Jody Watley. Paradise. Classic Albums and Quality over Quantity

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My approach to the making of “Paradise” has always been inspired and rooted in what I consider one of the greatest era’s of music – the 70′s and early 80′s. Many of these songs have been tested and performed live before finalizing the recording process. There are live instruments, bass, guitar and live strings by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson  on the title song. We worked to find a balance of the live element with my love and profession over the 15 years of electronic, club and ambient sounds. It wasn’t uncommon for albums to have 7 songs or less (Issac Hayes classic “Hot Buttered Soul” had 4!) . “Shalamar’s” Big Fun  had 7 songs clocking in at just 37:07. It’s about quality not quantity, so technically the term EP is just a contemporary one, but for me this is a FULL CD. The trend of putting a lot of filler tracks to fill up an album is never something I’ve been agreeable to. In this era, I also feel the attention span of the listener no longer support a lot of songs on one project. Perhaps I’ll inspire other artists to reduce the number of ‘filler’ and go back to making stronger more streamline albums they way it was done in the golden age of music – which fits perfectly with today’s distractions.  None of my solo albums have ever had more than 10 and from start to finish my desire has always been to put my heart and soul into doing the best work for you the fans – and for me, to be proud of beyond a lifetime.

 

Jody Watley Paradise. Update and CD Pressing.

We will do a limited quantity of CD’s for the “Paradise” EP, taking stock of comments from Facebook. The cover will differ slightly from the digital release. This package will not be available in mainstream outlets like Best Buy, Walmart, etc. This is another non corporate release by me – my heart and soul, wanting to deliver a bit of ‘paradise’ through my music. My approach is a classic one – there are live instruments on the is record including strings. In the 70′s, one of the great era’s os soul, dance, rock, jazz, etc. it wasn’t uncommon for albums to have 7 songs or less (Issac Hayes classic “Hot Buttered Soul” had 4!) . “Shalamar’s” Big Fun for instance had 7 songs clocking in at just 37:07. It’s about quality not quantity. The trend of putting a lot of filler tracks to fill up an album is never something I’ve been agreeable to. That said,  be one of the first to preorder exclusively at http://jodywatley.bigcartel.com to have your copy personalized and signed. “Paradise” will be a collectible for sure – add this to your digital purchase and Jody Watley Collection. Pre-order your CD now. Pre-orders imminent at iTunes. I appreciate your support!

Design: Ray Easmon and Jody Watley

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Jody Watley Paradise EP Cover and Update.

 

Design: Ray Easmon and Jody Watley

Jody Watley “Paradise” — Design: Ray Easmon and Jody Watley

 

We’re unsure about pressing CD’s, but considering a limited quantity after the digital release. If all goes according to the schedule, the “PARADISE” EP will arrive near the end of July. Share your thoughts about CD’s on my Official Facebook. So few fans buy music at all in this era of any artist (barring a few young mainstream superstar acts) – let alone CD’s, but we will consider offering a package in my online boutique.

The booklet to “Paradise” is also worth the music it accompanies, it is gorgeous with stellar photography from Albert Sanchez and make-up by Billy B. For “Paradise” which began with “NIGHTLIFE”, it’s all about glamour. Being older doesn’t mean old! Get out of your rut, be inspired – these are thoughts I wanted to convey with this project.

I recognize through my interactions on social media that many fans are content with older parts of my catalogue and have not grown with me. That said, it doesn’t stop me from growing and being passionate about moving forward. To those who remain enchanted and open to my continued music evolution; this EP packs an uptempo party punch.  I’m so thrilled! Everything I do is a labor of love and passion, “PARADISE” is no exception.

Have a listen to “SANCTUARY” inspired by ‘home’ and my children actually.  This is song my way of reminding everyone, after the party, the night out, work, grinding it out on a daily basis; to take care of the environment of your living space and what you create for yourself – your children (if you have them), spouses, etc.

‘NIGHTLIFE’ the video will also be included with “PARADISE” EP for iTunes.

Jody Watley Signs With Pyramid for Exclusive Booking.

 

Expanding on the “Nightlife” theme; the new show will be a disco soul pop journey and combination of Jody Watley and Shalamar hits sprinkled as always with new music. For booking inquiries for Jody Watley and Shalamar : Contact Sal Michaels at Pyramid Entertainment. smichaels@pyramid-ent.com

 

 

Jody Watley Birthday Wishes to My Daughter.

Lauren Watley and Jody Watley © 2014 Jody Watley

Lauren Watley and Jody Watley © 2014 Jody Watley

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Happy Birthday to my beautiful and intelligent daughter Lauren!!  I gave birth to Lauren when I was young and quite naive to love and relationships – which has provided many a theme through my some of my songwriting.  I’d been dating producer Leon Sylvers III for 2 years. Some people have acted as if this was a big secret, and have gone on to make up stories without facts, just speculation. The fact is, is that my career and interviews have always been focused on my music and not my personal life. When I was in Shalamar, during those days it was the same, not really a tabloid mentality of delving into any of our personal lives and of course pre-internet.  Being protective does not represent hiding anything. Leon and I were engaged to be married (actually, he ended up being engaged to me and another girl, she a member of the group Dynasty). I’m wearing my engagement ring on our “Friends” album; a diamond cluster – ‘I’m in love with you both.’ What a revelation – OK, lol.  My failed love relationships and accompanying heartbreak including this one, will be covered in my memoir when the time comes; and what these experiences have taught me about myself, life and love. I carried on professionally and personally as a single mother; being responsible for her every need, loving every minute even in the most difficult times, facing each challenge head on – and to this day a proud Mom without regret. Most of you think because I’ve never worn pain on my sleeve, that I haven’t experienced any. That can’t be further from the truth.

Despite pressure at the time to not have Lauren, not from Leon I’d add, but the guys Howard and Jeffrey in the group back then and Dick Griffey; because I was going to ‘ruin’ Shalamar or mess up our constant touring schedule; I didn’t fold to the pressure or verbal abuse thankfully. While everyone was concerned about dollar signs – I was concerned about myself and this new life.  The grueling schedule was maintained. I worked until I was nearly full term with her. Lauren was going to have to love music because we were onstage almost every night. I was twirling in heels, never gained much weight; contrary to Howard’s constant reminders that not every woman could bounce back like his wife at the time Rainey.

Our schedule often meant staying up late to come up with new choreography to keep the show or television appearances fresh, designing costumes, and often waiting  for Jeffrey and Howard to show up to learn new routines after they were finished doing what guys do on the road.. and working my butt off onstage. Always optimistic, no one was going to have the satisfaction of watching me fold. I was dancing harder sometimes than the guys – in stiletto’s.  We never know how strong we are until we face challenges in life that’s for sure. I worked through my nausea, fatigue and sometimes sadness, though always reciting positive pearls because what our bond would be would be joyful before she even arrived. When she was born, for her first passport she was barely a week old and I’m cradling her in my arms. Then she and I were off to our life adventure – beginning with the continued tour with Shalamar. I refused to let them think that by having a baby, I would be any less the hard worker I was. It was one of the great decisions of my life to have her – she is a gift to my life. I’m proud of the young woman she has become.

Always a petite gazelle Lauren, who I’ve often referred to as my precious and my princess – has always been wise beyond her years, and remains so.  Lauren has always made my friends and I chuckle because she had everyone’s number from a young age; sizing the adults up with her knowing soul.  Early on, she was determined that she hated pants, always a little lady and I honored and enjoyed her determination at a young age. She’s an inspiration to me, a terrific daughter, granddaughter and a great big sister to Arie. Lauren was his first example to be study hard and be a great student – which he became because he witnessed the work ethic of his big sister (as well as having me being the nag lol).

I’m in awe of her intelligence and view of the world. It’s broadened my horizons in so many ways. Parents, you can learn from your children, trust me.  Lauren is wonderful human being and I wish her hopes, goals and dreams for her own life  come true today and everyday as she continues on her journey. It’s always been easy for me to take a back seat to her. I reflect today on nearly every day of her life from seeing her the first time, crawling,  her first steps..all of the baby, infant, toddler moments.. school plays, musicals beaming with pride, awkward open houses, sleep-overs with her friends playing dress up in my petticoats, wigs and vintage dresses. I think of our trips, holiday traditions, Halloweens dressing up and crashing parties, and suriving haunted houses, our dinners, birthdays, going to our special park, meatless sandwiches, laughs and tears (that doesn’t stop) – the homework and crashed computer before her essays were saved, the first tooth lost; nearly fainting having to shake it out..being there for her to look out and see my face and never putting my career ahead of being a present ‘Mom’ for her – graduations, including the most recent from college. A great cook (like me), I love that when she’s home we can cook together and share recipes. All children deserve this. Fame wanes – children are constant, my perspective and priority has always been clear on that; even when they become adults. Birthdays for parents are a bit nostalgic – can’t help it. The public knows me as a singer – to Lauren and Arie, I’m simply their Mom, and I treasure it. Thank you Lauren for sharing my horoscopes (always on point and on time), and being so whimsical.

Lauren is artistic, witty, intellectual, loves animals which is something she has passed on to me – well, except hamsters  - she will laugh and know what I mean on that reference. She’s modest, not flashy in the least and humble; not a show business brat. She doesn’t like spectacle, downplays her outside beauty, but it’s undeniable as it radiates from the inside out. I struggled writing this blog today – because of being protective and private, and not wanting to get in hot water with her (lol). Truth be told I don’t like spectacle either, unless I’m performing. A by product of being the daughter of someone in the public eye is really wanting to have her own identity and not be pre-judged because of who her Mom is, or father for that matter. Both of my children are that way and as their Mom I always want to respect them and want only the best for them – and hope I’ve instilled the confidence to walk boldly on their path in life. We’ve always had a special relationship, she’s like my soul mate. I can say the same for my son. Lauren never hesitates in the most respectful way to make sure I’m not doing too much and has kept me grounded which I am thankful to her for …even making sure I was never showing too much cleavage during my early solo career – not that I had much back then, lol.

I celebrate her today especially – she is a gift and I love her more than words can convey; I tried!

Happy Birthday Ms. Lauren!! Love, Mommie