ZZ Ward performs tour kick- off at the TLA tonight!

Abington- raised ZZ Ward is making headlines in the national music scene, with her powerhouse voice, impeccable songwriting, and incredible command of the stage. After a year of sold out shows and festival appearances, appearing on The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, and more, ZZ Ward returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to kick off The Last Love Tour tonight at the TLA. Rock On Philly got the chance to chat with this musical dynamo about inspiration, childhood memories, working with One Republic, and ZZ’s pick for the best darn breakfast. 

ROP: ZZ, it has been such a whirlwind year for you! How do you stay grounded with all of this success?
ZZ Ward: I enjoy it. I enjoy the ride. It’s such a journey. You’ve gotta enjoy every step of the way. Getting fans has been the coolest thing. Having them come out to the show and singing my lyrics is pretty inspiring.

ROP: So The Last Love Tour is kicking off in Philly. What can we expect from your show this time around?
ZZ Ward: I always try to switch it up a little bit and bring some new elements to the show, make it fun, make it exciting. It’s the same record, the same songs, moving into this third single which is a really personal song for me, “Last Love Song.” It’s going to be a really special tour.

ROP: Will you have time to hang out while you’re in Philly? If so, where will you go?
ZZ Ward: I’m excited! I feel like I’m getting back to my roots. Not sure how much time I have to hang out but last time I went to Philly I went to my old elementary school and my old house in Bucks County. That was pretty surreal. It still has our board in the doorway of the basement where we recorded our heights. Pretty crazy. My mom grew up in Germantown and my dad grew up in Richboro, and I lived in Bucks County until I was about 8. Obviously, I was a really little kid so those were the things that mattered to me then. (laughs)

ROP: There’s something about Bucks County. Pink is from there too…
ZZ: Haha. Yeah! I think Bradley Cooper is from there too.

ROP: Something in the water. (laughs) Let’s talk about Last Love Song. What is the song about for people who may not know your music?
ZZ Ward: It’s about letting go of a broken heart. Really being in a relationship where I couldn’t get out of it. It was a terrible relationship. I was just consumed. I was crying when I wrote the song so I knew it would be powerful. I think as an artist we try to create music that is really authentic and very real. I hope it resonates with people.

ROP: So the song was produced by One Republic’s Ryan Tedder and Brent Kutzle. What was it like working with them?
ZZ Ward: It was wonderful. Ryan is very determined and very passionate and it was really fun to see that. He’d come in with notes on the song and I’ve never seen anyone do that before. I was like, “What?? You’re awesome! That’s something I would do.” And Brent is incredible too. It was just great working with them.

ROP: Do you have any new songs in the works?
ZZ: I’ve been writing while I’ve been home. It’s fantastic to have time to think about what I would sing about when I do another record. It’s one of my favorite things to do, writing music.
ROP: Would you ever write for other artists?
ZZ: I used to do that when I first got to LA. Co-writing with other artists and other producers. I kind of got into the songwriting community there and learned a lot from that. Some artists have had a lot of success with that. Look at Ryan Tedder. He’s been super successful. I think I want to get more established as an artist myself before doing any more co-writing for other artists.

ROP: Very cool. So this next bit of the interview is kind of fun.  It’s a rapid fire Q &A- basically a bunch of totally random questions. You ready for random question #1?
ZZ: (laughs) Totally.

ROP: If you could have anything for breakfast right now, what would it be?
ZZ: Anything? Biscuits and Gravy! And the cheesy, hash brown scrambles you get at diners. Not really a sweet breakfast person.

ROP: Song you can’t get enough of?
ZZ: “Stay” by Rihanna. So good. Wish I wrote it!

ROP: Favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s? If you even have a favorite flavor.
ZZ: Not really an expert on Ben and Jerry’s. But I’d say anything chocolate!

ROP: You have the day off! Yay! What are you doing?
ZZ: Going to the beach, laying on the beach for a while, looking at the ocean- makes me feel balanced and free. I’m such a hippie. Laughs.  And then probably going to the movies at night. Best day ever.

ROP: Favorite TV Show?
ZZ: You know, I’m getting into Lost now. The pilot sucked me in.

ROP: Ok. Last question. Do you have any advice for up and coming artists?
ZZ: Yeah. I would say you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. It can be a tough industry and you have to have a tough skin. By tough skin I don’t mean having an attitude, because that won’t get you anywhere, but tough in being open minded. So that, believing in yourself, and writing your own songs is super important.

ROP: Thank you so much, ZZ! Looking forward to the show tonight at the TLA in Philly!
ZZ: Likewise!

For more on ZZ Ward, visit: http://www.zzward.com/

For tickets to tonight’s show, click here.

The TLA is accessible by SEPTA to Market East Station and the 12 & 47 Busses.

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