Zsuzsanna Eva Ward, better known as ZZ Ward is a singer/songwriter working the alternative pop charts since 2012. She dropped her first album, Til The Casket Drops in October of 2012, and has released two singles, “Put The Gun Down” and “365 Days” since. We sat down with ZZ to talk about her new video for “365 Days” and how she feels about pop music today. Check it out below.
Tell us about “365 Days” and the video and what it was like when you were writing it.
I was angry when I wrote “365 Days.” I was pissed off that I wasn’t being treated how I wanted to be treated by this guy, I channeled all of my anger and frustration into this song. I knew if I wrote this song I’d be able to break up with him. The song is about waiting for someone to change. The video is kind of symbolic of that, he basically turned my world upside down.
It’s also very empowering.
I usually try to throw some empowerment into my songs because that’s just the way I am. I will never let someone get the best of me, especially with my songwriting. It was an empowering break up song.
What was it like filming the video, tell me about that?
It was a lot of fun. It was the first video that I did, a lot of the video was this camera turning and turning my world upside down. Them trying to keep my hair on my shoulders as I was turning upside down. It was an easy music video to make, but the outfit was uncomfortable!
We know you’re a major hip-hop fan, we were wondering if you would be down to share some of the people you thought had the best hip-hop albums or songs this year?
Kendrick Lamar, I mean obviously. I don’t think it’s every year that someone comes around and becomes respected as one of the greatest rappers of all time. I think that he is one of the greatest rappers of all time. I think that’s really exciting for this year. He’s such a talented artist. I’d also say Macklemore. He’s really embraced his own style. “Thrift Shop” and “Same Love” really show his passion for his own thing. I respect that so much, I’ve seen him perform live and he’s a wicked performer. He’s a genuinely cool and nice guy.
Do you feel a stronger connection to Kendrick because he’s a West Coast rapper?
I don’t think so. I don’t think it really matters whether you’re East Coast or West Coast. I like people who have an identity when it comes to the way they rap. Someone that pushes the bar, that’s what I respect.
Over the summer you were doing a ton of festival shows. Is it different to do festival shows vs. headlining your own show?
It’s very different, festivals are all very different from each other. I couldn’t categorize my own shows and then festivals as one thing. It’d be so different. At Firefly Festival in Delaware, when I came out on stage there were maybe about 7 thousand people, then 10 thousand people. That was the biggest show I’d played. That’s a festival, though. My own shows are different. They’re usually really fun and wild, with the passion from my fans, it’s just really incredible to see people embrace these songs.
What could someone expect? If someone had never seen you perform, how would you describe it?
It’s just really raw music, to be honest. I played so much growing up and I paid so many dues. I know how to play on the street corner and I know how to play on the stage. I know how to roll with the punches and roll with things that go wrong on stage, because things can go wrong a lot. I don’t think one show could be like the next one, you never know what’s going to happen. Live music is exciting. I think a lot of my fans have brought a lot of great energy that help us all get hyped up.
Have you had any crazy fan moments on tour?
It keeps happening more and more. Today I had someone bring me room service and then they called me after telling me what a huge fan they were. It’s cool because I’m still a new artist. It’s crazy they know who I am. It’s exciting to touch people with music, I’ve always loved writing songs. Watching how people respond to my music is such a game changer, it makes me keep writing.
Totally, its important to feel like you’re connecting with your audience. What is something that people might not necessarily know about you?
I’m a Twilight fan, it’s true. I still talk to people and ask them if they’ve read the books, and they often say they didn’t like it. I’m like ‘what! how did you not like it?’ I loved the romance, I found myself very moved by the way it was written. It’s a great feeling to have a book and feel like all you want to do is read it.
Absolutely, what are you reading right now?
I am reading Victoria Stilwell, Positively. It’s about positivity and dog training. I have a dog, and I think the whole movement about positivity in dog training is cool.
What’s your favorite part about pop music right now?
I see so many artists that are genuinely so passionate about what they’re doing. Youngblood Hawke, Allen Stone, HAIM, so many of these bands are starting to make a name for themselves and gain more and more recognition. Live shows are such an important part of music. I hope live shows start to really take over. I think it’s so special and means so much for fans to see their favorite artists have a presence in a place where they wouldn’t normally see them.
Absolutely What’s the best live performance you’ve seen?
Macklemore! I saw him at Sasquatch festival, which was like his homecoming show because he grew up around it. The amount of people out in his audience was unbelievable, he shot up into the air. It was crazy. It was such a moment for him. Macklemore was definitely my favorite live show this year.
What are your top five albums you are dying to hear next year?