10 Summers/Interscope RecordsChris Brown has always been one of Ella Mai’s favorites, and when they recorded the song “Whatchamacallit” for her debut album, she was shocked to discover that he was also a fan of her music.
“Working with Chris Brown was very weird and surreal to me because I’m a huge Chris Brown fan,” the singer from London tells ABC Radio. “I have been since I was like 11-years-old. So I’ve always said it in my head, like ‘Oh, I’m gonna work with Chris Brown one day.’ But, when its right in front of you, it’s like OK. Wow.”
Mai credits the “Back to Sleep” singer for helping to promote her breakthrough single, “Boo’d Up,” before it became a hit.
“It was a little bit unexpected because Chris Brown was listening to my song ‘Boo’d Up’ on his Instagram story like a couple of months before we worked in the studio together,” she remembers. “He showed that he liked my music which is not how I pictured it because I was like that doesn’t make sense. It’s like I’m supposed to be the one that likes your music.”
After growing up in London, Mai attended high school in New York City. She was such a big fan of Brown that she left school early one day to go to the BET studio in Manhattan and see him on 106 and Park.
“It was amazing working with him,” the 24-year-old singer says. “He was super laid back and telling me how much he loved my music. I told him one day I cut school and went to 106 and Park.”
Mai is featured on the Creed II soundtrack, and she will perform Thursday on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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