I love the joy in this photo! There’s nothing more glamourous than a great smile, great clothes are the icing on the cake so to speak. Working the runway to open Kevan Hall’s show was another fabulous and memorable moment for me.
This thought came about today when a fan who’d made a mega-mix video and posted on my Facebook page. He was upset and commented as such that I hadn’t responded in a fast enough manner, when I hadn’t even seen it; he took it as an insult to him. His reaction was particularly surprising and disappointing for me because I take time to reply and comment to people as much as possible. You can’t please everyone all the time, and I’m certain some artists never reply or acknowledge their fans whatsoever. Take a moment of pause before lashing out at others. I always recommend Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” among them ‘Never Make Assumptions and Never Take Anything Personally.’ I also share favorite perspectives such as this one about giving be it a mega-mix fan made video, a loan, a smile, a holding of the door for a stranger, a gift of any kind:
“When you give and share and expect something in return, like a compliment, a simple thanks, a favor or whatever it is, then you are not really loving. You are actually doing business. Why? Because business is about expecting returns. Love simply delights in giving and sharing unconditionally.” – Joel Randymar
With the backdrop and history of New Orleans as the backdrop amidst a variety of artists of various age demo’s; I’m so looking forward to being a part of this spectacular music and cultural event! Saturday night July 6, 2013 – it’s going down with my eclectic show of stylish funky pop soul in a concert of classic and dynamic hits (solo and Shalamar), a couple of critically acclaimed under the commercial radar gems, well new music and perhaps a surprise or two! To coincide with the performance I’ll be releasing two new singles titled ‘Nightlife’ Produced by the UK’s Count De Money and ‘The Dawn’ Produced by Mark de Clive-Lowe this summer. ‘Nightlife’ is a nod to my Shalamar / disco past though totally modern in approach – the groove never subsides. ‘Nightlife’ features vocal contributions by original Shalamar male lead Gerald Brown (Take That To The Bank) for added authenticity – if you loved Shalamar or music from that era – you will love ‘Nightlife.’ ‘The Dawn’ is another nod to my disco funk roots and written recalling my youth, while appreciating the me of now and adding those elements. This is the type of real dance music that not unlike what Daft Punk is being heralded for. Traditionally, other’s doing music rooted in soul, disco and funk receive more accolades however it’s not really about that – in the end for me my music always comes from a place of passion, joy and love first to represent me at a particular time in my creative and artistic life.
Photo: Jody Watley 2013 (c)
If you’ve ever had people trying to tell you what and how to do something you’re working toward personally or professionally - yet have never achieved anything in your field, relationships, etc. and they seem to feel they have all the answers for your life without your ever asking for advice – this might resonate! I knew someone who knew the secret to winning the lottery, though they’d never even won even a small prize. Walk the path of your own life – ignore the know it all’s, naysayers and crabs in the barrel of life.
It went down April 27, 2013 at a very secret location in downtown Los Angeles. You needed to RSVP before being given the address. This is an ultra groovy music affair. If you’re not hip to internationally renowned DJ/Producer/Jazz Musician/Classically trained pianist/ Mark de Clive-Lowe you need to update your musical palette. His event CHURCH is a must attend night on the town if it ever pops up in your city – anywhere in the world. The framework and atmosphere were laid by an eclectic range of DJ’s including Jeremy Sole and KCRW’s Aaron Byrd mixing tunes on a stellar sound system inside the warehouse. I’m not talking the glut of the same Top 40 songs being spun in clubs around the world now. If you’re old enough to remember what it was like going out to dance and you heard songs that made you go “Whoa..what’s that?!”
This was handpicked music ranging from jazz, soul and house all woven together amidst a first class lighting designer to create the right type of ambience. Mark de Clive Lowe’s set is a combination of DJ and musicianship – with vocal pieces and musical bits being created on the fly accompanied by a tight knit band that included an esteemed cast including Freddy Washington (Herbie Hancock,Patrice Rushen on bass; Derf Reklaw (The Pharoahs, Ramsey Lewis) percussion, Dexter Story (Kindred Spirits, Lifeforce Trio), drums Bob Reynolds (John Mayer) on saxophone, , as well the gifted Nia Andrews (Common, Janelle Monae) on vocals.
Food trucks, full bar and a packed house of music devotees not worried about trend or popularity – rather the type of night of music and dancing that’s all about substance. Legacy artist/songwriter producer Leon Ware (Marvin Gaye, Quincy Jones, Maxwell) did a memorable brief set that included Minnie Ripperton’s classic “Inside My Love” to which I joined him on a sublime and sexy rendition of one of his classic penned tunes “I Want You.” I felt as if I were in a dream. It wasn’t one of those generic ‘old school’ moments – this was born of the moment to a packed house of primarily 20 and 30 somethings that appreciate the music and vibes enough to be in the ‘know’ about an evening like this. They also seem to know the history not as nostalgia (like some older fans tend to do) but true modern appreciation rather than what’s force-fed ad nauseam in today’s commercial scene. After coming onstage to join Mr. Ware, I returned in the second set of De Clive-Lowe to perform “Tonight’s The Night” one of our club gems as well as the new “The Dawn” – it was the first time he and I had performed that one. My guys Rosero McCoy and John “Havic” Gregory went in with me on both.
It’s a pleasure to be a legacy artist with history myself while continuing to be a part of something fresh to those who really understand – as an alternative to some of the more straight up shows and events I do with my own band. It’s a continued evolution which is an element and one of the many unique things about what I do and the variety of ways I choose to do it. Being an artist for 3 decades in this crazy business, it’s always important for me to find ways to remain authentic though never staying the the ‘box.’ The vibe of ‘CHURCH’ is one of the elements of the underground that I’ve loved since I discovered and began to embrace back in 1999; a quality mixture of soul, jazz, dance, electronic – just happens to be ‘club.’ There is a wealth of great music and artistry – you may have to work harder to find it, but it’s there for the open-minded. I had so much fun – it was another night to remember for all involved.
CHENGDU NIGHT OF GLOBAL FORTUNE AND GRAMMY WINNING ARTISTS; CHENGDU, CHINA SPORTS CENTRE JUNE 8, 2013.
ESSENCE MUSIC FESTIVAL, NEW ORLEANS, LA MERCEDES BENZ SUPERDOME SUPERLOUNGE, JULY 6, 2013
NEW MUSIC COMING:
“NIGHTLIFE” PRODUCED BY COUNT DE MONEY
”THE DAWN” PRODUCED BY MARK DE CLIVE-LOWE – Coming Summer 2013!
There’s so much going on in the world..never become immune to the plight of others. I feel like if we all collectively put good vibes into the globe by our thoughts and actions even if for a second -though it may sound cliche, I feel it makes the world a better place. One never knows how a prayer, or well wish can have a positive impact on another’s life or struggle.
“Wishing everyone a day that brings more joy than despair, more love than anguish and more laughs than tears.” – Jody Watley