2017 has begun, each day bringing another chance at whatever your goals are. I did some reflecting on 2016 – the goals I had with my new group SRL. We achieved a lot of the things we set out to do – released two new singles and videos (O.R.I.G.IN.A.L and The Mood which premiered on the #1 Celebrity website Perez Hilton) generating more attention via social media views and a campaign by Tom Estey PR. The naysayers became more silent by years end – we are the real deal and here to stay. Those media outlets that are still resistent I hope come around in 2017. Nate, Rosero and I are together because we choose to be, no one put us together, this is our thing. No one is doing what we are doing. The moral of that story is to just keep moving forward no matter the opinion of others..that’s been my mantra throughout my career. My advice is write your goals down on paper – they feel more real. A dream without a plan is just a wish. Push yourself. Get out of safe zones if you feel stagnant.
Closing out the year was really stressful I’ll admit because it seemed we lost more of our icons, artists than ever (countless fans were tweeting and tagging me on Instagram saying to bubble wrap myself and letting me know how much they loved me). A few nights I was afraid to go to sleep from anxiety. Not to to mention a crazy election season bringing out the worst in a lot of people and racists making it feel we were going back in time. I had conversations with both my son and daughter about being more aware of surroundings and people.
Too much senseless violence also in the news around the world – now more than ever the message is live and enjoy life, never take a day for granted..spread joy to others, take care of yourself, surround yourself with those who love, respect and uplift – do you, don’t waste moments not being authentic or trying to appease people and opinions that don’t matter anyway when all is said and done.
Television appearances bolstered our visibility and support by select radio outlets like SIRIUS XM in particular The Groove and Heart & Soul, Radio Andy’s Sandra Bernhard and independent shows like The Soulbrother Show with Mr. Chris to name a few. We did shows across the USA our target market – to sold out audiences and great reviews; had a nationally broadcast television special in Japan via Fuji Next TV. SRL and I were told face to face by those who came as skeptics – leaving as fans, and being blown away by my solo set..it’s nice to still surprise people while at the same time hear “I had no idea you were so good live..” after 30 years as a solo artist! We closed the year out as special guests of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin – fabulous to cap off a year where we also met baseball hall of famer Mike Piazza and Apollonia Kotero came out to the Blue Note Hawaii and we stayed up into the wee hours of the morning talking about Prince.
I wrote an open letter directed to my former colleagues Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel and the show Unsung for their perpetuation of lies, slander and character attacks on me which made my website crash when I posted it back in September. The consensus “.. She had time.. – Ms. Jody brought receipts..” and that was for sure from recent emails as well other documents disproving their claims that no matter how much I tried to ignore and not give energy to – things needed to be said from me. In this era lies can become the truth and one can’t always do the ‘who cares what people think’ when people are out to destroy your reputation and make promoters feel uneasy about bookings through tampering and intimidation. It was a shock for me to learn in 2016 via the ongoing trademark challenge by the Griffey stepdaughter that Hewett and Daniel were under agreement to the Griffey family, mandated to work only with her (see Open Letter receipts) and paying a hefty 30% in the process to be in Shalamar performing overseas. They’d rather make people believe I’d always turned them down for any reunions which wasn’t true than have the public know the real truth. I also touched upon the unfortunate times we live where people don’t read half the time, only headlines (as I write this blog – the irony) nor fact check, which allows people to spread lies. 2016 I’d had enough since the 2009 airing of Shalamar Unsung to the Hewett episode where they used my likeness and name to their attempts at creating drama for ratings in an effort to help a fledgling “Unsung” careers while trying to smear my name to guillble viewers and listeners (Tom Joyner Morning Show). Presenting me in a false light with my former colleagues through their own jealousy and bitterness toward me has caused their action in tandem with the step daughter of former label head of the defunct Solar Records.What I’ve learned is that when certain people can’t control you – they will try to control how others might see you. This industry can be shady and treacherous. Open Letter: Here
We finally started a page for my label Avitone : http://www.twitter.com/avitonemusic If you don’t know, I started Avitone in 1995. In each of these recent features, Courageous Woman Magazine as well as Closer Weekly you may learn things you don’t know about me.
Moving on..SRL and I started working on our forthcoming “Bridges” and that’s at the top of our focus for 2017..releasing our debut full length and with that more video’s (including my solo “Sanctuary” concerts and love.
It’s In The Music!
Up Next: Already Announced
The Roxy Theatre Jan. 28 West Hollywood, CA
Billboard Live Tokyo Feb. 6-7
Billboard Live Osaka Feb. 9
B.B. Kings NYC May 27
80’s in the Sand Breathless Resort and Spa Dominican Republic Nov 11-18
More Dates To Be Announced!!