The ascendant British R&B singer Ella Mai didn’t quite come out of nowhere. As these stories often go, there were years of false starts, attempts to crack the industry, before things started to finally catch on. That, of course, has begun to happen for Mai with her single “Boo’d Up.”
That song actually first came out all the way back in early 2017, but has turned into a huge hit this year, launching Mai into the sort of trajectory where she could very well be a major name in the pop sphere before too long. While it may feel, for many of us, like Mai arrived overnight, all that matters is this: When things fell into place at last, it was because she had a killer throwback R&B jam in her arsenal, a song that deserves all the accolades and radio play. Just last month, we named Mai one of the new queens of UK R&B on the strength of the single.
Since then, Mai made her debut TV performance by singing “Boo’d Up” on Jimmy Kimmel and prepared for an August tour across the States that’s already sold out. Now, she’s back with another marker of her rising prominence, a new remix of “Boo’d Up” featuring Nicki Minaj and Quavo. You can decide for yourself whether the addition of Nicki and Quavo doing functional Nicki and Quavo verses, plus a ringtone, elevates or muddies the pristine original. Either way, it’s great to see a star being born in real time, earning co-signs and collabs from more established names who recently would’ve appeared to occupy a very different tier than Mai. Check it out below.