Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
E-603 at Worthstock last year.
Rocking out in a bright purple jersey and retro horn-rimmed glasses, Ethan Ward bent over his computer, mixing music, as Swatties swarmed around him at Worthstock last spring.
Also known as E-603, Ward was a crowd favorite. His performance “got people on their feet the most,” said Reid Wilkening ’10, one of the organizers of the event. “It was just a really big dance party in Worth courtyard.”
Ward will be returning to Swarthmore on Saturday night to perform at Olde Club for an SAC/SBC-funded event. The event lasts from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Ward will be performing for two of those hours. The concert is a Tri-Co event, so students need to bring Swarthmore or Tri-Co identification.
Like the mash-up artist Girl Talk, Ward samples background music and vocals from a variety of songs of several genres, including rap, rock, pop and others.
“I have always been making several different kinds of music at any time,” said Ward, “so E-603 started as just one of my many musical projects.”
Because his music involves sampling from other artists without first asking permission, Ward could get caught in a copyright lawsuit. But, he said, “I release my music for free so I can’t really legally get caught up in the copyright garbage. However, that isn’t my only reason for my music being free. I feel strongly about that subject.”
Ward’s debut album, Something For Everyone, is available for downloading on his website, www.E-603.com.
As to which artists have influenced his own musical taste, Ward cited Beck as a “lifelong” influence.
“The concepts behind his music are pretty kick-ass,” Ward said. “As of now, I have been listening to a lot of Japanther and The Death Set. I don’t know if people will see their influences on my music … [but] they are there.”
Ward, who is a sophomore at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, said that his shows at colleges are his favorites.
“I really enjoy when a show gets wild and there is crowd surfing and/or stage diving,” he said. “There is nothing better than when a kid stands on the table next to my computer and leaps into the audience.”
Ward isn’t restricted to the college concert circuit, though. “The Jonas Brothers saw me play live,” said Ward, “and told me it was ‘super radical.’”