Thank you to Soultracks for always supporting ‘the music': check what Soultracks has to say: Here
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
“Older, but not old!” Read the quips and review: HERE
Original lead of Shalamar Gerald Brown finally got to experience the fabulousness that is “Giorgio’s” this past Saturday on Easter weekend. If you’re not totally familiar with Gerald and you call yourself a Shalamar fan – get the knowledge, because “Take That To The Bank” is one of the groups signature hits. We were in the group together when I was a teen. Back then was always protective and someone who tried to teach about this business, contracts, etc. Through the years, he’s come out to support and let me know how proud he is of me. A devoted and loving father, Gerald is in town visiting his daughter whose son is having surgery. Of course I told him “You must come to Giorgio’s!” A major portion of the video was filmed there, so it has an additional significance beyond being my favorite place to go dance and enjoy classic disco and funk. We also were able to celebrate the success of “Nightlife” which made it into the Top 5 Urban UK at #5 and Top 10, at #6 Commercial Pop. “Nightlife” also made it to the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles to begin 2014. A special thank you to Bryan Rabin, Adam Bravin the Giorgio’s family and my best friend Wallace for making the evening extra special. It’s in the music!
“Nightlife” featuring Gerald Brown- The Soulpersona Classic Soul Mix.
Shalamar Classic with Gerald Brown “Take That To The Bank”
Watch the video: HERE
Read all about it: HERE
I’d changed clothes after performing my first solo #1 single “Looking For A New Love” to perform “Still a Thrill.” I loved that funky top hat which I’d purchased in Japan – my style always represents what I’m feeling. I still rock denim and ankle boots but wear them differently..the bra tops, not so much!
“Nightlife” will jump into the Top Ten Music Week Urban Chart next week and enter the Pop Top 40 at #40. I’m never jaded or cynical about this musical journey the way a lot of veteran artists get. I’ve not wanted to surrender myself the easy and often lucrative ‘nostalgia’ circuit and rely solely on my back catalogue. Cultivating new fans has always been important to me, Being in the ‘Now’ has always been important to me because it’s good for the spirit and keeps close the fact that each day we live is a new opportunity for something good if we want it.
You have no idea how difficult it is to make it as an artist – and it gets harder the older you get no matter how much success you’ve had previously and especially when you’re always wanting to be authentic in a business that works hard to turn artists into what you are not. It’s difficult when you choose to not sell out for the true big money in many cases as well as not wanting to become a parody of your former self, desperate to find relevance in pop culture. It’s difficult being a woman, getting marginalized or resented because you have standards and care about the details of business. Add in being a black woman who would not stay in that box of expectation (be more street, more urban, more this, more that..market a down-trodden story or upbringing to be relatable..as if women if any race aren’t multifaceted and multi-dimrnsional with different tastes, thoughts..) I don’t have a major label push and haven’t had one since the 90’s nor a big budget or corporate machine or industry ‘gatekeepers’ as they’re called in certain circles in the know. But none of that has discouraged me from continuing to make quality music and to grow as an artist, songwriter and producer. I’ve never had the machine behind me to be honest, yet I’ve always managed to prevail. Why? Among other things thank you to God and the universe -having an endless abundance of determination and passion for what I do, you must have that. Standing always for what I believe in with my art on my path regardless of what others say or believe along the way has always been key. I contemplated retiring from music in 1998 and discovered the rich underground scene and electronica in 1999 – the music and artists in that scene rejuvenated me creatively. It’s in the music and about the music, to entertain, inspire, uplift and create some escape through the music. Being on the charts at a high level in each decade since I began in Shalamar in 1977 – 80’s, 90’s 00’s and now into the 10’s is something to be grateful and appreciative of – it’s rare. What I do has never been for the charts per se, but the joy and happiness I get from doing what I love. Anything worth having is worth fighting and working hard for. Many people have delighted in my stumbles along the way, and Im sure there will be more – but I’m never deterred always positive and motivated. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down – it’s how many times you get up and what’s learned from the experience; living joyfully in that notion.
So I say in pushing forward –Believe, work hard, pray, meditate, plan, execute the plan, revise when needed, step away and live life keeping perspective not the perception of others — trust in yourself and your instincts, there is no failure unless you never try– I raised my children to believe that about themselves -surround yourself with a few good people who feel the same and keep pushing. That’s for anyone reading this – artist or simply a human being no matter what your profession or what your reaching for. Go in the cave from time to time when you need to feel on your lone island – pain, frustration, sadness, whatever you need – but come out swinging and rejuvenated! Keep it pushing – forward.
“Nightlife” and “Nightlife Remixed” Available at iTunes and Amazon Now.
Nightlife Single: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nightlife-single/id685862573?uo=4
Nightlife Extended Glamour EP: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nightlife-classic-extended/id686594958?uo=4
Nightlife Remixed: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/nightlife-remixed-ep/id732941079?uo=4
Check out the latest delightful video interview with Jody Watley on Ebony Magazine’s website with her sit down with Ebony editor Miles Marshall Lewis.
Make sure to watch this interview with Billy Johnson on Yahoo Music. We had a great time which is obvious in the clip!
Why Jody Watley’s New Song Is A Call To Get Fabulous!