Zhavia's "17"

17 year old singer and songwriter, Zhavia Ward, released her first EP “17” after competing and placing as one of four finalists on Sean Comb’s reality singing competition, The Four. She signed to Columbia Records following her air on the show in January 2018 and and released her EP which consists of four pre-released singles and two new songs, “All I Am” and “EZ” on June 14th 2019.

“17” is the first song on the EP, produced by Hit-boy. Zhavia raps and sings about her and her mother’s struggles during her childhood and how her reality instantly changed as her music career began to launch successfully. Despite her struggles, Zhavia was certain her singing career would go well and that her family “would make it out,” as she states in the bridge. She also sends a shout out to Fashion Nova in the second verse for putting her and her mother in a house. The chorus reads,

“And I saw it in my dreams
I knew I'd be seventeen
Watching reality spinning around
And I saw it in my dreams
I knew life would change for me
This is reality
Look at me now”

Deep Down is very catchy with a beat that samples I’d Rather Go Blind by Etta James and is produced by Swagg R’ Celious. Zhavia speaks on trusting your instincts and encourages listeners to not let their mistakes define them because “one step back gives [you] three steps forward.”

Candlelight, produced by Cody Tarpley, is Zhavia’s first single that she wrote two years prior to auditioning on The Four but later revisited and rewrote with singer, Somo. Zhavia stated that Candlelight is a reflection of when she did not believe in herself as a singer and felt lost. Though she no longer connects with the feeling, she told Genius “ a lot of other people are going through a time where it’s dark for them and they don’t really see a way out.”

“All I Am” featuring Skip Marley is a romantic, reggae tune produced by Chinese Jamaican record producer, Supa Dups. The chorus reads,

“Give you everything I am, my goals, my plans
For you I'd risk it all, oh
Give you everything I am, just take my hand
With you I have it all”

“EZ” is a love song, produced by Hit-boy. You could assume that it is a sentiment towards Zhavia’s boyfriend, Emmanuel Lateju, who she has been dating from before her celebrity. The second verse reads,

“I should be so, so blind but the way you feel about me got wide-eyed, runnin'
Leave the wild out child, I dove in, you saved me
This ain't nothin' but a masterpiece
In the making, trust and I believe
That you got it, every part of me
We just got it so easy”

“100 Ways,” produced by OAK, is a hip hop song where Zhavia speaks on taking advantage of the many opportunities she has access to as a result of her success. She expresses that in the event that she loses an opportunity, she can come up with one hundred ways to receive more. It is the perfect song to finish off the EP that talks about her difficult upbringing, dark moments, and rise to fame.

Zhavia Ward is only 17 and from what I can hear and see, we can expect more talent and hits from her in the years to come. Her style and vibe is like no other and of course, her voice is exceptional.

Rebecca Simpson