ZZ Ward will bring girly soul to Roots ‘N’ Blues

The up-and-coming artist will hit Stephens Lake Park on Friday.

When: 8 p.m. Friday Where: Shelter Insurance Stage

ZZ Ward is making her way to Columbia for a Friday performance at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

Ward, an up-and-coming soul artist, has a lot of blues influence in her music. As soon as she heard about the event, she says she jumped at the opportunity to play.

Ward is not new to the festival scene. She has also played at Wakarusa, Sasquatch and Firefly this year.

“When you can see other artists play it opens up your own creativity,” Ward says. “It’s really inspiring.”

Ward first entered the music scene when she joined her dad’s band at the age of 12. Growing up in rural Oregon, she started traveling to the college town of Eugene, Ore., and writing choruses for hip-hop and rap artists at age 16.

“I was never really thinking I had a bluesy voice in particular,” Ward says. “I learned the type of music I played as people asked me more questions about it.”

She says her music is for anyone who wants to hear it. She has a wide variety of listeners, but most are between the ages of 20-25. Women can easily relate to the tales Ward sings about, and she says that men are “somewhat attracted to it.”

“I just sing about what I’m going through, and send it to the world,” Ward says.

When asked about the upcoming show, Ward says she hopes people have a great time.

“We bring strong energy,” Ward says. “Me and the boys live for the live shows.”

She loves when people are engaged, so everyone and anyone who is going to her 8 p.m. set should bring their dancing shoes.

Ward says one of the lasting memories from this tour is when she was at an airport and, because of her fear of heights, dropped her suitcase down an escalator, hitting her guitarist on the head. Thankfully he was fine.

Those who have never heard of ZZ Ward should be sure to check her out. She not only has a new, blues-esque sound but also has collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Freddie Gibbs. Her album, Til the Casket Drops, was released in 2012 and is quickly climbing the charts.

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