Ella Mai is a name you should know. The 23-year old R&B singer is taking the music industry by storm, currently reigning as the first female to top three R&B/Hip-Hop Radio Charts since Beyonce in 2012. The UK artist currently has over 170 million views on YouTube for her “Boo’d Up” video, which also sits at #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 as a single. If all that wasn’t enough, she just kicked off her sold-out Boo’d Up Tour in Dallas, Texas today, and is releasing an album later this fall. Her most recent single “Trip” is end of summer perfection and has us trippin’ for Mai.
“Trip” begins the way any good R&B banger does, with simple jazz-based piano chords, a distant riff and snaps to lock in the feel. Mai’s voice gets a chance to shine over the minimal track, shimmering with soul yet still bright and youthful. The chorus of “Trip” is nothing short of brilliant. It’s layered with sensually dissonant chords, which are executed with the rhythmic precision of a machine. The track cuts completely out near the end of the song, leaving a blank space for Mai to flaunt her stunning vocal control.
When trying to come up with an artistic comparison for the young singer, Amber Mark, JoJo and even Chris Brown came to mind, but Ella Mai has a distinctly special quality that’s unique to her. She is undeniably fierce, but also has a sweetness to her tone and overall demeanor that makes her that much easier to get into.
If you haven’t yet found your song of the summer, it looks like it might not be too late. Get your ladies in the car and blast “Trip” while the sun’s still out.