Jody Watley. Classic Photo of The Day. Blues and Soul. UK

#TBT On The Cover of the UK Music Magazine Blues and Soul in 1989.

#TBT On The Cover of the UK Music Magazine Blues and Soul in 1989.

Celebrating 25 years of my second album. Most fans think of my solo debut as the breakthrough and it was – as well as being trendsetting in style and video. However my second album is the one that was really quietly the most pioneering and to me overshadowed. My infusion of high fashion, commercial ad campaigns and layouts – uncommon for any black artist at the time, and only by one other Madonna. ‘Larger Than Life’ ushered in a raised bar for other female artists that would follow.  The pioneering “Friends”  featuring Eric B & Rakim; the first to feature Pop/R&B/Hip-Hop 16 bar verses and crossing over R&B, Pop, Dance, Hip Hop – as well as a genre crossing video featuring transgender, drag queens, underground club culture, B-Boys and Girls, voguing and Jean Paul-Gaultier couture blended into a mix of high end and street chic as well as my highest charting ballad ‘Everything.” There was no press release to stir controversy and bring attention about the casting of the video – for me it wasn’t about that. Everyone in the video was real, friends of friends – not models or professionals. Tyrone Procter helped cast it. Eric B and Rakim called some of their friends. What I wanted to represent the types of clubs I liked dancing at full of of types of people united by the music and stepping out in style to get down on the dance floor. It was a real club scene in the west village on a hot summer afternoon in NYC. It went over the heads of a lot of people..my label didn’t know what to make of it, and weren’t happy with it – but let me do what I envisioned and I’m thankful.

I also found success overseas in the Japan, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom among others as well. It was always a challenge because I wasn’t the typical ‘urban black artist’ and was always in a struggle to shine on my own terms, remaining true to myself, wanting to have standards, authenticity to my artistry. 25 years later this is still true in everything I do whether on the commercial radar or not. It’s true no matter what your job or career is – be the best you.

“Real Love” which remains one of MTV’s Most Nominated Video’s and “Most of All” are featured on the Top 28 David Fincher video’s : HERE 

Photography: Steven Meisel

Makeup: Francois NARS

Hair: Oribe

Art Direction: Lynn Robb and Jody Watley

Produced by Andre Cymone

Executive Producer:  Jody Watley

#itsinthemusic #JodyWatley

Jody Watley to Talk The Talk with Steven Knight. Paradise Update.

I haven’t done press for ‘PARADISE’ rather, I’ve let my blog posts speak to the process, inspirations, journey etc. We did quite a lot for the single release of “Nightlife.’ It would be great to do television however it’s quite a challenge without a gossip lead in to talk about, an agent with CAA who is packaging guests (politics) – that’s the reality of the moment.   I’ll be chatting with online radio show host Steven Knight on Monday September 29, 2014 at 10 PM EST talking “Paradise.” They’ve been very persistent to have me on, and we’re Twitter friends ..so there you go!

Listen Live and Get More Information: http://thestevenknightshow.webs.com

Upcoming concerts:

Jody Watley Photographed by Albert Sanchez

Jody Watley Photographed by Albert Sanchez

Oct. 25, 2014 – Washington, D.C. Chamber’s Choice Gala & Awards

Nov, 15, 2014 – The Tower Theater Philadelphia “A Night of Timeless R&B” with Lillo Thomas and The System Tickets : Here

Nov. 29, 2014  – Cache Creek Casino – Shalamar featuring Jody Watley Tickets Here

Dec. 28-31 – Billboard Live Tokyo and Osaka, Japan Shalamar featuring Jody Watley

BUY your PARADISE Exclusive CD: Here

PARADISE available at iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and other digital outlets worldwide.

 

Jody Watley. Paradise on Urbanbridgez

I appreciate Urbanbridgez for the continued support, one of the few music blogs that focus on ‘the music.’ Here

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

JodyWatley_Paradise_EP_CD_CoverArt

Jody Watley Classic Photo of The Day. DETOUR Magazine

"Beauty and The Beat" -Jody Watley Covers Detour Magazine 1989.

“Beauty and The Beat” -Jody Watley Covers Detour Magazine 1990.

“Always wear your inner crown – and don’t let anyone bring you down!” – Jody Watley

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday #JodyWatley #Classic

Jody Watley. Classic Photo of The Day.

© 2014 Jody Watley Candid

© 2014 Jody Watley Candid

Funky style – On set in the 80’s taking a break downtown Los Angeles on set of one of my classic video’s.  Do you know which one?!

 

Jody Watley Interview V Magazine Summer Issue 2014

© 2014 Jody Watley - #selfie

© 2014 Jody Watley –  V Magazine #selfie

 

 

jodywatley_V_magazine_Summer_2014_fullimage

Article:

THE IRREPRESSIBLE JODY WATLEY RETURNS WITH A BRAND NEW ALBUM THAT HARKS BACK TO HER FUNK SOUL ROOTS. HERE, THE SINGER REFLECTS ON HER RISE TO THE TOP, WORKING WITH THE WORLD’S GREATEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS AND STAYING TRUE.

Jody Watley at Giorgio’s the exclusive, the exclusive Saturday party at The Standard in Hollywood, where Mick Jagger and Andre Harrell mix and David LaChapelle might be spotted with Daphne Guiness on his lap. Watley is the queen of the venue-she holds court almost every week just past DJ Adam XII’s booth with her friend and Decades cofounder Christos Garkinos. Tonight, the mother of two a self described basketball mom, carpool mom, fabulous mom..” wears all black save for a pair of crystal Jimmy Choo pumps. When she’s in the mood, she’ll fan herself on the dance floor-something she has done since beginning her career as a dancer on Soul Train as a teenager. “I always have my little fan action.” the icon says with a smile. “It’s so glamourous. Eat your heart out Karl Lagerfeld.” Watley shot the video for “Nightlife”, the clubby lead single off her new album “Paradise”, at Giorgio’s.  “I want to inspire people, because people get stuck in a rut.” she says of the music. “Oh, I’m not going out, Oh, the good ole’ days..” And it’s so frustrating. It’s like make new memories! Even if you had a great time ten, twenty, thirty years ago, be fabulous now! You’re alive, Hello!”

The daughter of a Chicago minister, Watley first performed onstage as a child with her godfather, the incredible crooner Jackie Wilson. After relocating to Los Angeles she succeeded in her mission to become a Soul Train regular. In 1977, Don Cornelius the show’s creator and host, selected her to become an original member of the disco super trio-Shalamar, which would record world-class dance-floor anthems like “The Second Time Around” and “A Night To Remember.” Watley left the group after six years, loved to London, and recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with Band Aid.

After returning to Los Angeles three years later, she signed with MCA Records and released her 1987 solo album “Jody Watley”, co-writing a handful of tracks. It contains some of her most enduring dance music, including the lead single “Looking For A New Love” (which features the popular pre Terminator 2 kiss-off “Hasta la vista baby!”). “Don’t You Want Me.” and “Some Kind of Lover.” She accepted her 1988 “Best New Artist” Grammy-winning over Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Swing Out Sister and Terence Trent D’Arby – in a vintage dress and biker jacket painted with her likeness.

‘When I signed to MCA, I didn’t see anybody like who I wanted to be.” she says. “I wanted to do that badass fashion chick that’s just different. And not everybody likes her. And not everybody liked me. “You don’t smile, you’re a black girl, you’re glamorous and you’ve got this cold as ice stare.” While in London she sought out designers like Azzedine Alaia, Claude Montana, Vivienne Westwood, and Jean Paul-Gaultier. “I bought one of the first cone bra’s, pre-Madonna. It’s on the single sleeve of “Don’t You Want Me”. I also bought the huge one that she ended up wearing, but the understated one was more me”, she says.

With her gorgeous mane, lean frame, stunning brows illegal cheekbones and ballsy attitude Watley was the perfect subject for fashion’s top photographers.”[When I first started] the label didn’t want to fly me to New York for my first layout for Harper’s Bazaar” she laughs. “So I flew myself out to shoot with Scavullo!” Steven Meisel photographed the cover of her 1989 follow-up album Larger Than Life. The video for ‘Real Love’ was directed by David Fincher and featured her ruling the runway in menswear paving the way for future acts like Aaliyah and TLC.

“I never wanted to be like anybody else” says Watley who, in the decades that followed never stopped recording, performing and changing up her style and sound. Now she’s writing a memoir, which she plans to finish this year.  “I can only be who I am. Because to me that’s what street is. Street is real.” – Mark Jacobs

 

My blog about the photo used in the piece: Here