“Blues pop meets dirty beats.” This is how this month’s Indie Artist Spotlight artist, ZZ Ward describes her unique musical style.
Her eclectic style has been cultivated through an array of different influences. ZZ grew up the daughter of a blues harmonica player and songwriter in Roseburg, Oregon. She was influenced heavily by blues not only due to her father’s music, but also through listening to her parent’s vinyl records which included the likes of blues greats Big Mama Thornton and Muddy Waters. The influence of blues permeates throughout Ward’s music in the sense of heart and soul that bubbles to the surface in each of her recordings. ZZ is also heavily influenced by her love for hip hop music. While living in Oregon she began to write and sing choruses for local rap artists. This even gave her the chance to open for rap artists Mike Jones and Bone Thugs N Harmony. She describes the fusion of these two genres in her music as, “very easy and very natural. It just made sense with who I am and where I come from.” She also says that, “if I would just do blues I don’t think I would be satisfied without the hip hop beats and without the hip hop influences.”
ZZ now lives in Los Angeles, CA where she is currently working with the famed multi platinum creative executive and songwriter Evan “Kidd” Bogart who is the man behind the worldwide hits “Halo” by Beyonce and “S.O.S.” by Rihanna, amongst others. She recently had one of her songs, “Catchurfall” featured on the television show The Glades. “It didn’t really hit me as hard as I thought it would. When I heard my song on the episode I was like, ‘oh that’s cool’ but I think the coolest part for me has been the response from people who have become fans because of that song. That is what is so cool to me, that having my song on The Glades has gotten my music heard by so many people that wouldn’t have heard it otherwise.”
These new fans can now look forward to an EP that ZZ is currently working on which is expected to be out in October. She is currently working with producers getting the sound right and she is very excited about the release. “I feel like I have really hit my stride as far as writing goes. I think that most of these songs that are going to be on this EP are songs that I have written by myself because I feel like when I can really sit down and I can really be honest with my writing, you know, everybody likes different kinds of music, but I think what makes me special is that my voice is sincere and the words that I’m saying are real and the stories I’m telling are sincere and they are things that are really happening in my life.”
“Smoke And Mirrors”