Elle Cherise Varner was born in Los Angeles, California on February 12, 1989 at 8:59am Mikelyn Roderick and Jimmy Varner. Her parents were both published songwriters, she spent most of her childhood sleeping on studio couches, running around green rooms, and watching her parents struggle to make a name in the industry. Mikelyn Roderick is Cape Verdean and Jimmy Varner is French, African American, Indian, Dutch, caucasian and Irish. When Elle was seven years old she suffered a fall down the back steps of a popular church called Jesus Christ Ministries and had to be air lifted to The Childrens Hospital, there Elle was treated for a broken arm and minor injuries to the spine. Elle had to withstand four months of physical therapy for her broken arm. But with music running through her veins, Elle was singing as soon as she could speak, playing the flute at 6 and the piano at 9. But it wasn’t until her attendance at AGC (Amazing Grace Conservatory) that her ear for harmony, melody and complex rhythm truly developed.
At age 16, Elle picked up the bat for the first time. Frustrated that she wasn’t instantly as good as Hendrix, she dropped the guitar and became a part of The Hamilton Academy of Music’s Vocal Jazz Group. Once there, she learned about the complexity of the voice, jazz music and talented jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald. Elle was surprised to discover that she had been chosen to be a part of The Grammy in the Schools Mentoring Program. Through this program she was taken weekly to the Fox Studio, where she met with mentor Kelly Burgos, and President of Fox Music, Robert Kraft.
Soon after, Elle hesitantly applied to NYU with her C average and was surprisingly accepted. Not only did she get in, but also she was admitted into the second class of the Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music. Upon graduating, she was awarded “most likely to get signed” and “most likely to win a Grammy.” Four years later she finds herself a well-rounded and cultured singer-songwriter.
Elle Varner is signed to MBK/J Records. She was one of the artists featured in BET’s Music Matters campaign. She is one of TheBoomBox’s ’15 Artists to Watch’.
On October 7, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Elle (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release future material through the RCA Records brand.