Watch the interview: Here
Watch the interview: Here
“Jody Watley Finds Joy in SRL and Peace in Speaking Up”
“When I say the name Jody Watley a number of things may rush to the forefront of your mind. Grammy winner. Fashion icon. Soul Train and Shalamar. Eighties dance diva and of course, those hoop earrings…” read the rest: here
There’s always something new to say ..check out my recent conversation with Cate Meighan Fox 11 Pop Culture Expert and Radio Entertainment Reporter.
A year ago today Nate Allen Smith, Rosero McCoy and I were out in the Mojave Desert, Death Valley filming our first music video for SlowDance. It was a very monumental moment in our new journey. I’ve put my money where my heart is and invested in us because I believe in what we’re doing. You can’t just talk the talk – you have to walk the walk. Investing in myself isn’t new since becoming independent with Avitone in 1995 which has entailed paying for recording, photography, marketing, staff and so on. Extending the business to include Shalamar Reloaded is a big picture look as artist and entrepreneur. Certainly, it’s not the common road at this juncture in my music and professional life but one of which I’m totally enjoying and believing it will pay off it other ways doing something that hasn’t really been done like this. After the release of this single and video, it was picked up for license by Spectra Music Group. We’re currently about to do a digital distribution deal with Universal Japan for Asia and something exciting just came up with regard to a possible deal for the UK. We are also in the midst of writing and recording the forthcoming “Bridges” with a new video for “The Mood” in the pipeline.
Some people want to stay stuck in what was, could have been..I’m not one of them. It’s awesome to create, make new goals and dreams. conquer obstacles, go out on a limb however one looks at it – now – today.
SlowDance is an in concert favorite by the way! It’s so cool to some of the couples accept our invitation and get up, put their phones down and come close.
We’d like to thank our growing new fan base and the media outlets who are showing us love by supporting what we are doing.
I hope everyone had a great week – a mixture of work and rejuvenation, ready to begin anew each day.
It was a nice time for me, with my son Arie being home for a week. Though his schedule was very busy to see his friends, father and his family we definitely spent quality time before he headed back to NYC to prepare for his fall semester and back to work. We went to our favorite family restaurant with my Mom joining us – and shared a favorite dessert creme brulee’. My daughter Lauren, and son Arie remain the lights and loves of my life! Make sure to make a life and not just a living..that’s how I’ve felt since they were born balancing motherhood and continuing to pursue my own goals and dreams. Now that they’re young adults now, it still gets me a bit melancholy (I loved raising them and all of those priceless moments that come with little ones) – that said I’m so proud that they turned into such grounded wonderful people. That is any parents wish – health, and happiness and with the will to pursue their goals and dreams. We empower each other.
Shalamar Reloaded also made another positive step forward getting support from WSDI, The People’s Hour Syndicated Show which airs in over 72 countries.
I was reminded by a few people on Instagram that August 8 was the 10 year anniversary of my groovy electronic ‘The Makeover’ collection. It was a very forward thinking project from a business perspective as well. From my Facebook page:
#TBT. August 8-15 2006. I’ve always been about making moves my own way as an artist, writer and business woman. — Shifting Paradigms. 2006. On Watley’s unique collection “The Makeover” Avitone partnered with music retailer Virgin Megastore, high-end cosmetics company shu uemura and local beauty salons for an exclusive release with special in-store listening booths, prime window display, in-store appearances, fan make-overs, live performances and autograph signing. The partnership was an early successful strategic partnership signaling the continued changing landscape for artists releasing music independently. The Makeover release debuted at #1 for the chain where it remained for 5 weeks without a radio single. Upon release at iTunes, “The Makeover” debuted at #3 Top Electronic Albums and subsequently produced 3 Top 5 Billboard Dance Hits (Borderline #2, A Beautiful Life #5, I Want Your Love #1). The Jody Watley makeover of the CHIC classic “I Want Your Love” also went to #1 Commercial Pop in the U.K. according to Music Week, giving Watley her first UK #1 in 20 years.
Eternal thank you’s and gratitude to the fans in the bay who first gave me the inspiration to make it a record after a concept show I did of songs I like and told stories about the significance..the songwriters for the permission to reimagine these classics with my spin on it — thank you Rodney Lee, my main collaborator and co-producer on this, DJ Spinna Danny Krivit Max Sanna, Aris Kokou from Greece (the wonders of Myspace music connections back then!) and 4Hero (Dego and Marc) and a host of remixers on the 12″ tip thank you Bill Coleman Peace Bisquit for coordinating the remixes that followed, thank you Mike Ruiz photography, Billy B Makeup, Christos Garkinos who connected me with Virgin Mega to make it all happen, Van Roy who supported this project in so many ways to help it all come to fruition, Gerry Etcheverry for connecting me to Shu Uemura — so would could serve glamour with fabulous lash and beauty makeovers, to Wallace Butts at Avid / Avitone, to Doug Blasdell (R.I.P.) ‘Workout’ Bravo and a dear friend he believed in me so much, Ali Mon Atelier and all of my diverse hardcore music journeymen and women like me who just like quality music and the connection we share. #itsinthemusic #JodyWatley#themakeover
I’m not sure if any female artist has ever achieved this..as an independent with her own label..veteran artist, no machine or major label support. 2006. I began Avitone in 1995 and have been able to do a lot of specialized releases, license deals and partnerships and still doing so today. So – though fans don’t hear a lot about me in the media because in over a decade the focus shifted to gossip based stories – who’s dating and marrying who..who’s in trouble..etc. Jody Watley is always handling business.
The Makeover had a makeover for the UK in 2008 after being picked up for license via Avitone. Artwork and Design by Ray Easmon.
To the now in my week in review, I went to get fitted for another custom hat for my upcoming Hawaii trip of shows with Gladys Tamez at her new studio.
Looking forward to our Blue Note Hawaii residency for 4 days! Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded. All sorts of hotness going down!
Congratulations to all of the athletes including Simone Biles, Simone Manuel, Monica Puig to name a few for making history over in Rio and of course Michael Phelps!! Well done to them all who were dedicated and worked hard enough to make it to the Olympics – and especially those that succeed despite the odds and obstacles they may face!
Seeing this photo shared by a Etienne Go on Facebook from a club in Belgium in 1983 while on tour with Shalamar is another reminder of how long I’ve been getting to do some of the things I love and working really hard at it, and always fighting to be myself – through the many ups and challenges, obstacles overcome ..singing, performing, dancing, designing, writing and bringing joy to the people.
Here’s to the now, to the weekend. It’s OK to take a glimpse back, evaluate, reflect, see how far you’ve come, use the lessons learned and so on – just don’t get stuck there.
This is another fun video with a take on the new Shalamar Reloaded single and video “O.R.I.G.in.A.L”
Ironically in the past few days, fans have shared with me these posts heralding the jumbo hoop earring, the blend of eclectic style high and low fashion.. it’s been pointed out “they mention other artists who have followed the trend, trends you set – except the person who started it – you”..origins people, learn it! “What you mean you don’t know about my hoops!”
Read the Teen VOGUE Post: HERE – News Flash to the Teen VOGUE style writers – they’ve always been chic – and never left! I think it’s wonderful that the style endures generation to generation. To see them the Jody Watley Hoops -always makes me smile. Go girls – WerK!!
Self explanatory. This past year we (Rosero McCoy, Nate Allen Smith and myself) dealt with a lot of hate, naysayers, slanderers, underminers etc and we still are – so we wrote a song about it and made a hot video to go with it. I am against bullying, harassment and online and off – I’ve seen blocking people doesn’t always work, these people just create fake accounts to attack, discourage and put down. The funny thing is usually the most vocal haters are the ones who watch your every move and try to emulate you – and in the same breath try to diminish you. As well, this is about us being originals to Shalamar Reloaded creating a new foundation for ourselves one effort at a time. It’s not for everyone – but we doing what we love and having a blast in this process – our journey.
Watch the video!!
“Watch me walk out – fashion walk out..”
Video directed by Q Burdette and Rosero McCoy. Logo Design Ray Easmon and Jody Watley.
It was also a bit of a family affair with this one, one of Rosero’s sons Eric brought this track to us and we took it from there with this total collaboration.
No matter the adversity – keep moving forward and stay fabulous.