For some, living a dream is a privilege…a blessing, if you will. For others, it’s more of a calling. There’s no doubt that Elle Varner’s creative journey should be filed in the latter category, but even as her destiny unfolds before her, she can barely believe her eyes.
With the release of her debut album, Perfectly Imperfect (MBK Entertainment/RCA Records), which she wrote and co-produced, it’s evident that her early experiences have served her well. Crafting the album also proved to be a full-circle moment for the 23-year-old singer/songwriter as she enlisted the help of her parents – Jimmy Varner and Mikelyn Roderick – both of whom contributed their production and vocal arrangement talents and pushed Elle toward, and beyond, the bounds of her creativity. When asked to describe her feelings about the finished product, Elle takes a moment to ponder the question. “I can honestly say that I’m in love with every song on this album,” she says, matter-of-factly.
Born in Los Angeles proper and raised throughout southern California’s city limits, Elle, now a resident of Brooklyn, recalls the first time she really heard her own voice – she was nine years old and singing in her church’s youth choir. That was the spark that ignited her drive to pursue the arts. Soon after, she had a short-lived moment with the flute, followed by formal piano lessons. “I wasn’t very disciplined about practicing when I was younger, which I think was a blessing in disguise,” notes Elle, who eventually taught herself to play the guitar and now plays “drums, guitar, a little bass, a little piano and flute. Sometimes, when you know too much about an instrument, you can get lost in that. Everything from me comes from the most basic point of musical understanding.”