"I'm a lot more excited about this era.
I don't mean that to say I'm not grateful
for my debut era, but I think I am a lot
more sure of myself as an artist [this time].
I have a vision which I didn't really have in
my debut era. I was kind of just going
with the flow – I think this album is very
honest. That's how you connect with
When we speak over Zoom, Ella Mai is
stateside in LA. She’s enjoying the sun
which “makes everything better” and
gearing up for the release of her
sophomore album: the aptly named
Heart on My Sleeve. Up to this point,
the 27-year-old’s biggest hits have
been glossy ‘90s throwbacks, but
after the tumult of the past few years,
it makes sense that her new music –
arriving four long years after her
self-titled album dropped in 2018 –
is a crash-course in vulnerability:
soaring vocals, diaristic lyrics and
no emotional stone left unturned.
The kind of tracks you listen to
while you mull over a situationship
or become excited about a new
love, that give you strength when
navigating troubling affairs of the
Covering our Summer 2022 issue
wearing Lacoste, Mai gets candid on
collaborating with Latto and J. Cole,
being a fan first, and how she's
stepping into a new era with her new
album Heart on My Sleeve.
Ella Mai wears Lacoste
Photography by Bartek Szmigulski
Fashion by Gorge Villalpando
Words by Megan Wallace
Hair by Kahh Spence
Make-up by Eliven Q.
Editorial Director Huw Gwyther
Art Director Jeffrey Thomson
Production Director Morgane Millot
Styling Consultant Dianne Garcia Yohannes
Fashion Assistant Chloe Cussen
Assistant Designer Lily Pichon Flannery
Styling Consultant's Assistant Fern Boonyanit
Special thanks to Box 24 Studio
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