Cover: Elle Varner | Fresh Ammunition Issue | Spring 2012

By Ashley P. Williams

What’s your AMMO?

My AMMO is definitely love. I try to find love in everything I do and every person I come across whether I like them or not. Just Love. Lead with love.

“Only Wanna Give It to You” was such a huge summer track. Will we be getting another single for this coming summer?

You can definitely expect something hot for the summer. [My Single] “Refill” and the video just debuted so I’m very excited for that. “Only Wanna Give It to You” is a great summer song. It actually came out in the fall so I’m gonna bring that back. We got the whole mixtape Conversational Lush; alot of great summer songs on that so yeah.

What can we expect from Perfectly, Imperfect that we didn’t get on Conversational Lush?

My album Perfectly, Imperfect is very different. It’s, like, a singer/songwriter album. Like, if Alanis Morissette met hip-hop and R&B. Like, I’m speaking my mind. I’m very opinionated. I write all my songs so I have that kind of approach as a songwriter but the tracks are just full of swag and just crazy stuff. There’s a lot of surprises in there; so it’s dope.

You come from a musical family, what was it like growing up?

Yes my mother and father were both songwriters. Growing up in a musical family was like going to school before school. Everything I saw was a lesson in itself. I was able to be a fly on the wall. My mom had a lot of friends that were working actresses and musicians and I was just always around, like, taking lessons.

You have attended renowned musical programs including Amazing Grace Conservatory and NYU’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, did you always know you would be a vocalist?

I’ve always wanted to be a singer since I was a little kid but I went through a phase right after high school where I wasn’t very confident in my ability to be an artist. I had a lot of people especially in college tell me, “Oh, you should be a songwriter first like Neyo. Get your feet in the game as a songwriter.” like, they kind of didn’t want to say, “I don’t know if you have it.” I just took that and I said, “You know what? I’m gonna do it my way.” Ironically I got an artist deal before a publishing deal so…

What has been your proudest moment so far?

Let’s see… My proudest moment in music so far has to be [when] I was interviewed by a 10 year old. She did her school project on me and that was one of the proudest moments actually of my life because I said, “If I’m making a difference for 10 year olds I’m doing something right. I’m very proud of that.

Outside of music, what does Elle Varner do in her spare time?

Nothing! [laughs] No, in my spare time I’m very much a home body. I love to cook. I love to craft, whether it’s making jewelry or clothes. I love writing, listening to music, dancing, things that I can do at home. I’m not really a party girl.

What’s next for Elle Varner?

What’s next for Elle Varner is world take over. I see myself being at the very very very very very top of the music game period but especially as a R&B singer. I think it’s time to take it back to the days when R&B was dominating and you had your Whitney Houston’s and your Mariah Carey’s and it was all good. I miss those days and I think it’s time for a change. I strongly feel that I’m a contender for that position.

For more on Elle go to www.ellevarner.com.

Photographer: Ashley sky Walker
Photo Assistant: Nican Robinson
Wardrobe Stylist: Kareem James
Fashion Assistant: Marcelle Turner
Hair Stylist: Tiarra Jackson
Makeup Artist: Rodney Jon
Shoot at Industria Studios in NYC
Special Thanks to Lindell Palmer of iPop