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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.”

First Saturday of 2020 Inspiration Wattage

This inspiration comes courtesy of Ty Hunter on Instagram (TyTryOne).

I had to share with you.

Wattage!

Jody Watley Classic Image of The Day. VOGUE Italia.

Jody Watley Vogue Italia 1991

Jody Watley VOGUE Italia, 1991.

Paving the way in my own way and style.

 

Wattage!

Jody Watley. Welcome 2020 Video. New on YouTube.

Jody Watley. Another Chapter. Let’s Go 2020. New Year Wattage.

Jody Watley 2020 Happy New Year Photo Candid

Jody Watley. Welcome 2020.

 

Many best of shares on my social media and a bit of reflection – check them out on Facebook and Instagram. In gratitude for each day, I’ve never been one to focus on time – however there is a significance of not only a new year, but a new decade. 2020 baby! Let’s get it.

Just l i v e. If you never try, or set goals – you have nothing to aspire for.

In my mind there were a list of things I was going to cover but once writing they didn’t feel that important to me and didn’t want to make this super long.

What I know is each day is a new opportunity to begin anew, learn from life and lessons, continue with each breath of life to cherish each day and those we love, support them and allow their growth – and please pay attention to actions –  not words from people but those words do often matter too – pay attention to the energy you allow.

Appreciate each day, opportunity and lesson, be open to possibilities. Dwell in possibility.

The past is a touchstone to let it teach, energize, inspire, and/or also remember in fondness those who have touched our lives and may no longer be present physically.

Pay attention to people, bringing this up again –  especially those you allow into your life as their motives may not always be genuine or healthy. Like my Mom likes to say ‘..more will be revealed…” and that is true once you focus in with that 2020 – it’s all there for better or worse.  Not everyone in your circle is rowing, some may be poking holes. Reflect, just don’t get stuck there and always use your knowledge. Recognize health is wealth – I’m not talking muscles and all of that but your overall well being, mentally and physically so you don’t end up with ailments you could have avoided in many cases – self care. As I wrote in ‘Sanctuary’ as a reminder that our home environments no matter how big or small are so important – fill your walls with happy times, peace of mind..a safe place…

People will think and believe what they want – let them, speak your piece if you choose and move on. If they don’t like you in the first place their mind is made up even if it’s fake info and don’t really care for the truth at all. This was ever apparent after my Open Letter “Jody Watley Speaks Out” to Shalamar fans in 2016 – wanting it to put to rest the lies, misperceptions, aspersions that have been cast upon my name regarding the reunion topic and beyond. Not only did I speak truth, I provided receipts to back up everything presented, still people persist with the false narratives. The invitation was extended for an American Farewell show or tour two or three times during the decade – it was not only declined but torched with more lies and disrespect, a point that shouldn’t be surprising as it has gone on for decades and so it’s something I hope people let go of – the effort was made from my end. Lessons learned as always — 2020 vision baby! Clarity.

It gets tough when your reputation and or character is being attacked – pick up Don Miguel Ruiz’s ‘The Four Agreements’ so do what you need to do..and then at a point just leave it be.  “The Four Agreements” continues to help me as a practical guide for living. Forgiveness is a beauty and wellness elixir and like saying no to unhealthy fast food, be careful of what you consume on social media.

Some people are still holding on to 40 years ago – I’m not one of them. This decade reaffirmed my realization a lot of people don’t like the truth and are gullible to lies it’s all around just look at the state of American politics ..not to mention blind to the fact a cell or smart phone is not a mere toy or device but is a useful tool for just about anything you’d like to learn,listen to, etc. Be smart and remember everyone is not your friend.

Live life – forget your age…and remember you teach people how to treat you.

My song ‘Another Chapter‘ written at the conclusion of the 90’s going into 00’s still holds true.

Let’s all move forward with clarity and gratitude…. don’t beat yourself up too much no matter what – we are all works in progress as we continue on this journey of life. There will be highs and lows – missteps and triumphs. We all experience days where the mood will be despair and more days full of hope and enthusiasm.

It’s ok to change direction, just don’t get stuck, fearful of mistakes .. try to live with and surround yourself with joy. Another book I recommend that I read a long time ago and re-read not long ago is ‘Conversations With God’ – Neale Donald Walsch. The answers are always here for us and people show you who they are all the time ..pay attention.

Every day is a gift, your life is your own when all is said and done  – never let anyone make you forget that.

 

Wattage!

Jody Watley Shares Best of 2019 Through Photo and Video.

Jody Watley SoundBoard 2019 - Live Capture

One of my favorite fan photo captures from 2019 came from Detroit Soundboard.

The end of a year and a decade is on the horizon so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite photos and video from concerts on my various social media (Facebook and Instagram) so make sure to check it out. The final Top 10 roundup recap will be posted here on the blog.

Thoughts on this final Saturday of the decade  is to release the things that are weighing you down and not serving you and your life in a positive or productive way.

Wattage!

Jody Watley Digital Music Update. December 13-19.

Jody Watley Spotify November 2019

Jody Watley.

 

I’m behind on this weeks streaming update but want to get it done before year end! Here we go, top streaming service is still Spotify for Jody Watley listeners – the music is on all digital platforms – as well as Youtube:

Jody Watley Top 10 Tracks December 13-19

  1. The Mood ft SRL (Alex Di Cio’ Remix)
  2. Nightlife (Classic Soul Remix Soulpersona)
  3. Slowdance
  4. I Want Your Love (DJ Spinna Remix)
  5. A Beautiful Life
  6. Sanctuary (Soulpersona RareGrooves Remix)
  7. Sanctuary (Original Mix)
  8. Borderline
  9. Saturday Night Experience (Ron Trent Mix)
  10. Dancer

 

Jody Watley Top Releases December 13-19

  1. The Makeover – Album
  2. Midnight Lounge – Album
  3. The Mood ft SRL – Single
  4. Nightlife (Classic Soul Remix)
  5. Paradise – EP
  6. Nightlife Remixed – EP
  7. Slowdance w SRL – Single
  8. I Want Your Love Remixes – Album
  9. The Passion ft SRL (Brian Power Remixes) -Single
  10. Sanctuary – Single (Soulpersona Remixes)

 

Top 10 Overall — Jody Watley Classics & Contemporary December 13-19

  1. Don’t You Want Me
  2. Looking for A New Love
  3. Everything
  4. Looking for A New Love (Extended Mix)
  5. Real Love
  6. Friends
  7. Some Kind of Lover
  8. Nightlife – Classic Soul Soulpersona Remix
  9. I Want Your Love – DJ Spinna Remix
  10. The Mood ft SRL (Alex Di’ Cio Extended Mix)

 

Thanks for listening and feel free to buy the music too!

Jody Watley Concert Updates Including Special Guest at Ladies of The 80’s

Of course Jody Watley music is eclectic and spans many genres and decades including the present day – that said I also know how fond the general public is of the very commercial 80’s Pop era. I’ll be stepping onto the stage along with Pop/Rock Queen Taylor Dayne and Queen of Freestyle Lisa Lisa – add Queen of Cool Jody Watley as Special Guest for “Ladies of The  80’s” in select cities beginning January 2020.

January 24, 2020: Gulfport, MS – Island View Casino

January 31, 2020: Westbury, NY – Westbury Theatre

February 1, 2020: Atlantic City Tropicana Showroom

February 21, 2020: Stockton, CA Bob Hope Theatre

Get Your Tickets For The Party!!

LadiesofThe80sTour2020_

Throughout the year I’ll also be doing full scale Jody Watley concerts as well with the full range of my repertoire starting with The Howard Theatre February 8, 2020.

Get tickets: https://www1.ticketmaster.com/jody-watley/event/150056D3AF1B4324

Jody Watley Howard Theatre 2020

Jody Watley. Tribute To George Michael Rewind.

The first time I performed the tribute to George Michael was 2016 not long after he’d passed away..it’s still hard to fathom. Since then I’ve included it in my concert a few times including Unplugged this summer in Hawaii where I was able to share more of the back story and add a few more music bits as well.

Gone physically – never forgotten.

 

 

New Video. Jody Watley and Oleta Adams Perform “Who Would Imagine A King” on The Colors of Christmas Tour 2019.

 

Simply divine.

The intro with a short behind the scenes moment is fun. Watch the video now.

 

 

More Monday Wattage and Holiday Thoughts.

Jody Watley - Holiday T-shirt SnowandXmasTrees

Positive vibes and love to all this holiday season.
Be PRESENT – WRAP someone in a hug – GIVE food / clothing / books time.. – BE the light for someone who may really be in need as they fight through the darkness this time of year. Make this a year round thing – a lifestyle.
Wattage.