Jody Watley Interview V Magazine Summer Issue 2014

© 2014 Jody Watley - #selfie

© 2014 Jody Watley –  V Magazine #selfie

 

 

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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

 

Jody Watley Classic Photo of The Day. Celebrating Josephine Baker.

Jody Watley in Essence Magazine 1989

Jody Watley in Essence Magazine

 

I had the opportunity to see Josephine Baker when I was a little girl. My mother took my brother and I to see her at The Regal Theatre. Later, after becoming an artist myself, I nearly won the role to play her on the HBO movie “The Josephine Baker Story” ultimately the role went to actress Lynn Whitfield. Ms. Baker was obviously much older when I saw her, but I’ll never forget how mesmerizing she was and thinking back on it now – I also realize what a blessing it was to witness this icon while she was alive. I’ve read many books on her fascinating life – and what a life she lived through it all.  What a trailblazer.

 

Josephine_Baker_1950Josephine Baker; Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the “Black Pearl,” “Bronze Venus” and even the “Creole Goddess”. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine later became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French.

Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. She was once offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King in 1968, following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Baker, however, turned down the offer. She was also known for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and received the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.

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Visit the Official Josephine Baker Website: HERE

 

 

Jody Watley Celebrates Diana Ross.

 

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Classic "Nightlife", Studio 54 style with Diana Ross.

Classic “Nightlife”, Studio 54 style with Diana Ross.

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She should have won the Oscar for her role as Bille Holiday in Lady Sings The Blues - in my opinion!

She should have won the Oscar for her role as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings The Blues – in my opinion!

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Still The Boss Miss Diana Ross.

 

It’s no secret that Diana Ross from her days as a Supreme, and a stellar solo career was and remains an inspiration. Dian Ross represents a master class of style, class, elegance, glamour, iconic images like no other and longevity. The camera has always loved her and she’s always known how to strike the best pose. Radiant smile, silky voice, a natural and terrific actress – yes! Ms. Ross will always be the boss and reign supreme as the diva of all diva’s in the greatest most positive way for me. As well, she represents how to raise children while maintaining a career under the glare of the spotlight and being ‘present’ for them. One can feel there bond and appreciate that they all seem well adjusted human beings who happen to have one of the most legendary singers of all time as their mother.  Being a great Mom first has also been number one to me, and she served as a role model to a degree on that end as well. She’s 70 today and still fabulous!

 

Music Maverick Jody Watley In Wax Poetics Issue 57

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“Not everyone fits in with the mainstream. Some are born to be different. They are misfits, individualists, outsiders, and eccentrics that let their freak flags fly. Yet they have found a way to thrive on their own terms, transcending barriers of categorical concepts and popular expectations.” Read the article: Wax Poetics

Buy the issue on newsstands now.

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Issue 57 Wax Poetics featuring cover girls Janelle Monae and Jody Watley

Jody Watley Goes Uptown.

© 2013 Isoul Harris and Uptown Magazine

© 2013 Isoul Harris and Uptown Magazine

It was a gorgeous New York day and appropriate to sit down with Editor and Chief of Uptown Magazine and host of the new “ICONIC” Uptown Unplugged Isoul Harris.

See what pearls I drop in this new interview – HERE