On a chilly night in January, we ventured to City Winery to hear the soulful sounds of Elle Varner. Have you visited City Winery yet? If not, what are you waiting for? This massive barrel-to-glass operation and music venue is tucked away in Ivy City. I don’t believe many Washingtonians, could have ever imagined the resurgence of this once-forgotten neighborhood.
D.C. was the second stop on the intimate twelve cities “The Elevation” tour which is also the title of her new album. They say, January is the coldest month of the year fortunately, Elle Varner kept us warm as she “Elevated” us to the next level at her sold-out show! It was exciting to see the diverse group of fans that came out to enjoy the show, it shows that her music is timeless. The ambience at city winery added to the night's experience as fans enjoyed items from the menu including city winery's signature wines by the glass or by the bottle.
We entered the packed venue to the smooth sounds of RnB Crooner “ J Brown”. He sang us (yes sang) through his reflective views of love from the eyes of a man. He began his song set with “Moon” and ended with his leading single “Give It To You". We were able to catch up with him after his set and ask him a couple of questions below:
KD Radio: Where are you originally from?
J Brown: Born and raised in Detroit but I'm currently living in LA.
KD Radio Many fans are not aware that you play twelve instruments. What or Who inspired you to play?
J Brown: I grew up in the church and started playing at the age of 8. My Mom and Dad are a huge influence in my life.
KD Radio: Your single “Moon” was originally written for a high profile artist. Was it written for someone special in your life?
J Brown: A woman that I cared about in my life at that time
Follow him on social media @jbrownmusiconly
In between sets, the DJ was bumping a familiar mix of tunes that had us rapping along and winding in our seats to the AfroBeat/Dancehall tunes. The anticipation for Elle’s arrival was short-lived once we heard the knock of the resentful beat for the single “Cold Case” from her second album Four Letter Word. Elle entered the stage wearing a black, hip-hugging shiny short-set ensemble with knee-high boots. The massive crowd roared because, like me, we all have an ex that shouldn’t exist anymore (lmao-just sayin).
Elle drifted into her wistful renditions of Sade’s Sweetest Taboo and Miguel’s Sure Thing. Varner body rolled and impressed us with those #MeganKnees throughout the performance while asking the crowd to sing along to the melodies. Of course the high tempo songs such as “Only Want to Give it To You” gave the same energy and realness. But the stand out tune for the night was “Fuck It All” that features ASAP Ferg. Elle once told fader that the emotional ballad "is an exploration into the darker side of my mind the most haunting thing about the tune for me is that I never break from the light, airy, melancholic melody until the very end.
During the set she casually shared that she couldn’t see without her glasses but was trying to be cute, a wave of laughter echoed throughout the venue. In true DC style a fan shouted out that she looked great and she grid and said: “Thank You”.
Elle evened things out with a glimpse of the tracks from her untitled album. The first track “Pulled the Strings” had a trap beat that had everyone nodding followed by the pensive but soothing “Catching Feelings”.
After the performance, Elle informed us that the album will be out by the summer and that we should stay tuned.
From start to finish, the performance was a boomerang of love and heartbreak between Perfectly Imperfect, Elevation, and new EP which consisted of trap soul and R&B. She commanded the stage with every note, prompting fans to hang on to every little moment.
KonsiderDis Radio hosted by DorisJune + Sade B
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Don't forget to join our bookclub for this month selection "5 Love Languages"