Last November Ella Mai gave fans a musical gift for her birthday with the release of her single “Naked.” This week the singer celebrated Valentine’s Day and the two-year anniversary of the release of her EP Time by dropping the visual for “Naked,” and this gift was more meaningful than a box of chocolates and a dozen roses.
Ella Mai strips down in “Naked” – both literally and figuratively. In the first scene, Mai replicates the single cover art and sits naked in a bathtub surrounded by windows covered by sheer curtains. We then see the natural beauty sans makeup as she sings the very personal song directly into the camera in a completely blacked out room. Although she starts off the video alone, by the chorus Ella is joined by a cast of individuals of various ethnicities and ages. They’re revealed one by one as their faces fade into each other. For the second verse, we see more of Ella and her co-stars who reveal their flaws, blemishes and scars. Primarily dressed in their underwear, they are unashamed, unafraid and proudly display their imperfections. Director Keoni Marcelo gathers everyone together as the video nears its end, and some hold up placards with popular hashtag slogans on them giving the video a deeper meaning.
The visual for “Naked” is simple yet quite impactful. We appreciate that Ella Mai used this moment to tackle a myriad of topics, including self-esteem, body positivity and hashtag activism, in a little over three minutes and make a salient statement.