Ella Mai swung by for a chat with Billboard’s Chelsea Briggs during weekend one of Coachella, as the pair discussed her seven Billboard Music Award nominations, whether fans can expect a Khalid collaboration from her anytime soon, and how it felt for her to watch Alicia Keys cover her song at the Grammys.
Asked how it felt to receive seven total BBMA nominations, Mai tells Billboard that when she woke up to the news, she almost thought it was a mistake. As for how it feels to be nominated against two of her friends, Khalid and H.E.R., Mai reveals that she and Khalid called each other on FaceTime upon hearing the news to share congratulations.
Mai notes that there are no competitive feelings among them, explaining that it’s not really a competition for her. “We’re all nominated, which is a win itself,” she says. “And we’re all young, we’re all doing what we love to do, and that’s as much as it needs to be, really.”
On the subject of her friendship with Khalid, Mai is asked if fans can ever expect a collaboration from the two of them, to which she replies that while they have individually been busy on separate tours, she promises they will make it happen, hopefully in 2019.
In the interview, Mai also opens up about how it felt to watch Alicia Keys cover her song “Boo’d Up” at the Grammys. “I cried,” Mai reveals. “Luckily, they took the camera off me, but I sat there, after I was like ‘Oh my God,’ and then it really sunk in.”
“Alicia Keys is one of my idols,” she continues. “I used to want to be her so badly when I was growing up. I still want to be her, so to have her sing that, and as a song that she says she wishes she wrote, was incredible. I sat there and I just started crying…I will never ever forget that moment.”
You can check out the full video interview with Ella Mai above.