Los Angeles Times

The big leap for Ella Mai

Before Ella Mai turned to Instagram, she didn't think her music would ever reach anyone.

It was summer 2015, and the singer-songwriter was studying at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute when a light bulb went off: "I literally had an epiphany. Like, 'What am I really doing?'" she remembered.

Wanting to get her voice out there more, Mai posted a clip of herself singing a soulful twist of Fetty Wap's trap anthem "679" for her

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