Ella Mai was the musical guest on this weekend’s new episode of Saturday Night Live and our expectations were fairly high. Leading up to her performance on the show tonight we had a chance to hear some of her music and our takeaway was rather simple. She was extremely talented! Not only was Mai a fantastic singer, but she had a voice that could translate really well to the Studio 8H stage, which isn’t always the easiest venue for a performance.
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For her first performance, Mai came out and did one of her more-popular songs in “Emotion,” one that somehow felt a little bit nostalgia and modern at the same time. It brought some of those old-school R&B vibes; beyond that, Mai’s voice was silky and perfectly-suited for what she was singing. While this was live and clearly so, it was almost an album-level sound coming from her. That’s rare from the SNL stage.
The best thing that we can say about this performance is that it may have brought in Ella Mai some new fans. That’s the hope for any musician who wants to appear on the show, to go along of course with the wish fulfillment part of it. We do think that anyone who comes on this show has to be rather thrilled to turn up here.
Second song – ‘Trip’
This time around, Mai took to the stage in order to perform another recent song, one that is probably one of her most well-known hits. She had an interesting backdrop in front of a chain-link fence dividing her and her band while she performed in front of a park bench. She had good energy and, beyond that, her vocals were once again top-notch. The best thing about this song, though, for those who don’t it all that well is the hook of it. It’s a perfect SNL earworm song where you hear it once and it’s almost-immediately stuck in your head for some time to come.
Probably the best compliment that we can play these performances is that they set a high bar for everyone coming up the remainder of the season. They were the right combination of performance and production and we do think that they’ll be memorable to at least some casual fans for a few days. That’s really the best thing that you can hope for in this era where so many people digest a heck of a lot of content rather quickly.
What did you think about Ella Mai tonight on Saturday Night Live? Be sure to share some of your thoughts in the comments. (Photo: NBC.)