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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. Today.

Jody Watley In Issey Miyake – Classic Image of The Day.

“Mixing high end fashion with street style in this case wearing this Issey Miyake acrylic body breastplate which is a work of art really – with biker shorts and Doc Martens for a television performance for in 1988 is classic Jody.”

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Wattage Thoughts. Set The Tone For Your Day.

Setting the tone for your day makes a difference no matter the turmoil of the world. Gratitude and thanks – positive affirmations, favorite candles and a favorite hot cup of your morning drink of choice! The best of the day to you.

Jody Watley. Sanctuary. Home. Set The Tone.

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jodywatleyshop.com

Limited Quantity of Winter Nights Digipaks Back In Stock.

Don’t miss out on this new pressing ..get them signed – add to your Jody Watley Collection.

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Wattage Thoughts. History In More Ways Than One.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back..reflect and breathe. I’m glad to have this blog here on my website to share thoughts whether anyone agrees or not..I don’t post for likes or comments when I write here. Mostly, I’m about my music and business and inspiring others. Sometimes in these significant events, one must hit the pause button in the midst of it all.

January 6, 2021 was historic in more ways than one – needless to say. We began the day with the news that in two Senate runoffs, the state of Georgia elected its first black senator in the state’s history. Raphael Warnock who’d been a pastor for the past 15 years at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached defeating incumbent Kelly Loeffler. Warnock lamented in a powerful acceptance speech that his mother’s 82 year old hands that once picked someone else’s cotton helped pick the first black senator for the state. Not long after, Democrat Jon Ossoff, who will be the youngest to be sworn in, also secured a senate seat, defeating incumbent Republican David Perdue. These wins turned both houses Democratic for President Elect Joe Biden and VP Kamala Harris – maybe things will be easier to get done now. We shall see.

At the helm of this seismic shift was the incredible Stacey Abrams (voting rights activist, lawyer, politician and best selling romance author) who has shown fearless leadership in galvanizing the voters of Georgia after her own run for Governor was fraught with voter suppression in 2018. This is how you turn things around. Strategize. organize and keep it moving.

On the other said, before this flipping of Georgia could be totally celebrated be those who worked so tirelessly in these efforts and the voters of Georgia..another sort of organization was in full in effect with the attempted coup led by the current ‘President 45’ who has stoked the fires of divisiveness, hate and conspiracy on all fronts. If you can’t see it and haven’t seen it the past several years – you are blind and a part of the problem. It was shocking – but then not really if being honest that the scene of extremists. domestic terrorists, anarchists, thugs, whatever you want to call them once they were so freely able to storm and take over the Capital bldg. The wannabe dictator probably enjoyed every minute – his ego reveling in the ‘look at my people, those are my people..trying to overturn a legit election and outcome. They were encouraged and enable so it was no surprise to hear 45 refer to them as ‘special people’ and loved.. while using not so kind language when Colin Kaepernick took a knee, when Jemelle Hill called him a racist and so on. ‘Nasty people’.. he calls anyone one fighting for social justice and an end to police brutality. Most of know what his not so coded language has meant. That’s why his supporters carry his flag or the confederate flag. We also know if those who stormed the State Capitol were black, there would have been a bloodbath. Where were the dogs? Arrests? Rubber bullets shooting people in the face?? There is no doubt in my mind there was assistance from the ‘inside’ to pull this off and have the outcome be as it was. These people had free reign and were allowed to walk out of there as if they had just attended a rave..with bad costumes I’d add. Who left the doors unlocked?! Where was security? Did no one see this coming – all of the rhetoric and provocation was there.

Taking selfies with cops, mocking the killing of George Floyd. No buses lined up, no one made to sit on the sidewalk with plastic handcuffs for hours while being processed (typical in what they describe as protests or civil unrest)..nothing. Where I live here in an area in what some would say an affluent area in Los Angeles…there were tanks placed on the streets with armed military during the BLM actual protests..not one trying to take over the damn government or government structures – they had to protect Gucci and Chanel! The Capitol Building and Congress? Not so much. But yes.. arrest the kids stealing Nikes, while doing nothing to those trying to actually steal the country and election and destroying one of the most revered buildings in D.C. with Congress inside attempting to do ‘the people’s work.’ It’s insane and yes on the wrong side of history in this case.

In the midst of the failed coup yesterday -remember there’s still a pandemic and they were out there of course with no masks..these are the same people calling it a hoax..

God bless and universal protection for the front line workers, doctors, nurses.. EMT’s, respirator technicians..all of the hospital staffs in all capacities putting their lives on the line to save lives.

It’s a lot to take in but I hope Congress and all powers that be invoke the 25th Amendment and get him out..as he continues to spread lies, wreaking havoc as the ultimate sore loser. Criminal in Chief.

Obama would be charged with treason and they would still be removing bodies off from inside and outside the Capitol building has this happened under his leadership and watch..but gasp remember the tan suit?!

That is all .. had to get this off my chest before going back to my music and candles..and trying to live, stay healthy, safe and in gratitude no matter how troubling these times are.

Keep it moving forward – no matter what. Most of us just want to live a good life, make a good living to be self-sufficient, have some joy, enjoy family and loved ones.. the simple things in life. Some people will always be miserable, hateful and dissatisfied no matter what.

OTD. January 6, 1987. Happy Anniversary – Jody Watley – ‘Looking For A New Love

Photography: Victoria Pearson. Design Lynn Robb and Jody Watley

Released #OTD In this day January 6, 1987

The unexpected crossover smash solo debut hit ::

“Looking For A New Love”

by GRAMMY® winner @jodywatley!

Written by: Jody Watley, A. Cymone

Produced by Andre Cymone and David Z.

Billboard Chart History

1 -Hot R&B

1 -Dance

2 -Hot 100

This one single truly changed my life.

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Wattage Thoughts. Listen.

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NEW Video On Jody Watley YouTube Channel.

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Welcome 2021. Wattage Thoughts.

Wishing everyone the best of 2021. Set your intentions and vibrations..and like I always say keep it movin’ – always in gratitude, open to growth, readjustments, self improvement and new opportunities even if you have to create them yourself. Like Mark Twain said – “The secret to getting ahead is getting started” so even when you fall short – begin again, start over – just begin and take it easy on yourself too. Breathe – and don’t carry the weight of other people’s opinions and expectations with you. One of the many lessons 2020 taught is that life is unpredictable and short so don’t waste time living someone else’s life to appease them.Also recognize that you can go out of your way to help some people and you will not be appreciated. Stop going out of your way for people when it’s not reciprocated. Not everyone is on the same page or for the long haul in the many chapters of life – wish them well and move on. 2020 gave me the kick in the pants I was already arriving to, but ultimately opened the door to get back to focusing on the business of and focus on myself – Jody Watley.

Live in your personal joy and happiness and give no fuks about who doesn’t get it and who is not on board. Remember that no matter how good your heart is – not everyone has the same heart as you.

Always find your best light.

Continue to stay healthy and safe and considerate of others.

Jody Watley Year In Review 2020.

Jody Watley. 2020 Handling Business From Home.

December 31, 2020 – For Immediate Release- BNM Publicity Group.

As we wrap up 2020, it has certainly been a reflective and eventful year, to say the least.

For all things Jody Watley, the iconic superstar continued to forge ahead in the midst of this pandemic; everything she touched turned into a buzz, from her expanding signature brand line with the addition of candle and home fragrance to the collaboration with husband and wife super duo producers, “The APX” on “The Healing – The Remix”.

Her timely spoken-word anthem release, “The Healing,” was debuted in the popular Club Quarantine’s transcendent DNice one of the game changers of the pandemic with his history making Instagram Lives. “The Healing” another from her longtime self-owned independent label Avitone Recordings with its lyric video touching on the civil unrest and Black Lives Matter theme resonated with listeners and led to major congratulatory shout outs from fellow music artists.

The beautiful living legend reminded us to keep living, keep loving, and keep moving forward.

Never one to disappoint, Watley accepted an invitation by popular on-air host BK Kirkland to be guest DJ for a two-hour takeover of his SIRIUS XM “The Groove” Channel. The playlist featured a specially curated playlist that included many of her classics with entertaining backstories of the songs.

A feature in the Black Enterprise magazine was a very special “first” with recognizing her as a well-respected entrepreneur highlighting launch of home line of candles and fragrance.

Jody Watley – Sanctuary Candle and Fragrance Launch 2020.

Known as a seasoned businesswoman, Jody Watley’s one-on-one interview on Money Making Conversations, a popular talk show hosted by Emmy award-winning producer Rushion McDonald where he interviews celebrities, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders on their secrets to success allowed listeners to experience her tremendous business-acumen.

Gracing the covers of three digital publications: Faith Heart Magazine, xS10 Magazine and Communique’ (dropping January 2021 ) was a nice highlight for the beloved singer, too!

We won’t stop there, as she was also featured for the first-time in Cuisine Noir, a food publication showcasing her culinary skills.

Her plethora of surprise television appearances on Fox, CBS and ABC News and its affiliates, digital interviews and other social media platforms this year confirmed that the always fabulous Miss Watley is not only relevant, but impactful.

Jody Watley. Lisa Lisa. Sheila E. Claudia Jordan.
I did a ton of TV – without use of my right hand (I’m right handed) perfected left handed techniques to get by. That’s life!
Jody Watley. Dressed For Divas Simply Quarantined.
Watch it on YouTube.

The 2020 pandemic lockdown also brought together Jody Watley with Eric B & Rakim on their groundbreaking multi chart Top 10 collaboration “Friends” for a virtual performance (their first time performing it live since recording it in 1989) on Caffeine TV as the duo celebrated 30 years of “Let The Rhythm Hit Em”.

Jody Watley with Eric B & Rakim 2020.

Her unforgettable surprise appearance on DJ Cassidy’s “Pass The Mic: BET Soul Train Edition which premiered on television for the first time following the Soul Train Awards airing on VH1 and MTV2 was a wonderful treat for fans to see the always fabulous singer “live and in color.” (Did I mention the segment to date has netted over 500,000 plus YouTube views and still counting!)

DJ Cassidy’s Pass The Mic: Soul Train Edition (Watch It On YouTube)

Jody Watley continued to expand, build and explore new aspects of creativity, including working with millennials.

Always one to share “gold nuggets” to others, she participated in a series of music industry mentorship virtual programs for the GRAMMY Museum sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund.  The online day of mentorship and career advice featured the Grammy winning trendsetting legend and allowed students from three high schools—Northeast High School in Kansas City, Mo., Parkrose High School in Portland, Ore. and Shadow Mountain High School in Phoenix, Arizona to participate in the interactive series.

She was also one of the keynote speakers on Black Girls Rock: Black Girls Lead Virtual Conference which welcomed 1,000 young women (ages 13 to 18) from communities across the United States and its territories to amplify leadership skills, critical thinking, ingenuity and creativity and was also a District Advocate for the Recording Academy’s “Summer of Advocacy” helping push passage of relief for those impacted by the pandemic and other legislation.

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Jody Watley’s legacy continues to influence and inspire younger generations in music, video, fashion and style.

Kamille Boyd-Gilmore (@Mssskamille), a popular professional skater and celebrity choreographer seen in the films, Drum Line, Baby Drivers and Step Sisters recently gave homage to the style-forging singer by skating to “Don’t You Want Me,” one of Watley’s many string of hits.  The beautiful video artistic presentation netted thousands of viewers on her social within minutes of posting.

Since the beginning of Watley’s work in the humanitarian field, she has continued to expand and flourish as a supporter of various advocacy organizations. She contributed to the 30-year anniversary of Sheryl Lee Ralph’s Charity Event, “Divas Simply Singing” virtual concert and performed one of her signature hits, “Everything,” which aired on KTLA 5. Divas Simply Singing is the longest running musical fundraiser in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Watley was also a part of the mega fundraising concert series RWQuarantunes created by WME’s Richard Weitz and daughter Demi, featuring a who’s who in various genres. To date RWQuarantunes has raised a staggering $16M.

As a Grammy winning trendsetting pioneer Jody Watley’s influence reigns supreme and without borders. 

Celebrated prominently as a major influence of Mexican American superstar Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Number One biographical series, “Selena,” and highlighted in a major Houston Chronicle feature, Jody Watley will forever be cemented as one of the architects of 21st century pop whose impact and contributions cannot be touched.

Selena – The Netflix Series

Now that is a monumental achievement to end the new year on!

Onward to 2021! Jody Watley continues to bring the Wattage!

Jody Watley 2020 in Alvin Valley.

“Thank you to all supported the music, message and other my business endeavors. Here’s to 2021. If you made it of 2020 unscathed and healthy – you did good. For 3 months of the early morning interviews and press – I was dealing with a broken wrist and full cast on my right arm..and a lot of pain..but no matter what always kept it moving like so many of you dealing with obstacles, and setbacks. Onward.” – Jody Watley