Catching up “365 Days” later: Up Close & Personal at the GrammyNext event with ZZ Ward, Evan “Kidd” Bogart and Larry Wade
One of the best feelings as a music correspondent is stumbling upon an emerging artist with real humble beginnings (not fake Hollywood ones that look good on paper), in her own blues-influenced lane who is ridiculously talented and you see immediately has the potential to break through in a big way. Such a thing happened last year when I came across ZZ Ward, an opening act for a sold-out show I attended at the Troubadour in LA back in March 2012.
I luckily interviewed her in May/June 2012 , before the release of her debut album, Til The Casket Drops and so much has happened since then. She’s now played her own sold-out shows all over the country, been on shows like Good Morning America, Conan and Jay Leno and her songs have been placed in prominent NBC shows like “The Voice” and ABC shows “Pretty Lil Liars” and “Nashville”. Last week, I walked into a random hotel lobby outside of LA and heard her “Cryin’ Wolf” song featuring Kendrick Lamar playing overhead.
Getting press access to the GrammyNext event at the Grammy Recording Academy (where I geeked out thinking of who’s walked through those doors) in Los Angeles on Monday, I attended an intimate panel featuring songwriter/manager/screenwriter/producer extraordinaire Evan “Kidd” Bogart, manager/exec Larry Wade and ZZ herself (who I learned, sold her demos out of the back of her truck) discussing career progressions. Evan (who’s working on the upcoming “Spinning Gold” biopic about his father starring Justin Timberlake) spoke about being drawn to ZZ because of her songwriting and her voice and joked about the multiple game plans used when guiding her career early on.
ZZ then talked honestly about what worked and what didn’t, saying “for me it was about that imperfection that was special…what made me different, that we had to have”. The crowd laughed later on when the moderator said “It takes 15 years to be an overnight sensation”. ZZ (who performed “365 Days”, “Put The Gun Down” and “Charlie Ain’t Home”) and Evan later revealed her upcoming plans to hit Jimmy Fallon and Kimmel’s shows soon and touring plans, heading back on the road to play shows like the Sasquatch, Bumbershoot and Firefly festivals over the summer.
Check out the performance videos and my quick interview soundclip with ZZ (along with her new dog, Muddy Waters) and I catching up, below!