Jody Watley 2013 Essence Fest Performance Flashback

Had a fab time at last year’s Essence Festival 2013 at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Here’s a clip of Gerald Brown, a fellow Shalamar original and I performing an impromptu version of “Take That To The Bank.”

 

 

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday #JodyWatley #Shalamar #EssenceFestival

Jody Watley Goes To Washington. A Journey Continues.

My trip to Washington D.C. had  a few twists and turns, but ended in a tremendously well received standing room only crowd at The Howard Theatre. The concert was a perfect way to put the cap on my limited engagement summer series of concerts which included The Essence Festival in New Orleans.

JodyWatley_TheHowardTheatre_By_MarkSutphin

Jody Watley, The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013: Mark Sutphin

Photo (c) 2013: Jay Boucher

Jody Watley Live In Concert at The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013: Jay Boucher

Jody Watley LIVE at The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013 DARRICK

Jody Watley LIVE at The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013 DARRICK

Jody Watley by Larry Webb via Facebook

Jody Watley by Larry Webb (c) 2013 via Facebook

With an appearance on Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 Morning Television (almost ruined by a driver that didn’t show up causing me to be late and miss my first time slot – and a last minute save by another company and driver – Uber!), all was well in the end; but I don’t like to be late and felt bad though it was out our control. In those times, we have to just roll with it, make adjustments; the ole’ keep calm and carry on mantra!

Jody Watley with Allison Seymour from Fox 5 WTTG Morning News. Photo  Jody Watley Music (c) 2013

Jody Watley with Allison Seymour from Fox 5 WTTG Morning News. Photo Jody Watley Music (c) 2013

Hmmm…

JodyWatley_WashingtonPost_2013_lores

Though I had many problems with my feature in The Washington Post; among them -being referred to as ’80′s starlet’ ‘”Starlet?” I found it a bit demeaning. My continued artistic progression as an artist, songwriter and producer is consistent. I’ve remained on the charts whenever I’ve released music, though I moved away from Pop/R&B crossover a long time ago. I’m not looking for a new groove, rather continuing to make fresh grooves after decades in this business. Having had success in each decade with high charting singles is something I’m very proud of. It isn’t easy for artists to have hits, one, two, (or any for that matter) in any era. To make an initial major impact on my first two albums as a trendsetting pioneer in many aspects and then to continue on spanning decades in various genres and primarily in dance music should be notable not disposable or completely ignored. References to my looking for a ‘comeback’ didn’t come from my mouth – I despise that term, especially since it’s not fitting for me. While we’re at it, I also don’t like the term “old school”, though thankfully not included in the article. Classic, just like they refer to rock and roll – black music and artists should be given the same respect over time not relegated to some throwback nostalgia tag; unless it’s what is requested or marketed purposefully.

I’ve never left music, even with raising my children and taking time to live my life.  I’m not looking for a comeback in today’s pop music climate. My next single ‘NIGHTLIFE’ is simply another step in my musical journey and evolution as a working artist. Neither am I looking for a new groove beyond a continued progression and a desire to write and release quality music while I’m still making it. The overall tone of the article was very marginalizing and reminded me why I don’t like doing interviews. A lack of homework on really knowing the subject beforehand goes a long way. I’ve learned most come with an already formed preconceived notion. Many of my fans felt the same way and posted as such under the link to the article on my Facebook page and felt that props nor respect weren’t given – rather lumping me in general terms of ‘the 80′s’ when I’m so not that – not stuck there and have continued to have success. The writer also insinuated my embrace of social media was confirmation that I was looking for a ‘comeback’, when in fact I’m just like any other savvy artist young or legacy music artist who embraces the times and appreciates the forum to connect and build the Jody Watley fan community. It’s my observation that when writing about rock stars no matter when they started or how old they are now, more reverence is given. It’s like someone taking your resume, not reading it and assuming who you are or labeling you something that you doesn’t represent what you’re about. Ironically, I read a post from author Paulo Coelho titled “Why I’m not giving that many interviews.” Paulo chooses to use his presence on social media to promote his work and tell his story.

OK, that off my chest – I’m not mad at the full page, that was earned in a solo career at 30 years now. We must always take every experience and learn from it. There’s a lesson in everything even if we can’t see it at the time. Seeing and reading the article online was one thing – however it was another deal to see it and be reminded of the traditional newspaper weekend edition – can’t be too grouchy about that. I just wish the young writer had really written a piece that brought people up to speed while considering the need to condense information reflecting some semblance of who I am as a a progressive artist and writer  continuing to do things on her own terms -given the high profile nature of the piece – even if conveyed in a sentence or two.

No matter what – I’m grateful to still be here at a high level, doing what I love for my corner of the universe with a healthy mind, body and spirit – bringing joy to the people who support me through my artistry, growth and evolution.

Jody Watley. ESSENCE Festival ReCap.

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

Last minute prep with dancers for Essence Fest All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013

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All Photo Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music. 2013

Jody Watley. FanZone Essence Festival 2013. All Rights Reserved Jody Watley Music (c) 2013

All Rights 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. Essence Festival 2013.

Fanzone. Meet and Greet.

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 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

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

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

At Convention Center, also hosting Essence Festival. All Rights ReservedJody Watley Music (c) 2013

Fan Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Stanback from Essence Festival

Fan Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Stanback from Essence Festival

Post show - chill nightlife with band in hotel lounge.

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

Jody Watley. Update. NewNowNext.

UPDATE.

Despite keeping a fairly low profile and out of tabloid grabbing headlines (thankfully), I’ve continued to evolve and release quality music, while raising my son and daughter who are now young adults and in college. Check out my bio and discography to get updated.

If you’ve missed music such as my last release 2006′s “The Makeover” a #3 Top Electronic Albums featuring the 3 Top 5 Hot Billboard Dance/Electronic Singles (A Beautiful Life #5, Borderline #2, I Want Your Love #1) – head to iTunes and update your Jody Watley collection!

Make sure to check out my gallery of photo’s from my recent trip to perform in Chengdu, China at Chendu Stadium Sports Center as a part of the “Night of Fortune GRAMMY Concert.”

NEWNOW.

French Horn Rebellion “Dancing Out” featuring Jody Watley and Young Empires.

http://electronicrumors.com/2013/06/25/audio-french-horn-rebellion-remixed-by-blende/

NEXT.

essence-fest-2013

July.

Essence Festival. July 6, 2013. New Orleans, LA Mercedes Benz Superdome. Superlounge.

The Howard Theatre. Washington D.C. July 19 : Ticket Info: HERE

The forthcoming new single “Nightlife.” Produced by Count De Money for Peace Bisquit and Jody Watley. Written by Jody Watley (Jody Watley Music BMI), Julien Aletti, Raphael Aletti (Aletti Brothers, BMI).

Nightlife_Full_Rez_PROMO

Jody Watley. Coming Up Next.

June 3, 2013 — Video premiere of “Dancing Out” another collaboration with electro duo French Horn Rebellion.

KayTse_JodyWatley

With China’s Cantopop star Kay Tse, my co-star from International Musical Event “Loving The Silent Tears”, Shrine Auditorium Oct. 2012

June 8, 2013 – Chengdu, China “GRAMMY Stars” Night of Global Fortune Concert, Chengdu Sports Centre

essence-fest-2013
July 6, 2013 — New Orleans, LA Mercedes Benz Superdome “Superlounge”