ZZ Ward is an up-and-coming artist from Oregon in the US. She’s a total breath of fresh air, an authentic blues artist (Ward cites legends such as Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton as influences) with a twist of hip-hop, putting a contemporary spin on a genre that’s been around since the ’30s. These days, not a lot of young’uns listen to roots music, which is silly because that’s where not only rock stems from, but where all urban music originates from too – it’s the basis of all pop music, pretty much. So to give people who haven’t yet schooled themselves in blues a short introduction to the genre, ZZ has kindly put together an Essential Blues Playlist for PlanetNotion, which we’ll be revealing in just a couple of days. And watch out for her new EP, which is out on 19th June.
For now, acquaint yourself with Ms Ward with her Eleven Roses mixtape, a reference to the dozen roses motif; “In my experience love always seems to come up short. So close to perfect but something’s always missing,” says ZZ. The tape samples Tyler The Creator’s ‘Yonkers’ and puts a soulful spin on tracks from the likes of Childish Gambino and Freddie Gibbs. Watch the video to her track ‘Overdue’ at the bottom of the page.