I notice this in concert and always encourage people to put phone away and get in the moment. You can’t dance, clap your hands, enjoy the experience and who you came with if your focus is capturing the entire show in your phone. Get a few seconds, snippets and then get in the moment. Don’t miss life by trying to film every second. Just be.
Since winning the Best New Artist Grammy in 1988, I remain a voting member (all artists should be involved), have been a part of the GrammyU program serving on the Recording Academy Board of Governors serving on the Los Angeles Chapter for a few years in early 2000’s. Being a part of the academy from that perspective gave me greater understanding of how the process works. I was nominated and put on the ballot initially by a respected music writer and voted in. Later running for LA Chapter President against MC Lyte – Lyte won the vote and was terrific. This took me back to running for Class President in junior high only with less stress, I didn’t win that either, but it was great for my confidence no matter the outcome and as always – you never know unless you try and put yourself out there. It’s the journey!
Invited to return as a presenter (presented Toni Braxton Best New Artist Award in 1993) was cool as well as being a part of the Grammy Award Nominees Announcements that same year with country music star Clint Black. Awards shows are very different now so it’s nice to reflect for a second on this part of my continued journey as an artist and music peer.
I’ll be joining The Whispers (former label mates from Shalamar days) for Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Soul Fest September 28, 2019. The event is a free community event put on my Guthrie Green to support the arts and a tribute to Waymon Tisdale. More info Here : The Black Wall Street Times
I performed my first full Jody Watley “Unplugged” in the beautiful setting of Blue Note Hawaii. Each show had something slightly different and both audiences loved the show. There was candor, spontaneous humor, heart and soul.
There’s a purity to the Unplugged experience of vocals and the sparse instrumentation that gives a different vibe to the songs – still funky when needed, and emotional connections. In this concept I was able to share back stories and talk a bit more than I do in my more fast paced full show experience. The crowds sang along as I told them “pretend we are all at a campfire just singing songs..” That’s what we did, we also laughed, got reflective in moments and had a wonderful time.
The set list included my tribute to George Michael, my Top 10 Jazz makeover of Bob Marley ‘Waiting In Vain” many familiar Jody Watley classics, a few from my Shalamar days and the 2018 Top 2 UK Soul hit ‘The Mood’ joined by Nate Allen Smith of SRL. The Unplugged musicians were Roland Hamilton on piano and Naz Chambi from the Jody Watley & SRL music collective.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Nate Allen Smith and Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Roland Hamiton, Naz Chambi – Jody Watley. Unplugged.
Jackie Wilson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987 – finally received his Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame (location is 7057 Hollywood Blvd) just across the street from historic The Roosevelt Hotel.
For those that don’t know the connection -Jackie Wilson was my godfather and the first to bring me onstage in concert when I was little (have mentioned though-out my career), it was such anh
Wonderful speeches yesterday from Motown and Music Legends Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson as well as original Chi-Lite Marshall Thompson. Jackie’s son John said if his dad were alive he would have probably said “..today I’ve been lifted higher than ever before ..” as his siblings and other family members also cheered with those in attendance.
Here are a few of my personal candids. If you missed the live stream – you can watch it currently Hollywood Walk of Fame
On my way!
Feeling Supreme with original Supreme Mary Wilson..you know I loved them growing up and still do.
Posing for media photo pool before ceremony.
Jody Watley. Getty Images View.
With founder of the Chi-Lites Marshall Thompson..junior high days for me!
The one and only Smokey Robinson.
All hail – Berry Gordy founder of the influential Motown Records.
With one of his daughters Sabrina, she has his eyes for sure!