For a lively introduction to California Baptist University’s week-long The Woman Is Required to Pay (TWIRP) event, independent musician and YouTube singer Tyler Ward and friends put on a show for students at the Coffeehouse event on Monday, Sept. 26.
CBU students were treated to free coffee, cupcakes from Casey’s Cupcakes that only cost $1 and music from one of America’s rising singers.
The performance group consisted of Ward on guitar, rapper Eppic, singers Alex G and Jess Moskaluke, drummer Joel Burns, bassist Josh Corbett, guitarist Lance Gregory and keyboardist Drew Hartley.
Stamps Courtyard set the stage for the year’s first TWIRP event. The area was adorned with strung lights, pink balloons, Tyler Ward merchandise, blankets and wet grass.
Community Life booked Ward for the event because of student suggestion and Ward’s values aligned with CBU’s mission.
“It was just a fun time with friends and a cool opportunity to see an up and coming artist live,” Eric Lanier, English major, said.
In addition to performing covers that originally brought the group recognition, the band also performed several of their original songs that the crowd danced to, including: “Pennybags”, LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” Couples danced to the band’s love song “Falling.”
“It was overall just a fun time with great friends, great fun and great music,” Brandon Duck, international studies major, said.
Ward is already an accomplished singer, in spite of being cut from season nine of American Idol. He played with big names like The Fray, The Jonas Brothers, Gavin DeGraw, Augustana and Ryan Cabrera. He also performed with other well-known independent singers like Christina Grimmie, Alex Goot, Sam Tsui and Christian singer Rachael Lampa.
“God has groomed me in a way to handle success one step at a time, so he started me in the college age small accomplishments,” Ward said. “I wasn’t thrown into it. It was small, small, small, small to the point where I can say, ‘Oh, I can handle this. This is where I’m supposed to be.’”
Though this was not Ward’s first visit to California, it was his band’s first time performing here. They began in Seattle on Sept. 24 and they will travel across the United States through Oct. 27 and tour in Europe Nov. 3 through Nov. 21.
Ward said faith in God is what drives him to pursue music.
“It’s why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Ward said. “If I didn’t have faith, I would probably be pursuing something other than music. I feel like it takes a lot of faith to be able to step out of the norm, pursue something people consider a hobby and make it into a career.”
Though Ward could not say much about it, a full-length album will be in the works soon. Pre-production may begin in January or February. His team will also be going towards major label groups next year.
“Any musicians trying to pursue anything for a living should continue to work hard, press through and if it’s your calling, you’re good at it and you love it, don’t stop or give up because it’ll work out,” Ward said.
Ward and his crew are performing at SOMA in San Diego on Sept. 30.