ZZ Ward, AKA Zsuzsanna Eva Ward, spent her youth digging through crates of her father's blues collection and brother's hip-hop records. So, needless to say, she's got soul—and just as importantly, the pipes to back it up.
Infusing blues rock with neo-soul and a dash of hip-hop swagger, Ward broke onto the scene three years ago with her critically-hailed debut album Til the Casket Drops. Attracting major names in the rap game such as Kendrick Lamar and Freddie Gibbs, it was unlike anything the folk scene had seen before. And the same can be said for her new EP, Love and War, which drops August 28, as well as her next full album This Means War (due out March 2016). How can we be so sure?
We've got first-listen dibs on one of the most robust tracks on her new EP, "Marry Well," and it's an audacious, devil-may-care anthem for independent women everywhere.
"A lot of the singers I grew up listening to were strong, empowered women," explains Ward. "I was inspired by women like Etta James and Tina Turner to be bold and honest in my own life and music. When I wrote 'Marry Well' I wanted to impart my own message of strength and independence to others."
And for Ward, this attitude is fluid no matter what she's up to.
"As an artist always on the road or in the studio, I'm constantly trying to find that balance between work and love and giving as much of myself as I can to both without sacrificing my own identity," she adds.
Listen to the groovy ballad in full below, and remember, ladies: "Go on girl, give 'em hell."