ZZ Ward Finds Her Most Confident Self On ‘This Means War’
ZZ Ward is an undeniable talent – from the moment she opens her mouth, the sound of her crooning, soulful voice is spellbinding. Her Blues roots could easily make her an unlikely candidate for a pop star, but the world latched onto her debut record, Til The Casket Drops. Three years later, ZZ finds herself with an incredible fanmakebase and an even stronger sense of confidence on her ‘love is a battlefield’ sophomore album, This Means War.
Growing up, ZZ – born Zsuzsanna Eva Ward – was no wallflower. Music was a huge part of her household and the Blues were a staple. “I would sing things that were beyond my years,” ZZ said as she recalled being the ‘weird kid’ who sang Otis Redding at the school talent show. “I sometimes had trouble fitting in with people but when I sang, that was what made me special,” she said. ZZ always knew she wanted to be a singer and being the weird kid definitely paid off.
“I’m more confident and embracing who I am.”
The road to Til The Casket Drops wasn’t an easy one, but ZZ knew she would never make it as a singer if she didn’t commit herself to the dream. ZZ packed her bags from her quiet hometown of Roseburg, Oregon and headed straight for Los Angeles. “I knew I had to at some point dedicate myself one hundred percent to being an artist and that meant sleeping on air mattress for three years and living off $200 a month,” she said.
Fast forward to 2015 and ZZ Ward is playing packed festival crowds at Shaky Knees music festival and even has fans who have her lyrics tattooed on their bodies. “That kind of stuff makes you want to keep doing a kickass job,” ZZ said. Her devotion to the craft and fuel from heartbreak made for a killer debut and an even more confident new LP, This Means War. Inspired by the passions and wars of relationships with hints of Beatles influence, ZZ’s sophomore record is something that makes her feel proud. This time around, ZZ is both taking risks and getting down to the core of her personality. “I’m more confident and embracing who I am on this album,” she said.
“Once you find your niche, you really get to flourish and find that confidence in yourself.”
This empowering confidence is something that has blossomed over the years by simply, as cheesy as it may sound, following her dreams. “It takes time to figure out what you’re interested in: sometimes you know from when you’re a kid and sometimes you’re still searching when you’re an adult,” ZZ said.
While she feel blessed to have found her calling so early on, she encourages those on their path to being a more confident self to find their passionate bliss. “Once you find your niche, you really get to flourish and find that confidence in yourself,” ZZ said. While ZZ may never be truly content with the music she writes, always striving for something better, This Means War showcases a powerful artist, unafraid to take risks to becoming a more truthful self.
Polaroids & Story by: Shannon Kurlander