Ella Mai was born in London on 3 November 1994. Her father is Irish, and her mom is from Jamaica. Ella’s mother loved classical jazz music, especially by Ella Fitzgerald, who was often called the Queen of Jazz. That’s why she named her daughter Ella. Mai enjoyed music since childhood. Her parents noticed the girl’s wish to explore arts and music and helped her enroll in a music school. In school, Mai learned vocals, choreography, and acting. It was a dream come true for her.
In 2006, Ella’s mom got a job in New York, and the family moved to the USA. In America, the 12-year-old girl faced troubles in school. Her classmates made fun of Ella because of her English accent and a manner of dressing. To become successful in school, Mai had to forget about her hobby for a while. Instead, the teenager devoted herself to soccer. Over time, she earned popularity with the classmates and decided to go back to music and lyrics.
At 17, Ella graduated from high school and returned to London, where she enrolled in Modern Music Institute. At the same time, she joined a girl band Arize. In 2014, the group tried auditioning for the X-Factor UK but didn’t pass. A while later, Arize disbanded. The short time with the group helped Ella get priceless performance experience.