Hailing from the South London music scene, singer Ego Ella May has been influenced by artists such as Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse. Possessing a voice that evokes nuances of Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu and Kissey, May has proven to be one of the most poignant and haunting performers of future soul. Her first name, “Ego”, derives from her parents’ Nigerian culture, and “Ella May” comes from an amalgamation of iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald with a household name in British parlance, “Ella May”.
Listen to five must-have tracks from Ego Ella May.
May would start singing in her late teens and, at age 19, would learn to play the guitar, delve into creating beats and producing her own material. She will release a series of self-produced EPs which will garner a lot of attention in London and abroad and will combine these experiences into a true anthology album titled ‘So Far’, featuring the track ‘Underwater’.
2. “How Far”
With May’s poetic songwriting and lyrical voice on full display, she would create a buzz around her as an artist capable of creating a seductive brand of soul-rooted, understated yet expressive R&B. His music showed a refreshing penchant for moving in new and interesting directions, spawning new genres while moving old genres into new territories. It’s clearly evident in “How Far,” another single from the album, which would heighten those sensibilities.
3. “Girls don’t always sing about boys”
The COVID-19 pandemic would have a massive impact on the music industry and essentially put an end to live music and concert touring. Some of the social issues that would arise during this time were related to social injustice, racist caste systems, police brutality, and other societal ills that would fuel May’s creativity.
She will emerge with a timeless magnum opus in the form of the “Honey for Wounds” album, a collection of musical torch songs that provided a template for reflection, redemption, healing and escape. It was essentially musical balm and balm that she applied to the day’s commentary with deeply emotive lyrics that pushed the needle of social discourse against a beautiful, melodic backdrop of otherworldly sounds provided by a range from associate producers, including Theo Croker, Wu-Lu and Alfa Mist. “Girls Don’t Always Sing About Boys” is one of 11 tracks that will appear on this album.
With its assured and ethereal blend of jazz, soul and R&B, “Honey for Wounds” would prove to be a great listen and bring a sense of calm and healing while reflecting a unique vulnerability that dealt with dark social commentary. It would be globally hailed as a stunning musical coming-of-age experience that effectively marries its sultry vocals with dreamy production values. For her next release, “FIELDNOTES,” featuring the track “YoYo,” May would journey inward and explore the dynamics of interpersonal relationships, with her soft vocals poised against her now compelling instrumental work.
5. “Helpline for Introverts”
With her 2022 release “FIELDNOTES PT II”, May continues to be an integral part of the South London jazz and soul scenes, sitting at the head of the class with other like-minded artists such as Joe-Armon Jones, Oscar Jerome and Andrew Ashong. His ability to blend the worlds of progressive soul, jazz, and bluesy electronics into a beautiful, immersive experience is cohesive, compelling, and unique. His revolutionary act is simple: to make music that is not only heard, but felt. And this revolution begins when you press play.
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