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ZZ Ward is Gritty

The singer talks upcoming music, her first band with her dad and the Spice Girls

Zsuzsanna Eva Ward, known professionally as ZZ Ward, is gearing up to release her second studio album this summer. After seeing much success from her first album Til the Casket Drops with hits like “Put the Gun Down” and “Love 3x” she is ready to get back to her roots and be the most sincere version of herself.

Ward just released the first track off the album, “The Deep” featuring Joey Purp, along with a video. “I wanted it to be gritty and moody and totally support the song. Videos are risky but I’m really happy with the way it turned out,” she said. The song is meant to be an introduction to what listeners can expect from the album. As she explained, “Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in a genre as an artist. I grew up listening to a lot of blues, hip-hop and music with a lot of sincerity. “The Deep” has all those flavors.”

With roots in blues music and storytelling Ward accepts the fact that she might not fit in all the time, but still, she strives to be authentic. The artist sat down with DuJour to talk her newest album, her musical roots and her love for the Spice Girls.

What is “The Deep” about?

The song is about being in a relationship with someone who you know is not good for you. You’re trying to end it but you just can’t seem to let go. It’s just about being caught in the middle of that feeling. I wanted the video to support that ugliness that sometimes makes you high and makes you feel good enough to keep hanging on.

Was the song written from personal experience?

Yes, it was. For the whole album, I wanted to find inspiration from real experiences. I think music should be real. You end up singing these songs for the rest of your life. Making meaningful music is going to help me be sincere when singing them. 

What inspired the album?

This album is about my past relationships that didn’t work out. There were things within those relationships that I tucked deep down inside myself and ignored. I wanted to clean out my closet and talk about the struggles and the heartbreak that I’ve felt. It was really important for me to be myself on this album, so the whole album is inspired by real stories.

How did you start listening to blues music?

My parents got really into the blues when I was like eight-years-old. They went from listening to Led Zeppelin and the Stones to going on a blues journey. They listened to Muddy Waters, Etta James and Howlin’ Wolf. These old records were always playing in the background and now it’s embedded in me.

When did you and your dad start a band together?

It’s so weird you’d ask that question because I was thinking last night about how strange it is that here I am at 30 years old, still playing music in the studio for eight hours and it’s just life for me. It’s so normal for me. When I was 12, we would play all these shows and that became my life. I would sit down with a guitarist and work on a song as if it were normal. At the time it was probably really random for a 12-year old girl to be singing these old Robert Johnson songs.

How would you describe your sound?

I would say: raw, gritty, stompy and empowering. I don’t know if stompy is a word.

What is a band or artist that you listen to that would surprise your fans?

I think I know every lyric from a lot of the Spice Girls songs; I think I was in third grade when they and Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic” were both really popular. If “2 Become 1” came on right now, the lyrics would just come pouring out of my mouth. I have distinct memories of me driving around in my friends’ parent’s cars, all of us screaming the lyrics out the window.