Road To New Orleans: Elle Varner
Jesse Lirola/FilmMagic/Getty Images

All week long, we’ll feature a different artist daily to find out what they are up to on their “Road To New Orleans” for ESSENCE Festival. First up is Elle Varner.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the Essence Festival?

New Orleans – great food, culture, and people.

Like you said, NOLA is so rich in culture so what’s the first thing you plan on doing when you touch down 4th of July weekend?

First thing I’m doing is hitting Magazine St. to do some shopping. Then Frenchman at night for some incredible live music.

Loading the player...

What are you doing to prepare for your Essence Fest debut performance?

Going into the vault of my favorite live performances to make my show even more exciting!

Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform at this year’s 20th Anniversary of the festival?

This will be my first time, the experience overall is so exciting – I can’t even pick one person.

Name one legendary artist that has passed on that you wish was still alive to perform a duet with you at this year’s festival.

Etta James! We would sing “I’d Rather Go Blind.”