The OkayPlayer Interview. Jody Watley Speaks on Soul Train, Rakim and Reclaiming The Name Shalamar

Jody Watley. Photography: Albert Sanchez

Jody Watley. Photography: Albert Sanchez

SHALAMAR ® reloaded with Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley, Rosero McCoy. 2015

SHALAMAR ® reloaded with Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley, Rosero McCoy. 2015

For those who came late, Jody Watley is a name synonymous with soul, an icon of music, fashion and dance who set the defining trends of at least four or five distinctive eras of black culture.. Read the full article on:  OkayPlayer

Get your tickets:

June 24 The Howard Theater D.C.

June 25 Midsummer Night Swing NYC

June 27 Let’s Rock London, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

June 28 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands

Other Appearances:

June 23 SIRIUS FM The Groove 4-5 PM EST

June 24 MyFox5 News Washington, D.C.

July 3 KTLA Morning News Los Angeles

 

 

Full Circle. Jody Watley and New Shalamar Come to Mountain Winery

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As a teen K C & The Sunshine Band were a favorite of mine – on Soul Train during my dancer days as soon as the intro would come on to “That’sThe Way I Like It”  I would lose my mind with joy. You know the feeling you get when you really love a song and it comes on. To say I’m honored and excited to be on a show with KC & The Sunshine Band all these years later in all of my current reloaded love and appreciation of disco, funk and soul is truly another full circle moment and I can’t wait to share it with Rosero and Nate! “That’s the way I like it uh huh uh huh!” Boogie shoes indeed!

Jody Watley. Thursday Classic. Thought of The Day.

Jody Watley Junior High

A melancholy though triumphant Jody Watley.  Southeast Junior High

 

 

With each social media throwback Thursday my desire is to not only share a photo moment from the past – but to perhaps inspire someone by providing what was behind a photo moment in my life on this journey.

From my Facebook Page post”

“Queen Jody! Living in KCMO (from Chicago though) at the time – had run a campaign for President of the school, I think I was the only girl who ran..and lost..kids were clowning me. It was a big disappointment and embarrassing for me – at the loss ..but I wasn’t discouraged in the long run, a theme in my life and career. I learned early on to never give up, keep pushing forward and stay motivated. Though not popular and still reeling from the loss of President..I went after “Miss Explorer Queen of Southeast Jr. High’ – because you never know unless you try right?! The outcome was triumph although I appear quite melancholy and sad in the photo’s (though still dealing with shade – a lot of girls including those who came in second and third weren’t happy as evidenced in the photo – shade is nothing new ) We didn’t have a lot of money but I put together my outfit and if you notice you can see what would become a style signature in my music career – jumbo hoop earrings. Certainly, I experienced far more challenging moments in my life, and even with this photo and moment there is much more to reveal.. however this is one of those touchstone character building moments.  ‪#‎JodyWatley‬ ‪#‎Shalamar‬ ‪#‎life‬ ‪#‎inspiration‬ – Just keep striving and be yourself is what I hope the takeaway is from this, beyond the TBT..” May 7, 2015

Jody Watley and Shalamar Bring The Disco Nightlife to Sao Paulo

I’ve never been to Brazil and am extremely excited to be going there in June with my newly reloaded SHALAMAR. Nate Allen Smith, Rosero McCoy and I are having a great time and continuing to bond offstage and improve upon what we’re doing onstage.

When writing the lyrics to my single and collaboration with Count de Money titled “Nightlife” from PARADISE, I totally channeled classic disco but at the same time focused on how to bring that love of the music, the spirit and soul of it into the now. The concept was always of a ‘worldwide phenomenon’ – that journey continues. It’s in the music!

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“NIGHTLIFE” peaked in the Top 20 on Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles in 2014 and went into the Top 5 Commercial Pop and Urban in the UK. Music lovers continue to discover the song which is available at digital outlets around the world.

Watch!

Jody Watley. Sanctuary on Soultracks.

Design: Ray Easmon and Jody Watley

Design: Ray Easmon and Jody Watley

Thank you to Soultracks for always supporting ‘the music': check what Soultracks has to say: Here

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 Yoshi’s Concert Review on Huffington Post

 

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“Older, but not old!” Read the quips and review: HERE