Adorable singer Elle Varner is a part of the new generation of young women coming in to add new flavor to the genre of R&B.
Elle first caught our attention with her song “Only Wanna Give It To You” featuring J.Cole. GlobalGrind caught up with the curly-haired singer to find out all the inside deets on J.Cole, being bullied in school and of course, her music.
Check out our exclusive interview with Elle below!
How old were you when you first became interested in singing?
Probably like 5 or 6 from what I can consciously remember. But I’ve always been interested in music.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Tracy Chapman is one, Ella Fitzgerald is a big one, Alanis Morissette. I really take a lot of different things from different artists.
Your single features J.Cole, how did you guys link up to work together?
We actually met in college and when it was time for me to do the single he was on Roc Nation. I just hit him up like ‘Yo do you wanna get on this record?’ And he said, ‘Yeah for sure,’ so that’s how. It was real easy.
Your album is titled Perfectly Imperfect, what made you go with that as a title?
The title really encompassed how I felt about myself, reaching a point of full acceptance of who I am, how I look, how I sound. But also the album inspired the title in a sense that there’s so many imperfections on the album. There’s some notes that aren’t perfect, there’s some mistakes that have so much character that we left in, so it works both ways. It’s for me and it’s for the album and I think people can relate to that concept. I hope they can take it, just accepting oneself, which is very hard to do.
What genre would you say the record is?
It’s a fusion of hip-hop and soul and singer/songwriter… I’m a story teller but I’m singing over hip-hop beats. You have a song called “Refill” that has 808s and a fiddle throughout the song so there’s a quirky vibe. But it’s still something that you are familiar with sonically. It’s just very interesting.
Besides J.Cole are there any other collaborations?
No, he’s the only collaboration.
Who are your dream collaborations?
Oh I have many! One of my dream collaborations is to work with Sade. I would love to work wit Andre 3000, Miguel. Oh… Adele, big one!
When is your album dropping?
Top of next year, I don’t have an exact date.
What’s your favorite album this year?
My favorite album this year … that’s kind of tough because there’s a lot. Probably Miguel’s album.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not making music?
I love all things crafty. I love to make jewelry. I love to cut up old clothes and turn them into something new. I love projects like transforming a busted table into a shiny new table. I’m really into restoration and little side projects.
Your house must be pretty cool.
It is! Everything in my house was either free or under 40 bucks and people come to my house and can’t believe that I picked up everything on the street or in a thrift shop.
Would you prefer a night at home crafting or going out on the town?
A night at home definitely either writing or crafting (Laughs). I’m not a big clubber, I would much rather be at home listening to music, making music, cooking. I love to cook.
What do you like to cook?
Well at the moment I’m a vegetarian … kind of. It’s hard! One of my favorite dishes is this alfredo I make and I make the sauce from scratch. I love making everything from scratch.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
Red velvet cake. (laughs) I love sweets. I’m a fatty.
What’s your favorite movie?
My favorite movie? Wow! It would have to be Legends of the Fall or Life is Beautiful. Legends of the Fall was really good.
If you were deserted on an island and you could only bring three albums, what would they be?
The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, I would say Marvin Gaye’s Greatest Hits and … let’s see, I want to say something really good … Mariah Carey’s Greatest Hits.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Who isn’t? No, I’m joking I don’t have one. I kind of have a crush on Ryan Gosling. If you saw Crazy Stupid Love, he looked good.
What’s one surprising thing that people don’t know about you?
A surprising thing that people don’t know about me is I was really severely bullied. People were mean to me most of my life and told me that I sucked.
How did you deal with it?
I would go home and make up songs about it. “So Fly” is one of my songs where I wrote about an actual situation where I was never going to get this guy’s attention because I didn’t look a certain way at the time. Since that song I have lost weight but I feel like a song like that, everybody, not just women, can relate to. Feeling like you’re not enough no matter what size you are. So if people picked on me or called me fat, I would just make up songs about it.