A classic rewind snippet of interview with Jody Watley, Eartha Kitt on The RuPaul Show, VH1 in 1998.
Pieces of the Jody Watley music history – 35 years have flown by! Celebrating this 35th Anniversary milestone of my breakout Grammy winning solo debut throughout the month of January. Pre-internet and social media I’m sharing some of the highlights of which there were many. It’s significant as well in that no one expected my success but with with, hard work and a great promotional team effort by MCA Records and PR team that included Juanita Stephens and Gloria Boyce at Rogers & Cowan anchored by great music it was a knockout punch. For me, it’s always a way to remind people to always believe in yourself and to not be afraid to make gutsy decisions . Your life and calling is not a conference call. A lesson I’ve learned in recent years as well is to always tell your own story – too many put out false and misleading info or try to erase or marginalize altogether.
Here’s my first feature in US Weekly. My Dad called it for me as a little girl – I wish he had lived to see my success and his prophecy but I feel he’s always watching over me and know how much I always want to make him proud.
It touches upon the fact it was said women couldn’t sell records, that always struck me as odd since I grew up with Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Nancy Wilson, Donna Summer, Karen Carpenter.. and so many greats. True – men have it easier however women have also been viable despite the obvious sexism, ageism, etc. I confidently made plan for myself while living in London, worked with Musical Youth (uncredited guest vocal on 16) and was a part of the historic Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” My daughter always kept my perspective grounded as to what’s important. It wasn’t easy balancing motherhood with Pop stardom but I tried my best and all turned out well.
Working on a screenplay – yes, fast forward some things take a lot longer, and all things in time!!
As I wrote in ‘Whenever’ – “..life can be a challenge, at times overwhelming..’ today’s Wattage Thought is to remind you that whatever your goals are and whatever you might be going through on the daily – don’t overwhelm yourself. Simply put, just take small steps every day to get to where you want to be mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, relationships and so on. Nothing happens overnight and it’s human nature to get ahead of ourselves or become disappointed if things aren’t moving quickly enough. You’ve got this – just take it one day, one step at a time. The main thing is to the the small steps.
“Looking For A New Love” and the debut album as a whole was an international success as well here in the United States – Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and beyond. Here’s one of many international Jody Watley Solo debut features:
Celebrating Jody Watley Solo Debut throughout January.
Jody Watley. Record Mirror Magazine UK Solo Debut feature.
“I’d met with other labels. Jheryl Busby of MCA got me right away. He’d worked with Donna Summer at Casablanca Records another woman with a strong artistic vision, a songwriter and force of nature. I ultimately I chose MCA over labels like Warner Brothers, A&M, CBS – because the vibe was right knowing Jheryl understood and respected my artistic vision and sense of self from the first meeting.
I’m eternally grateful, he galvanized the entire label and promotional team
35th Anniversary solo debut vibes all month of January.
Photography: Victoria Pearson.
Don’t miss this special evening of live music – classic hits and more and special celebration of 35th Anniversary of Award winning Solo Debut album and “Looking For A New Love”.
A few tickets remain : Sycuan Resort & Casino.
I’m very excited to share with everyone I’ll be performing the National Anthem at The Los Angeles v Utah Jazz game February 16, 2022 Cryto.com Arena!
Grammy award winning singer, songwriter Jody Watley marks the 35th anniversary of her monumental solo debut single “Looking For A New Love” (released January 6, 1987) and self-titled album with a series of posts of classic images and moments during the month of January across her Instagram and Facebook social media pages.
January 8, 1994
“Your Love Keeps Working On Me”
Peaked at #2 on the Billboard Dance chart. Peak position R&B was 26.
Listen to one of my favorite remixes the MK Brooklyn Remix : Here on YouTube
** an interesting write-up** the only feature I had in Vibe Magazine..I remain true to what I say here – decades later. I’m not sure why they used a photo from 1989 for this piece in 2003, but it’s a classic Steven Mesiel shot!
Some Kind of Love. Domepiece, Written by Nicola Vassell
Talk about multi-faceted, Jody Watley has found success as a dancer, singer, songwriter, model, Broadway actors fitness video instructor, and labor founder. At only 17, the Los Angeles High School grad turned a dancing stint into a singing career with Shalamar which debuted on the charts in 1977 with Uptown Festival (Part 1) and followed up with hits like “The Second Time Around” and “This Is For The Lover In You.” After a less than amicable parting of the ways in 1983, Watley went solo. Fueled by her avant grade appeal and songs like “Looking For A New Love” her self titled debut won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Her subsequent six U.S. albums included such hits as “Real Love”. Watley who lives on Los Angeles wit her daughter Lauren 20, and son Arie 10, recently released a dance album, “Midnight Lounge” through her own label Avitone and Shinbone Alley / Shanachie Entertainment.
In school, I never had a feeling of belonging, I was quiet, well dressed and smart. Unfortunately, those traits don’t win you a lot of friends, so performing became my outlet. I was always determined to not just make it, but to stand out. After being in a group where I wasn’t always a part of the decision making, I wanted my solo efforts to come from a position of strength. Back then, there were no Black females making the type of artistic statements I wanted to make. I made a conscious decision to make my first two soli albums uptempo. I didn’t want anything to be reminiscent of Shalamar.
At a certain point, there was pressure from my record company to work with specific producers, but I was stubborn. Even my collaboration with the god of hip-hop Rakim, on “Friends” made the label very nervous. But I did it because I was a true fan of his. No other rapper has a voice like his – and I knew that long before Truth Hurts.
I just held true to what I believed, and that’s hard to do. Art and commerce don’t always mix. If you’re an artist, inevitably you’ll want to change to set a path for others to follow. To be a celebrity is one scenario, but to be an artist, there has to be a defined vision. You have to believe when no one else believes, and be fearless in your efforts. I feel good knowing I was one of the first girls to work it with my attitude, flavor style and most importantly my individuality.