ZZ Ward Ready to Connect with Charleston

zzwardZZ Ward is sick.

Sure, I could be utilizing some slang to describe her musical talents, but sadly, I'm referencing her current physical well-being. Despite struggling with a cold, Ward, like any young and hungry musician, has been fighting through it to put on the best show possible for her current and future fans. Plus, she's still attending to her media obligations - no matter how puny and unprofessional the website may be.

The perpetually fedora-clad Ward spoke with me this week about her music and the upcoming show at the Pour House (6/8/13 at 8 pm).

Although she still wasn't feeling well, she was confident she'd be back to full strength for the Holy City.

"For a little while it was really scary because it was unknown if I was going to be able to sing," Ward said about the start of her tour. "But, I'm on the mend now and should be perfect for Charleston!"

Being healthy for the Pour House gig means the Oregon resident will be able to interact with the crowd better and match their intensity throughout the show.

"I love to connect with the audience and their energy," the singer said.

Ward said fans can expect to hear much of her debut, full-length album (2012's Til the Casket Drops) during the Charleston show but she's also added some lesser known songs and a cover to make for a unique set.

"We throw in a cover of a blues song that I grew up loving as well as some different live renditions of the album tracks," she said. "I also perform a song or two off of my mix-tape Eleven Roses."

Each of Ward's releases showcase her innate ability to seamlessly meld numerous genres together. In fact, if you polled listeners, you would get several descriptors regarding Ward's style - everything from blues to rock to pop to maybe even hip-hop. Not surprisingly, many musicians with varying backgrounds have already worked with her during her young career.

Ward has collaborated with some big names like hip-hop legends Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest), Pete Rock, and DJ Premier, rap new-comer Kendrick Lamar, Michael Fitzpartrick from Fitz and The Tantrums and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder.

"Everyone you named I look up to and hold in the highest regard," Ward said. "Getting to work with them, let alone create magic with them, was a dream come true."

Although Ward wrote most of the album herself, she looked to these new found peers to take her material further.\

"I was so lucky and blessed to find the perfect collaborators to either produce the songs out or feature on them to elevate them to the next level," she said.

Touring surely keeps Ward busy, but she's also got several other projects in the works. She recently shot a video for her next single ("365 Days"), started a fedora line with Broner Hats, launched an application that connects fans to each other and to her content, and she's been working on some new songs.

"I'm collaborating with some artists on their records and I am finishing up a remix LP to drop later this summer," she said.

While her Charleston fans wait for those new tunes, they can catch ZZ Ward at the Pour House on Saturday, June 8th. Tickets can be purchased here. The Silent Comedy opens the show at 8:45 pm while Luke Cunningham plays a free show on the deck at 4 pm.

***UPDATE***: ZZ Ward will also be playing an acoustic set at Half-Moon Outfitters at 94 Folly Road in West Ashley.

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