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MUSIC


Elle Varner Raspy, sexy, distinctive...


Now Stateside to another female with a superb voice. Elle Varner hails from Los Angeles, lives in New York, and now she’s on course for some real success! A multi-instrumentalist, she has been destined to have a singing career from a tender age.


Her first single ‘I Only Wanna Give It To You’ (written by Elle and produced by Oak and Pop, who are behind smashes for Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj) featured Roc Nation’s J Cole, who drops a formulaic but cool few bars over this classic bit of funky RnB, which allows Elle to use that raspy but


gorgeous voice to its full extent. It’s a playful and enjoyable track blessed by an equally playful video directed by none other than Orson Whales!


Her debut album Perfectly Imperfect follows her successful mixtape Conversational Lush, which displays a huge degree of versatility and talent. ‘Feel Like Women’ is a standout track – sexy, mature soul, while ‘Runaway’ takes Bill Wither’s classic ‘Lovely Day’ (1977) and uses that distinctive beat to great effect.


Follow Elle Varner on Twitter @ellevarner or visit www.ellevarner.com


Big hair, big laugh, big personality and endearing quirkiness. 2011 saw Mercedes, 22, drop ‘Shock Absorber’ (infectious disco remix by Tonka). Brought up in Copenhagen, the singer-songwriter-rapper’s influences are steeped in old-skool hip hop.


Mercedes Endearing quirkiness...


Jay James Picton Rich centre of soulfulness...


Definitely one to watch, Jay James Picton’s story is hugely interesting for the mere fact that five years ago he found his voice by accident... Until that point, singing was the last thing on his mind.


Five years on, the Welsh-born Jay (a former Royal Navy fitness instructor) has a voice that’s as perfectly at home over a classic deep number or a rock number awash with telling guitar riffs. While it is versatile, it is at its essence an old-school voice with that rich centre of soulfulness.


Jay has been compared to Otis Redding, Al Green and Donny


Hathaway, and he definitely has the ability to convey his emotional spectrum. Indeed, it was through the break-up of a relationship that Jay found this unique voice and talent for music, and now he is certainly on the cusp of being a huge UK talent.


His album Play It By Heart, recorded in Brooklyn and LA, is a very solid introduction to Jay. As testament to him, he has two legends, Booker T Jones and the brilliant John Legend, who not only blesses ‘Oh There She Goes’ with his tinkering, but also adds Legend to his list of admirers.


Follow Jay James Picton on Twitter @ JAYJAMESPICTON or


WWW.FLAVOURMAG.CO.UK 63


Recently signed to Warner Music Publishing US, Mercedes’ latest release ‘A Little Too Much’ is a dance affair with a dirty bass veering towards dubstep. With producers like Yelawolf and Skrillex, the debut album promises to be interesting.


Follow Mercedes on Twitter @mercedesmyname


Words: Semper Azeez-Harris


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