BET Awards. “They really surprised me. I thought we were gold, and then Mustard and my managers brought the plaque to my rehearsals and told me. I was like, ‘You are lying!’ Like, I couldn’t believe it. I’m just honored, honestly. It’s a great feeling.”
Since catching attention with her Instagram covers, Mai has blossomed into one of R&B’s most promising newcomers. After aligning herself with Mustard, who signed her to his 10 Summers Records label, she put out three EPs in a span of two years, including last year’s Ready, which spawned “Boo’d Up.”
“It’s deeper than the music when it comes to me and Mustard,” Mai said. “He’s like a big brother, and I’m so thankful to have a mentor like him to advise me. Even though he gives me a lot of creative control, I always go to him like, ‘Do you like this?’ It’s so cool that it’s always a collaborative effort. He never makes me feel pressured or anything. He’s amazing.”
Despite having not released new music in more than a year, Mai vows to drop her debut album very soon. “I know everyone is ready for new music and I’m waiting to put it out too,” she said. In the meantime, fans can catch her on the road — earlier this month, Mai announced her “Boo’d Up: The Tour” trek, which kicks off in August.
“We sold out in 24 hours, and I couldn’t believe it. I was just like, ‘Wow,'” she said. “I’m really big on vibes, and I just want everyone to come and have a great time and spread love wherever we are.”