It would be disingenuous to suggest that the U.S. suffers from a shortage of quality, soulful singer-songwriters. In fairness, you can find them in every city, in every dive bar and open mic. Equally, you can never have too many. A few of them though, just a handful, are blessed with a subtle but discernible difference. The “ingredient X” of myth that makes them a little bit special. Madison Ryann Ward is one of those.
It’s not only her musical qualities that give her an edge; Ryann Ward is a former college volleyball player who very nearly went pro. She had a direct choice between music and sports. When people started paying attention to the videos of her singing that she was putting online, she couldn’t put the decision off any longer.
“I had another year left to play volleyball in Oklahoma, and people had found out that I could sing,” she says. “I had the intention of playing professional volleyball. [But], I ended up deciding to hang up volleyball and pursue music. That’s when I started getting serious, at the backend of college.”
Ward describes her sound as R&B, soul, blues and gospel, with a contemporary twist, which just about nails it. It’s crazy to think, though, that she came so close to another career entirely. She’s happy that she made the right choice.
“There are days when I miss it,” he says. “I even thought that I wanted to make the decision to go and play pro, to know that I wasn’t supposed to be doing it. Just to be sure. I had the capability to do it, and there was interest there. I was really torn, but I had to ask myself, what’s really my passion at the end of the day. I was like, ‘Well, I can’t go a day without looking at music and writing, working on different things,’ and that was my decision.”
While agonizing over all that, Ward was making regular trips to Nashville to play, write and record. She recorded the demo track “Mirror,” and that was passed on to Republic. A deal was imminent.
“I had this one demo of my song ‘Mirror,’ and then at that point it was just finding out which home I was gonna be in at the label, and which people I would have as my point people,” she says. “I feel like I’ve landed in a great place. I really love the team that I’ve got. It’s been great.”
Right now, Ryann Ward is hard at work on her debut full album. “Hold tight,” she says. “I’m coming.”
Date Signed: Jan. 25, 2018
Label: Republic Records/American Recordings
Type of Music: Singer-Songwriter
Management: Kevin Gasser - [email protected]
Booking: Kevin Gasser - [email protected]
Legal: Jeremy Mohr - [email protected]
Publicity: [email protected] & [email protected]
A&R: Michael Goldberg - [email protected]