In this weekly series, we spotlight the performers and other participants who will combine for the Emerge Impact + Music Conference on the Las Vegas Strip November 16-18. Tickets are available now at emergelv.com.
Lauren Ruth Ward beams with creativity and confidence. Her voice is smoky, raspy and delivered with sarcastic wit. Her style? Equal parts Grace Slick and Marc Bolan, a formula coveted by every vintage-loving girl in LA.
Raised in Baltimore but living in LA, Ward has been compared vocally to Courtney Barnett and Janis Joplin, and while those two singers might seem drastically different, it all somehow makes sense. Combine Ward’s rock ’n’ roll prowess with her pop sensibility and you’ve got a singer who could give Florence Welch a run for her money.
“Buddy, I don’t need you, I can make love to myself/If you think I’m lonesome, you’re lying to yourself,” Ward sings on “Make Love to Myself,” a tough-as-nails track off her upcoming full-length debut Well, Hell. But that song shows just one side to the multifaceted singer, whose music covers a breadth of emotions and styles.
“I was a classic-rock kid listening to what my parents listened to,” she says of her influences. When she was 16, Ward’s stepmother gave the singer her vinyl collection, and she’s been drawn to rock ’n’ roll ever since. “I’ve always been emotional and drawn to the guitar since I was a kid,” she adds. “I would just sing about my life and my thoughts.”
You can hear her ruminate on topics like family, anxiety and love when she performs at the Emerge Impact + Music Conference in November.
“I love Vegas,” Ward says fondly, reminiscing about the last time she visited. “We’re more than excited [to return], because it’s a super-legit show. It’s going to be a diary entry kind of night.”