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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.”

Jody Watley Classic Image of The Day. Solo Debut Promotional Image.

Legendary R&B/Dance Singer Jody Watley To Be Honored “Woman of Excellence” at 2019 LGBT Music Fest In Cancun

I’m so thrilled! Like a G!

 

jody watley woman of excellence honor lgbt music fest 2019

Announcement via LGBT Music Fest and The G-Listed

She is an entertainment legend who entranced us and inspired our inner badassery with her electrifying dance moves, sultry alto and inescapable R&B and dance music for more than four decades. Because of her music and dance achievement, alliance to LGBTQ communities and humanitarian efforts, Jody Watley has been recently named as the 2019 “Woman of Excellence/Career Achievement” honoree at the upcoming LGBT Music Festival in Cancun, Mexico, during Memorial Day Weekend.

Watley joins fellow entertainment legend Frank Gatson, style icon Ty Hunter and singing sensation Frenchie Davis as honorees and special guests this Memorial Day Weekend. Waddie G., Monifah, Terez Mychelle and Patrick L. Riley are some of the celebrity hosts to engage travelers in a holiday weekend of epic fun in Mexico.

Hurry up and book your room before the trip sells out at  www.lgbtmusicfest.com.

Jody Watley Confirmed Concerts Update.

jody watley song title poster 3 sizzle

Jody Watley Art by Shawn West.

Jody Watley, multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer/independent label owner and style icon is one of the architects of 21st century Pop/R&B/Dance music.

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, Watley forged the template that is now everybody’s playbook.

Listed as one of Billboard Magazine’s Top Female Artists and Top Dance Artists of All Time in 2018; Winner of the Best New Artist Grammy in 1987, Jody Watley’s entire career has been about looking forward, drawing inspiration from personal heroes and iconoclasts always ten steps ahead of the pack since her days as the original female lead and sound of the group Shalamar. 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. The Jody Watley concert experience is an energetic thoughtful music journey in any format from the full comprehensive concert, pop freestyle, 80’s, 90’s, intimate jazz, love and soul, to her Shalamar disco funk days to the new UK hits with SRL..there’s something for everyone depending on the configuration and event.”

Upcoming:

January 26 – Microsoft Theater Los Angeles 80’s Weekend #7 with OMD, The Bangles, Bananarama and more: Tickets

March 9 – Philadelphia, Keswick Theater (opener for Tony Toni Tony) : Tickets

March 23 – Pala Jam, Pala Resort and Casino with The S.O.S Band and Evelyn “Champagne” King : Tickets

April 19 – London, Under The Bridge : Tickets

April 20 – An Evening With Presents Jody Watley & Shalamar Reloaded : Tickets

April 27 – Freestyle Festival 15 Anniversary with Taylor Dayne, Lisa Lisa and more : Tickets and Info

More dates TBA

Monday Wattage. Each Step.

Listen Again. Jody Watley and Mike Vitti on Mi-Soul Radio UK.

cropped-jodywatley_glam_2018_bronzeglamourportrait

 

 

Mi-Soul Radio Three Parter with Mike Vitti on Mi-Soul Radio – Beginnings, Shalamar, Solo into the Now: Listen Now!

Youth and Beyond
Shalamar Years Tidbits
Solo and Into The Now
Get tickets for my first intimate UK Tour Celebrating Decades In The Mix!:  Here 

Monday Wattage Greetings. A Cup Of Gratitude.

Begin each day with a smile and a cup of gratitude. No matter what you’re alive with an opportunity to begin anew.

Happy Music Birthday Looking For A New Love.

On this day January 6th 1987 Grammy award icon Jody Watley released her debut number #1 hit single “Looking For A New Love”

“Looking for a New Love” is a song by American dance-pop singer Jody Watley. It was released in January 1987 as the first single from her eponymous debut album. The song became one of the biggest pop and R&B singles of 1987. Watley re-recorded and re-issued the song in various remixes in 2005 another milestone and first in Billboard Chart History for a single to be Number 1 in two separate decades.

The single hit number two for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1987 and spent four weeks at number-one on the Billboard R&B chart.The single was kept out of the top spot of the Hot 100 by Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” and U2’s “With or Without You”, and would itself keep Club Nouveau’s Hot 100 number-one single “Lean on Me” out of the top spot of the R&B chart. It ranked number 16 on Billboard’s year-end chart for 1987.

The song also reached number-one on the RPM Singles Chart in Canada.

In 1988 the song was nominated for two Soul Train Music Awards for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video, and Best R&B/Soul Single, Female. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

While listening to a tape of instrumental tracks given to her by producer André Cymone, Watley reflected on a recent sour romantic breakup. Fusing her own feelings of “I’ll show you” with the feel of the track, Watley came up with the basic premise of “Looking for a New Love.” The released record is the eight-track demo of the song; that way the emotional urgency of Watley’s vocal was still intact. One of the song’s key phrases became a popular saying: “Hasta la vista, baby.” It wound up on innumerable answering machines and was used by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day (see Hasta la vista, baby).