The weekend was whirlwind and full of excitement, with just enough chaos. After arriving, my band, dancers and I went out for our customary group dinner – not mandatory, but everyone always loves the hang. We had a wonderful meal at The Gumbo Shop just off Bourbon Street. I purchased cajun seasonings to add to my home spice rack. It was a pretty crazy scene when we left and fun to watch the revelers with their fish bowls and giant assortments of alcohol vessels as they walked customarily do in New Orleans on Bourbon Street. We had an early call for soundcheck, therefore everyone turned in early, although we joked the the younger set in my crew were probably going back, after we all walked back to our hotel.
After soundcheck, there were press and promotional obligations I was responsible for. I was greeted with nothing but love.
My first time as a performer at the 2013 Essence Festival did not disappoint. Though some fans observed and couldn’t figure out why some artists were afforded the ‘Main Stage’ – though I have more hits as a solo artist, as well as from my Shalamar repertoire; I chose to accentuate the positive. Admittedly, it also made me want to shut it down and really make a great impression – my band, dancers and I achieved that with our high energy musical journey. The two new songs “Nightlife’ and “The Dawn (Don)” were part starters and already reacted to as if they are already familiar Jody Watley hits. My Twitter timeline was full of praise after the show and without being totally obnoxious I shared a few of the more flavorful ones such as “@Mikeisha @jodywatley just went the fuck off onstage tonight! Essence Festival!!!” as well as @MissJenn1920 who tweeted ” OMG @jodywatley was simply amazing she rocked that McDonald’s Super lounge” from @ActivistFreak (Anthony Antoine) “@jodywatley “Thank you Essence..but what the hell took you so long” said after Jody rocked her set! You DDS dat! #essencefest #bouttime- among others. You can scroll my Twitter timeline to read more. After almost 40 years in this business…6 of them in Shalamar – I remain with all my my success a virtual underdog. I appreciate those who really get it. My name may not grace the headlines or be a gossip and celebrity blog staple, however I continue to do ‘the work’ as a viable quality artist; while enjoying my journey with all of it’s twists, turns, highs, lows – hits, misses and triumphs. That’s life baby.
The Howard Theatre in D.C is next on July 19 – and my final concert of this summer.
Last minute prep with dancers for Essence Fest All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
Jody Watley. FanZone Essence Festival 2013. All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
Jody Watley Essence Festival FanZone Q&A. All Rights Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
Jody Watley. Fanzone. Essence Festival 2013.
Jody Watley Fanzone. Meet and Greet Essence Festival 2013
Jody Watley in VIP Green Room Convention Center Essence Festival. All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
Jody Watley and Former Miss USA and RHOA’s star Kenya Moore
Inside Superlounge at pre-soundcheck Essence Fest.
All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
At Convention Center, also hosting Essence Festival. All Rights ReservedJody Watley Music (c) 2013
Fan Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Stanback from Essence Festival
Chill nightlife in hotel lounge, pictured with Wallace Butts, Rodney Lee, Stanley Sergeant and Donnell Spencer Jr.
A few more pics to come.
Observations from Billboard Magazine, not sure why they would be polling fans under but.: Here