Ego Ella May

Selected by: James Keith
Photography: Karolina Wielocha

Name: Ego Ella May

Where She’s From: South London

When She Started: 2010

Genre: Jazz-infused soul

File Next To: Emmavie, Yazmin Lacey, Arlo Parks

Sounds Like: “Jazz and soul with experimental instrumentation.”

First Music That Inspired Her: “‘If Ever’ by Stevie Wonder.”

Last year, Ego Ella May released the stunning So Far, a collection so well-considered it feels as if it should have come three or four projects into an artist’s career. That’s not to say it arrived too early—she had been creating music for nearly a decade by that point—but the maturity in her writing and level of thought put into its structure was impressive to say the least. Although her debut album proper, Honey For Wounds, is due to arrive later this month, So Far was an aptly-titled stop gap to tide us all over.

It’s no surprise then that May’s attracting attention from fans, critics and fellow artists alike. Emmavie counts herself a fan; Kadeem Tyrell admired her enough to call on her to write “April 25th” (which has comfortably racked up millions of streams since); and Kojey Radical, who appeared on So Far highlight “Come On”, has been a fan ever since he opened for her in 2014. This adulation has been a long-time coming and entirely well-deserved for the self-taught musician. After uploading the first track she ever made, “I’m Not Ready” to SoundCloud, it was clear she was on to something. “I met some cool people off the back of posting that,” she tells TRENCH. “It’s actually how Emmavie and I connected.” Not long after that she dropped her debut EP, The Tree, whipping up an impressive amount of critical acclaim, and it’s been steadily building ever since.

Now, with the rock-solid foundations of a stunning body of work, praise and respect from her peers, and a stack of press clippings, the only thing left to cross off on the singer’s to-do list is to go on tour. While that is obviously out of the question right this very moment, you will be able to catch her at The Courtyard Theatre on October 22. Once the lockdown lifts, her mix of rich compositions and profoundly soulful vocals should be right at the top of our must-see-live lists.

TRENCH Highlight...

Posted on June 11, 2020