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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-Weekend Wattage and End of March Updates

A most blessed and joyful weekend to all. Since this is the 30th Anniversary of “Larger Than Life” today’s look is channeling the more chic look.

Always find and stand in your best light – radiate the best of yourself.

Wattage!

Up Next:: April 19 New single “Good Good Reason” Brian Power featuring Jody Watley

April 19 – London at Under The Bridge

April 20 – Amsterdam The Melkweg

April 27 – Microsoft Theater “Freestyle Festival 15”

May 3 – Fresno, CA Cinco de Mega Woodward Park

June 22 – Blue Note Napa “An Evening Of Love, Jazz and Soul”

and more TBA

Jody Watley – “Larger Than Life Album” Turns 30

Albumism: Happy 30th Anniversary to Jody Watley’s Second Solo Album “Larger Than Life” Originally Released March 27, 1989 – Read it Here on Albumism

Happy Music Anniversary to my second solo album “Larger Than Life” featuring Top 10 singles “Real Love” the groundbreaking collaboration with Eric B & Rakim “Friends” the ballad “Everything” as well as the beautiful “Precious Love” :: The album cover with photography by legendary fashion Steven Meisel and Art Direction by Lynn Robb and I, is also in 1000 Album Covers published by Taschen.

Evening Bliss.

Always a perfect choice to wind down in the evening. “Waiting In Vain” from 2018 was in the Top 5 Jody Watley airplay from SoundExchange tracking this month right with a few of my classic hits – thanks to all of the jazz and Smooth Jazz Stations keeping this former Top10 on playlist as well as SiriusXM for the classics! Available at digital outlets worldwide. A chill relaxed and loving evening to all. Wattage!

 

 

Up Next ‘Spring / Summer’

April 19  – London, the stylish unique venue  ‘Under The Bridge’ : Tickets

April 20 – Amsterdam, The Melkweg ft Shalamar Reloaded

April 27 – Los Angeles, CA Microsoft Theatre “Freestyle 15” : Tickets

May 3 – Fresno, CA  Cinco De Mega: Tickets    

June 22 – Blue Note Napa “An Evening of Love, Jazz and Soul”: Tickets

July 19- TBA

August 17 – Atlanta Mable Barnes House Amphitheatre with Jeffrey Osbourne : Tickets

August 31 TBA

 

 

Jody Watley Pala Jam In Review.

Pala Jam went down in San Diego at the beautiful Pala Casino Spa & Resort. Sold out show of appreciation of classic soul and funk music with three of music’s venerable women in music, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Jody Watley and The SOS Band fronted by original lead Mary Davis. Terrific energy from the crowd for each artist- a beautiful and spirited evening of funky music and a lot of soul.

My band and squad SRL, a evolving into a collective of musicians, dancers, choreographers and performers joining me for one hell of a show!

Monday Wattage Inspiration. Love Yourself.

Wise inspirational words from Steve Maraboli that I thought I’d share.

Jody Watley with Brian Power Give You A Good Good Reason To Love

Via Soulfood Music and SoulHouse Records UK.

GRAMMY WINNING MUSIC LEGEND JODY WATLEY & SOULHOUSE MUSIC’S BRIAN POWER GIVE YOU A GOOD GOOD REASON TO LOVE.

On the heels of Two Top 5 UK Soul Singles “The Mood” and “The Passion”, Grammy winning music legend and former original Shalamar female lead Jody Watley returns with “Good Good Reason” produced by house music’s Brian Power.

This instant groover comes complete Watley’s distinct soul vocals, classic bass, brass, sass and synth riffs in a nu-disco blend of soul ready made for dance floors and radio worldwide.

Look for the Original and Funk mixes ready made to take soul heads into spring summer for seasons to come.

Jody will be in the UK performing and completing Radio promotion to support the single.

 

UK date : FRI APRIL 19TH. UNDER THE BRIDGE , FULHAM

https://www.seetickets.com/event/jody-watley/under-the-bridge-fulham-london/1287342

 

GOOD GOOD REASON

BRIAN POWER Feat JODY WATLEY

LABEL: SOULHOUSE MUSIC

PRODUCER: BRIAN POWER

WRITERS: BRIAN POWER, ANDREA BRITTON, TONI ECONMOMIDES, MIKE PLATO, JODY WATLEY

RELEASE DATE :

TRAXSOURCE : APRIL 12th

MAINSTREAM : APRIL 26th

PROMOTIONS: STEVE RIPLEY // SOULFOOD MUSIC

07702 161290 / SOULFOODMUSICUK@GMAIL.COM

Cinco De Mayo Mega Rewind 2019

Get Tickets

I’ll be performing a few songs -come out and party to some classic jams!