Elle Varner, a 23-year-old R&B singer-songwriter from California, opened for J. Cole at the 2012 UNC Homecoming Concert Sunday night. Varner collaborated with J. Cole on her most recent album.
Staff writer Caroline Pate spoke to Varner about her life, her career and the future.
Daily Tar Heel: What is it like performing with J. Cole?
Elle Varner: We haven’t performed together yet — believe it or not.
DTH: What was your favorite part of performing at UNC?
EV: I could definitely tell there were a lot of people that didn’t really know who I was.
I could see in their faces. They were just like kids — so into it. I love seeing that pure joy that music gives to people. I saw that tonight and it was wonderful.
DTH: You have said your song “So Fly” is about your tough time with body image. Any advice for UNC students who might be going through the same thing?
EV: I just want to let them know … that it’s OK to have goals — physical goals. We all have them. “I want a tighter butt,” or whatever it is.
You just have to keep a healthy mindset about it and love yourself. Love yourself when you put on 10 pounds. Love yourself when you lose 10 pounds. Just love yourself.
DTH: Your parents are both musicians and now they have helped you record “Perfectly Imperfect.” What is that role-reversal like?
EV: Oh, gosh (laughs). The role reversal with my parents was so interesting. I’m like, “I’m grown!” But it’s really cool. I learned so much from them. We have such a friendship … So it’s really cool working with them. They’re cool people.