Cache native finds success in the music industry

LAWTON, Ok (KSWO) - From Cache to California, the journey former All-State athlete Madison Ward is on has taken a number of twists and turns but where it will end, even she doesn't know.

"Its exciting, and it's nerve-racking, it's really liberating and then it's frustrating and it's annoying and then it's beautiful all over again," Ward said. "It's really quick how all of that happens."

Madison's journey started in Cache. She has always been a competitor and was exceptional at everything she attempted, accomplishing the top honor of being an All-State athlete, not just in one sport, but three.

Her journey then took her to Norman where she played volleyball for the Sooners and that is where her path began to change.

"Some other athletes recorded a video one time of me singing in the cafeteria and it started to get some traction," she said. "It wasn't long before people were coming up to me asking 'What are you doing with this?'"

It wasn't long before more people began to take notice of her talent.

"Following that, SoonerSports had gotten behind it and there was more talk about that and people were wanting to do more interviews about that versus volleyball and like I said it became a little bit of a conflict," said Ward.
A conflict because she still only had one focus.

"Not wanting to have my focus split up too much at the time. So I decided to put a hold on that. And even though people wanted to know what I was going to be doing with it after I was finished, I really just wanted to finish as a volleyball player and have that to hold onto forever."

Once her college career ended, her musical odyssey began.

"After I graduated I decided to move to Nashville and see what that looks like and get my feet in the water and check it out," she said.

And she was able to have almost immediate success -- something most musicians are unable to do
"The Zac Brown Band had contacted me the first night I had moved there," said Ward. "He asked if I wanted to be a part of this record he was making. He and I hit it off real quick and so there I was. We did a duet on his album and then he goes 'Hey, I know you're trying to figure it out, why don't you come on the road with me and open for me on a couple of dates?'"

But Madison's vision wasn't to pursue country music, so she had to venture outside of Nashville. She ended up in Los Angeles, meeting more people and connecting with one of the music industry's biggest producer - Rick Rubin.

"Since then, it's been kind of crazy, its been colorful and all over the place but it has been really exciting," she said. "It's been a big jump from figuring out how to mix music in with my volleyball schedule to now doing it full-on has been just a beautiful, crazy, crazy experience."

The experience has led Madison to sign a multi-album deal with Republic Records. She is now traveling back and forth between New York and Los Angeles writing, recording and producing her first album which is expected to be released very soon. She was also a part of David Letterman's new Netflix show "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" when Letterman traveled to Rick Rubin's studio to talk to him about his relationship with mogul Jay-Z.

Through everything, Madison hasn't forgot her roots and she's grateful for the support system around her.

"It's really important to me to have the backing of family and friends that know me and have that protection and peace," Ward said. "These people know me best. No matter what happens I am still from Lawton, Oklahoma and went to Cache High School. I was a tomboy growing up who just sang in the shower. It's really important to have those people close."

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