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Jody Watley, singer/songwriter/producer/businesswoman, is one of the architects of 21st century pop. From her groundbreaking marriage of rap & R&B (1987’s “Friends,” a collaboration with hip-hop legends Eric B. & Rakim) to her vision-forward marriage of high fashion, street fashion and music in the ‘80s (long before it became the norm), to her fusion of jazz and underground club culture with keen pop instincts, and the ease with which she crossed and still crosses genre, Ms. Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook. Winner of the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987, Jody Watley’s entire career has been about looking forward, drawing inspiration from personal heroes like Grace Jones, David Bowie, Diana Ross and jazz great Nancy Wilson – iconoclasts who were always ten steps ahead of the pack. The Chicago native’s eclectic repertoire – R&B, hip-hop, House, jazz, pop, drum & bass, ambient, spoken-word – is built on a positive vision and a strong taste for artistic and aesthetic risk. Her self-titled 1987 solo debut – a showcase for her vocal chops and songwriting skills – was a beats & grooves tribute to her club kid roots, from the underground spots she frequented as a teenager to her stardom (while still a teen) as one of the most popular dancers in the history of iconic TV show “Soul Train.” It yielded the chart topping hits “Looking for a New Love” (which launched the Jody-penned phrase “Hasta la vista” into popular vernacular, becoming so huge that Arnold Schwarzenegger jacked it for his signature line in the movie The Terminator), “Don’t You Want Me,” “Most of All,” “Some Kind of Lover” and “Still a Thrill,” whose video was the first (and as yet unmatched) time a pop star flexed their skills at waaking, the underground Los Angeles dance that is a sibling to both breakdancing and voguing. 1989’s Larger Than Life, her blockbuster sophomore album, yielded the hits “Real Love” (whose influential music video – nominated for seven MTV Video Music Awards – was her second collaboration with acclaimed film director David Fincher, the first being her sleek video for “Most of All”), “Friends,” and the sultry ballad “Everything.” They were all huge hits. Like many artists who top the charts, Ms. Watley soon found herself stymied by the limited vision of her label, who wanted to shoehorn her into formula. The albums Affairs of the Heart (1991) and Intimacy (1993) displayed her deepening songwriting skills and singing prowess, as well as her assured experimentation with layered musical textures, but label support was missing in action. The powerful, beat-driven spoken-word track “When a Man Loves a Woman” from Affairs sparked controversy for addressing AIDS and domestic violence long before they were topics of national conversation, and her skittish label turned its back on the track and album. Though Ms. Watley’s artistry continued to deepen and grow, she was hamstrung by her label’s lack of support and their adherence to the same narrow definitions of success that saw her leave iconic R&B group Shalamar at the height of its popularity in 1983. Her own definition of success centered then and now on artistic growth and freedom, not simply replicating whatever was or is hot at the moment. After breaking from the majors and starting her own label Avitone Recordings in 1995, Ms. Watley began collaborating with a Who’s Who of visionary producers and remixers, many of whom were longtime fans and jumped at the chance to work with her: 4 Hero, King Britt, Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez & Little Louie Vega, Mark de Clive Lowe, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Ron Trent, Moto Blanco, and Alex Di Ciò. Thanks to her non-stop touring, her global fan base remains as fervent as ever and they’ve made chart and club hits of Ms. Watley’s indie albums – Affection (1995), Flower (1998), The Saturday Night Experience (1999), Midnight Lounge (2001), and The Makeover (2006) – and her 2014 EP Paradise. For the past five years, the ever multi-tasking Ms. Watley has focused on both her thriving solo career and the group project “Jody Watley featuring SRL.” Much like Prince had The Revolution, NPG, and Third Eye Girl (among many other projects and aliases) as extensions or branches of his music and creativity, Jody Watley feat. SRL allows Ms. Watley another outlet for her artistic expression. SRL members Rosero McCoy and Nate Allen Smith – gifted singers, dancers, and choreographers in their own right – bring their own cool style and vibe to Ms. Watley’s trademark high-energy, all-love live performances, and the trio’s critically acclaimed concerts draw SRO crowds around the world. With musical influences that include Kaytranada, Anderson Paak, and Little Dragon, they’ve released several chart-topping hit singles in Europe, including the Alex Di Ciò remix of “The Mood.” Their forthcoming album will be a seamless mix of dance grooves, funky beats, deep House, R&B, trap, rock, and ambient ballads accented with guitar flourishes. Also in the works is Jody Watley: The Jazzy Sessions, a longtime dream project finally come to fruition. Fans were given a taste of what to expect from that forthcoming EP on the bossa nova tinged cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain,” which shot to the top of the jazz charts within weeks of its release. A lilting, gorgeously melancholy take on the classic tune, the track simmers with tension between the longing of the lyrics and the lush, languid music and arrangement. Though some newer fans were pleasantly surprised that Ms. Watley pulled off a jazz tune, longtime fans saw it as simply the artistic thread being pulled forward from Ms. Watley’s show-stopping cover of Cole Porter’s classic song “After You,” from the landmark AIDS benefit recording project Red Hot & Blue, released in1990. What links “Waiting” to the rest of Ms. Watley’s far-ranging and impossible to pigeonhole catalogue (which has seen her hit the charts in every decade of her career, from 1977’s Uptown Festival album with Shalamar to 2018’s “Waiting in Vain” single) is the sincerity and honesty from which it springs. “Everything I’ve ever done has been to be distinctively Jody Watley,” says the pop icon herself, “from my first solo album through right now. Everything that I will ever do always has to be authentic to me, work that I can always be proud of first and foremost. It’s not so much about, ‘Oh, this is going to be popular,’ or ‘Oh, this is going to be a big hit.’ It’s always been so personal to me, everything that I do. And the fans can feel that. They connect with the honesty.”

Wattage Thoughts. Create More Love.

So much ugliness going on in the world amidst this pandemic..we can all do our part to create more love and peace.. Now. Lyrical inspiration from my latest release ‘The Healing.’

New Music Friday. Jody Watley Delivers Musical Medicine with The Healing.

 

“As Jody is known to do, she does more than just share a salient message in her music. She manages to make it a bop, too!” – Soulbounce

 

“The Healing” Available at All Digital Platforms.

OTD In 1989. Happy Anniversary Real Love.

#OTD May 20, 1989 “Real Love” by GRAMMY® winner Jody Watley from her platinum second album “Larger Than Life” peaked at #2 on Billboard Hot 100 Chart. “Real Love” became one of the biggest pop and R&B singles of 1989. The single reached number-one on the US Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart and dance chart.

#1 * Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs

#1 * Dance Club Songs

#2 * Hot 100

The video directed by Academy Award winning director David Fincher remains one of MTV’s Most Nominated Of All Time with 6 nominations.

Monday Wattage. Living In The Moment.

An inspirational lyric from my new single “The Healing.” When you are present in the moment, circumstance there’s so much to gain and absorb. I say this a lot at my concerts – don’t miss the moment by looking into your phone. In watching the blockbuster Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” one of the takeaways in the Episode 9 was how Jordan was nearly obsessive about being in the moment, being present. “Why worry about a shot I haven’t taken yet or one I missed..”

With everything going on with the current pandemic and lives, business being turned upside down – all we can do is be present not lament on how life used to be or how it’s going to be when this is behind us. Make the best of now.

Be present.

“The Healing” available at all digital outlets. Musical medicine.

Jody Watley Offers Up A Musical Healing. Soulbounce Review

Jody Watley The Healing RedTop Remix IG

“As ‘Rona continues to plague our lives and put everyone on the sick and/or shut-in list, it’s hard to remember that life really and truly will go on – even if it’s not the way we planned. As we roll with the punches and pivot accordingly, living legend Jody Watley reminds us to keep living, keep loving and keep moving forward on her latest musical offering, “The Healing (Redtop Remix).” Watley wrote the tranquil track just before the global pandemic and, like most age-old wisdom, it is right on time. As Jody is known to do, she does more than just share a salient message in her music. She manages to make it a bop, too!”

Read the full review by Ken Haam on Soulbounce

Jody Watley. The Healing Out Now.

Jody Watley - The Healing Art Final

Get this music medicine today! Jody Watley ‘The Healing’ OUT NOW Available at all digital platforms and streaming services.

 

Jody Watley. Celebrating Little Richard.

 

 

Rest In Peace To The Architect of Rock n Roll. Originator. Innovator. Influencer
LITTLE RICHARD.

Little Richard was also a part of one of the great nights of my life and career, winning Best New Artist at The 30th. GRAMMY Awards in NYC and one of the broadcasts most legendary moments.
My condolences to his family, friends and loved one’s.
Rest In Peace and We Thank You For Blazing a trail that influenced and created a path for so many, including me to be my unique self regardless if credit is given for the influence. The fact that it was Little Richard that God, the universe aligned with The Recording Academy to make it be him on that night to make it not just another award handed out but a legendary television moment really I appreciate even more now looking back on it – Little Richard, the originator made me a double winner that night and forevermore.

Jay Thomas Jody Watley Little Richard

A lot of laughs this day back in 1988 with on air personality/actor Jay Thomas and Little Richard at Los Angeles’ Power 106 Radio Station; when radio was Pop/R&B and Rock – this was not long after that legendary Grammy night — we were at Power 106 for interview with Jay, photo taken by Boomer Servantez another popular on air personality at the time. Rest In Peace Little Richard as well as Jay Thomas who passed away in 2017.

Music Monday. Jody Watley Appreciation Post on The Medium – Homage To Jody Watley

This is a really nice appreciation post from February 2020.

“Jody Watley laid the foundation for every hot girl in the hood. All praises due.”

Read Full Article Written by By Keka Araújo : The Medium

Mother’s Day Greetings 2020

New Jody Watley Behind The Scenes on YT Channel