Just added – we will be heading to Louisville, Kentucky May 26 ‘LIVE’ In Concert for another hit filled show of classics, favorites, rare gems and new music preview – and it’s a free concert, what’s not to love?!
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)
I’m behind on posting clips from my recent sold out shows in Japan at Billboard Live – so here goes. This year’s shows include a sizzling and funky Shalamar medley (of which I was an an original member – still unknown and a surprise to fans who only know my solo work). The reason I’ve worked to include a touch of Shalamar in my shows this time around beyond the theme is more classic hits and beyond – is they fit perfectly with the dance funk hints of disco soul found on a few songs on my forthcoming new album tentatively titled “CHAMELEON” (originally conceived because I’ve always changed and adapted but never tried to blend in) though lately leaning heavily on “My Corner of The Universe”; which is what I continue to carve out through my music and what I hope everyone is able to do joyfully as I do with your own lives.
Despite going on at a way past my bedtime 2:00 a.m. – I had an absolutely fun time onstage with French Horn Rebellion at Brooklyn Bowl. My son, who was with me (we bowled while I waited to go on) knew their songs. It turns out their music is in rotation at his part-time job at Club Monaco all the time. Fun, danceable hyper-electronic funk – not unlike Daft Punk to a degree with less marketing, promotion and history is what the band sounds like somewhat – though I don’t like to compare. The reference is only to give an idea of the sound, which is also totally distinctly their own. The crowd was young, not hipster but totally into the music which doesn’t have to be Top 40 to be good or likable. Sprinkled in the crowd were a few Jody Watley die-hards who came out to check things out and support. It’s such a joy to be a veteran artist – and be involved with a young band of artists like this.
I came out mid set and did a brief remix they’d put together of one of my classic hits “Don’t You Want Me.” “Dancing Out” which will be their next single was up next. French Horn Rebellion were quirky and delightful with glowing accents to their denim jackets and glow in the dark custom T-shirts. Their band and onstage crew including a vibrantly hot pink coiffed backing vocalist named Bebe Panthere dancing in floral shorts was just the right touch to add to the vibe. Look for “Dancing Out” and make sure to pick up their EP “Love Is Dangerous (FHRekles Remix).” I came out to sing that one for their last song of the night – such a good vibe.
Brooklyn Bowl is a must experience, if you’ve never been. I’d add they also have great food amidst the entertainment (live music, or DJ’s) and of course – bowling and loved the staff. That sounded like a Yelp review, but it’s true.
Party people in the house!
The shows in Tokyo at Billboard Live were a smashing success, packing the house and having the fans dancing in the aisles, singing, and love One of the Billboard Live staff said to me of all of the artists who perform there – I seem to have the most special connection to the fans, which made me feel very happy and appreciative. One person told me seeing me live and hearing my songs makes them feel strong and motivated again – that’s the power of music. Real love indeed!
We arrived in Osaka yesterday April 12 – and woke up to a 6.0 earthquake this morning. Thank God we’re all OK though I’m reading about ongoing threats from North Korea to Tokyo and of course America about nuclear attacks – which make me very pensive and sad to consider that these leaders have so much power to destroy at their fingertips. Let’s send heaps of prayers, meditation (if you do that as well) and overall positive energy into the universe.
Blessings and love to everyone – for now I’ll focus on the the escape and good feelings music provides globally. More pics and video highlights to come! Billboard Live Osaka – get ready for a night to remember!
We’re off to Japan for concerts at Billboard Live in Tokyo and Osaka tomorrow – a trip my band and I always look forward to! I had fun with Rosero, Havic and new understudy Eric McCoy – son of Rosero. Eric told me before joining us onstage in Oakland he had been waiting to dance onstage with me since he was little and his Dad brought him to our show in Las Vegas. His revelation and quiet dream was priceless, very sweet and a joy to know that it had come to fruition as I had no idea! We’ve added a Shalamar medley to the show with some nice dance breaks. It’s always tricky when I’ve included Shalamar songs because the majority of Jody Watley fans still don’t connect with that part of my repertoire resulting in mild crickets – to this day people will say they never knew I was in a group. In the early days of my solo career I really went out of my way to establish myself as a separate and distinct entity – and succeeded. Because some of my upcoming new music has a soul disco funk vibe I’ve decided to try a new approach to incorporating a few Shalamar songs in the mix.
Rosero is currently very busy with Disney’s “Shake It Up” and other countless shows and artists as a choreographer as well as the perfectly chiseled John ‘Havic’ Gregory. Anytime they can be a part of the concerts is always extra special and we have a lot of fun with great chemistry on and off the stage.
Upcoming Concerts / Appearances:
BILLBOARD LIVE Tokyo – April 10-11, 2013
BILLBOARD LIVE Osaka – April 13, 2013
BROOKLYN BOWL, NY – April 19, 2013 –Special Guest with French Horn Rebellion
CHURCH, Los Angeles – April 27, 2013 –Special Guest with Mark de Clive Lowe
ESSENCE FEST Mercedes Benz Superdome – July 6, 2013
Upcoming concerts April:
April 10-11, 2013 – Billboard LIVE Tokyo, Japan
April 12, 2013 – Billboard LIVE Osaka, Japan
April 19, 2013 – Brooklyn, NY | Brooklyn Bowl Special Guest Appearance with French Horn Rebellion
April 27, 2013 - Los Angeles, CA | CHURCH Special Guest Appearance with Mark De-Clive Lowe details forthcoming.
As a live performer, it’s important for me to be like a kaleidoscope and show different sides. Reinterpreting some of my songs keeps things fresh for me as well as the audience; it’s fun to flip the script and be creatively fearless. Of course, there’s always a risk that fans won’t get it, but I’d hate to be that type of artist afraid to try new things and look at your songs in a different light from time to time.
In collaborations, it’s great to be able to say – let’s do something that is….and have the ability to pull it off whatever ‘it’ is. “..Orchestral, dramatic and haunting – Ryuichi Sakamoto as inspiration meets Jody Watley ” as conveyed to my longtime collaborator, co-producer, music director and keyboardist Rodney Lee just felt right and he nailed it, coming back with “–like this?!” My spoken word lyrics to this new arrangement of “When A Man Loves A Woman” was one of the many highlights of my Saturday night experience at Yoshi’s Oakland. I can’t wait to perform it again!