"My mom listened to a lot of Nirvana, Queen, Elvis and even Sinatra", says Daphne Ward via email. "My dad was more of an Outkast, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers guy. So growing up, I was a rock head."
Ward's a 22-year-old creative who started rapping just under a year ago. As a kid, she'd write in journals taking notes of her day, but it wasn't until adulthood and heartbreak that she moved into recording her own material.
"My ex used to make music and when we broke up, I was super depressed," she says. "I needed something to recalibrate me because I was thrown off track. I invested in my studio and eventually it came along."
She also evolved from Daphne Ward to LVRD (pronounced "lord") Daphne, a self-aware femcee built from moxie and affirming energy -- who says of her style, "If I did have to throw it in a genre pool, I would be super content with the label of 'psychedelic trap.'"
She records when she's in the mood, a few times a week to a few times a month, choosing to work with friends and people who have, as she puts it, "potential." But her ultimate goal is raising "vibrations" using her work as a tool to help "restore and circulate love."
Ward's had some early success, after asking DJ Wonder -- over Twitter no less -- for an opportunity to work together in exchange for a couple of fast-food coupons, he looked up her music and placed the hypnotizing D. Valentino-produced "¡Grind!" in regular rotation on Sirius XM radio station Shade 45.
There are future projects and a full-length LVRD Daphne album in the works, but at the moment, she's most excited about playing live: "Performing is by far my favorite part of being an artist because I get to fully showcase a physical and mental representation of myself. I just have fun with it and get the crowd to reciprocate my energy."
On Sept. 8, she'll be sharing her psychedelic trap vibes at the Gallery (1970 Columbia St., Suite A).