True to our site’s name, sometimes we catch a vibe with the stars we interview and they drop more gems than we’re able to use. “Outtakes” is a series of excerpts from VIBE profiles, Q&As, and cover stories that we just couldn’t leave on the cutting room floor.
Usually, when quotes are left out of an interview, it’s because the artist gave us more than we could possibly make room for in one story. Less often, yet I wouldn’t say rarely, it’s because certain things they shared weren’t terribly interesting. Neither of these can be said of Ella Mai’s Yellow Diamonds interview published this past Thursday (May 5). The following outtakes from my conversation with the singer are results of something we media folks are both blessed and begrudged to abide by: embargoes. For those unfamiliar with the term, embargoed content consists of stuff journalists are allowed to see, hear, or otherwise know about before the general public, but can’t actually cover until we get the green light from our sources (or until whatever we’ve seen, heard, or otherwise known about has been shared via said source’s own platform). As my interview with Mai took place right after a pre-release listening event for her sophomore album, Heart On My Sleeve, the quotes she gave about the project were plumb full of juicy, forbidden, embargoed fruit. Read on to learn about the hidden Kirk Franklin feature on Mai’s new LP, the secret voice note from her recording session with Lucky Daye, and her thoughts on getting to work with the legendary D’Mile.