Gabrielle Serene Varner, better known as Elle Varner, is not a name that’s immediately or widely recognised in the UK, but across the pond she’s been making major waves and is about to show just how hard she can hit with the release of her debut studio album, Perfectly Imperfect, in August. The 23 year old soul singer and LA native is very much in her natural habitat working in the music industry, having grown up spending a lot of time in recording studios with her songwriter/publisher parents. Growing up she developed her passion for making music in offering her parents an opinion here or there on a song they were writing, and now she’s stepping into her own space as a successful musician in her own right.
Let’s take a look at one of the polls Varner has claimed to date – voted ‘most likely to get signed’ and ‘most likely to win a Grammy’ by her peers at New York University’s Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music (a highly coveted and prestigious course only admitting around 24 people a year out of thousands), it’s clear that the faith her classmates had in her has translated to the public with swift ease.
Varner already has an EP banked, Conversational Lush, which was released earlier this year. The woman herself is all pops and flashes of colour, clashing prints and a breezy personality and this is reflected in the sunny, jazzy nature of the album. WTF puts a humorous twist on a particularly shitty day – somehow she makes finding her boyfriend in bed with the mailman and getting mugged not seem like something to spend ages crying over, instead concluding the song with a carefree chuckle. Her phone was in her jacket pocket anyway, so there. She teases us with a snapshot of Refill, a track which sees a genius marriage between an Irish gig and smooth RnB, and will feature in full on the debut album. On EV Miss Varner has a go at spitting a few bars for the first time, backed up by the well-known buoyant beats of Jigga’s H to the Izzo.
Her first UK single, Only Wanna Give It To You featuring Grammy-nominated Roc rapper J. Cole and the lead track on her upcoming debut, was released last month although it has been circulating the music world for almost a year now. In typical Varner fashion, she cheekily switches up singing about crushing on a new guy with lust for a pair of shoes. In case the point hasn’t been hit home hard enough yet, Elle Varner can definitely be described as one to watch. Her time to explore our shores may still be tentatively hovering somewhere in the future while she’s busy taking over the USA but rest assured she’s a force to be reckoned with. “I’ve been blessed with the tremendous gift of music and it’s my responsibility to share it with the world. I see big things in the future.” We suggest you get on board now then.
Perfectly Imperfect is released on 7th August. Check out her new single, I Don’t Care, as well as Conversational Lush below.
For more information, visit www.ellevarner.com
Angie Moneke @angiejudeLDN