Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

Welcome to B&S

BRINGING YOU THE STORIES BEHIND MUSIC + ESSENTIAL NEWS, REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS...

Review

Elle Varner:Only Wanna Give It To You (MBK Entertainment/RCA)

Elle Varner CD Cover pic

9

6.1

Rate this Single

UK release date 25.06.2012

One word tells you all you need to know about US singer Elle Varner’s debut UK single, “Only Wanna Give It To You.” That word is “HIT.” In fact; let’s add a second word in there to avoid any doubt: “BIG HIT.”

The hook will stay with you and you’ll be humming it after one listen. It is so radio friendly, it is practically grinning from ear to ear through the speakers. The 22-year-old LA native and Brooklyn resident has a soulful yet gritty voice, and the music is a clever blend of old school and nu urban sounds. Like you have heard her before, but you haven't. A bit like some of the other bigger names out there, but also with her own sound. Impressive.

Elle is joined by Roc-Nation’s J. Cole, who she co-wrote the track with (and others.) Produced by Pop and Oak, who have worked with Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, and did a classy job here. Perfect fit for Radio One and to get down to in the clubs.

Elle is a talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist whose songwriter parents Mikelyn Roderick and Jimmy Varner, brought up their daughter around studios from a very young age. Her mother, was a backup vocalist for Barry White and has written and recorded with Tevin Campbell and Rahsaan Patterson; she also released an album on the Dome label in 2007. Varner's father, Jimmy Varner, was a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist.He has collaborated with Gerald Alston, Kool & the Gang, and Will Downing.

Elle played flute from six, piano at nine and self-taught on guitar. Penned her first song at 15, while studying at The Academy of Music at Hamilton High School, where she earned a place on New York University’s Clive Davis programme of recorded music. Open to just 24 students per class, with applications from thousands. She shone and won various accolades before graduating in 2009.

She signed to the J label — home to inspirations and contemporaries like Monica, Alicia Keys, Marsha Ambrosius, and Jazmine Sullivan — and debuted in August 2011 in the US with "Only Wanna Give It to You," featuring her former classmate J. Cole. The track debuted on the Billboard R&B chart reaching # 20 and her free mixtape, “Conversational Lush,” was critically acclaimed. Varner shifted to RCA before year's end. Her sassy style has made her a much viewed internet artist, with over three million views of her single on You Tube.

The single is the first cut taken from her debut album, “Perfectly Imperfect,” due for release later this year. A wonderful introduction to a fresh talent and a serious prospect for future stardom. Check it out, as it’s great fun and a perfect summer toon (what summer?) Get in early, she's gonna be BIG.
Words SIMON REDLEY

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

Join the B&S Mailing List

Blues and Soul on Twitter