Jody Watley. Independence Day. Shalamar.

Dead Giveaway.

I hope you are all enjoying your holiday.

The 4th of July is a pivotal day in my life because it’s the day I quit and declared my independence from Shalamar. An original member, my often tumultuous journey with the group started in 1977 with the group along with Gary Mumford and Jeffrey Daniel promoting Uptown Festival.

Shalamar. Gary Mumford, Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel

The second phase came while still in my teens with Gerald Brown and Jeffrey Daniel on our recordings “Shalamar Disco Gardens” album and hit “Take That To The Bank”

Shalamar with Gerald Brown, Jeffrey Daniel and Jody Watley

And finally with Howard Hewett for the final 4 years.

Shalamar with Howard Hewett, Jody Watley and Howard Hewett after 4 tumultuous years.

Dead Giveaway- a side eye..

I wanted freedom from a myriad of things which had nothing to do with singing :: … it all came to a head the day we filmed this video “Dead Giveaway” in the UK back in 1983.

I’m only in the mask at the every end of the video for the reveal and of course the performance scenes. I didn’t want to do the video at all after a heated near physical altercation as we were about to depart for the shoot. It was the last straw for me and such a situation to never have again. Here’s to using personal freedoms to be happy to live your best life in how “you” see fit. To all of the young women and women in general in music, life, relationships, the workplace whatever it may be – who often feel powerless – reclaim your power. Own it. No one can decide that for you, though many may judge you, be willing to walk away and sacrifice if need be.

Removing yourself from unhealthy, or abusive situations and above all not being afraid to make bold choices for yourself is an empowering thing – yes it can also be easier said than done – I want you to know it can be done. My choice back then and still today is always happiness, peace of mind first and foremost-life is short so don’t waste it being miserable, mistreated, whatever it may be. Those are two principles to always live by to this day, happiness and peace of mind. Never regret or be afraid of having the balls to live your own life with joy and to stand up for yourself. Even in my younger age, no amount of threats or intimidation could have changed my mind. I left with a weight lifted and wishing everyone well.

That said — I’m also eternally grateful for the experience in those years and the ending to all of that – as well all I learned from it, along with the confidence, strength and wisdom I gained – wouldn’t change it…35 years later is a lifetime ago-blessed with so much achievement i would have never known. Most importantly in still doing me in variety of ways through the decades – add healthy, happy and with peace of mind.

Happy Independence Day!

Just Announced. Jody Watley To Perform at Austin Pride

Multi-Platinum selling artist and Grammy winner Jody Watley is one of the architects of 21st century music and cutting-edge style. She also ranks as one of Billboard Magazines Greatest Dance Artists of All Time. Jody Watley will make her first appearance in Austin, Texas at the Austin Pride Festival on Saturday, August 11, 2018. As a long-time advocate and icon of the LGBTQ community, this promises to be a very special appearance in a set filled with

hits, new music, style and attitude.

Jody’s multi-platinum career as a solo artist kicked off with her debut album “Jody Watley” whose chart-topping lead single “Looking for a New Love” launched the Watley-penned catch phrase “Hasta la vista, baby,” into pop culture vernacular, garnered the prestigious “Best New Artist” award and countless nominations and hits that have followed over the course of decades in her career. Watley’s groundbreaking collaboration with Eric B & Rakim “Friends” created the template for the formula of Pop/R&B/Rap Sung features and remains strong in commercial pop music. In 2017 Jody Watley received the Crossover Music Icon Award on the television broadcast Black Music Honor for her often unheralded contributions as an influencer in music. She was also ranked as one of Billboard Magazine’s Greatest Dance Acts of All Time with 14 #1 Dance Hits.

The versatile songstress and songwriter is no stranger to hit records from her days as the original female lead vocalist of the trio Shalamar (A Night To Remember, Take That to The Bank) to decades of solo global hits and critically heralded releases (Looking for A New Love, Don’t You Want Me, Friends,

I Want Your Love) as well as the recent jazz hit “Waiting In Vain”, a cover of the Bob Marley classic. Watley has charted hits in various genres in each decade since the 80’s with a catalog that ranges from Pop, R&B, Dance. Hip-Hop, Adult Contemporary, Electronica and Smooth Jazz.

Jody Watley is serving notice she isn’t resting on her past glories and proves she is still a talented force to be reckoned with.

Join Jody at the Austin Pride Festival on Saturday, August 11, at Fiesta Gardens with special guests Vander Von Odd (Season 1 Winner of Dragula), Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda, Lady Grackle, 19th Moon, and many more! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/austin-pride-2018-revolution-the-28th-annual-celebration-tickets-42342428343

Jody Watley June Wattage

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The summer has gotten off to a wonderful start with concerts in Japan and stateside. If you’ve missed posts check out some of the older posts on my site.

On the heels of the success of the spring Smooth Jazz Top 10 “Waiting In Vain”, finishing the video for the forthcoming new single from my Jody Watley & SRL collective apart from my solo works – I look forward to what’s next. Like with anything in life, there are obstacles to be faced and bumps in the road to navigate, those those never dampen my grit, determination, optimism and gratitude to continue doing what I love on my own terms.

The Top 10 “Waiting In Vain” Available at All Digital Outlets and still in the Top 100 to close out June Top 100 Smooth Jazz Network

Concerts for July:

July 21 – Cache Creek Casino and Resort – Northern California

July 28 – Merchant Street Music Festival – Kankakee, IL

August:

August 4 –  Florian Hall, Dorchester MA

August 11 –  TBA – Austin, TX

October

October 20 – A Taste of Soul Los Angeles

November

November 7 – 80’s In The Sand Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Stay Tuned for exciting news about the release date for Jody Watley & SRL “The Passion” – in the meantime, enjoy the U.K. Top 2 Soul Single  “The Mood”  Alex Di Cio Mix.

Jody Watley A Monumental Look Back To Still A Thrill

The gears below the Paris Opera House (Le Palais Garnier)

Being the first artist or entity at all to be allowed to film a video in the then called Opera de Paris (Palais Garnier) in Paris, France for my video “Still A Thrill” in 1989 is something that was quietly monumental at the time – and probably beyond my devoted fans few know this. When most “urban” artists were primarily relegated to basic in studio videos. I thought about the significance as Beyonce made headlines with her video filmed at the prestigious Louvre museum another landmark in Paris. As one of my fans noted..”if you released this today, you would have broken the internet..it was ahead of the times.” I agree.

Directed by Brian Grant, the 2nd of 3 videos we filmed together – I sashayed all over the streets of Paris (thank you to my former label for supporting my vision) – I worked the historic setting with no choreography or rehearsals. There’s also a scene in one of the night shots on the streets of Paris where graffiti notes “Gay Color, Say Cool Say What?” that makes it’s own statement and my support of the LGBTQ community without batting a cat-eyed eyelash that I’ve never been asked about.

This included the basement so to speak working the gears with Tyrone “The Bone” Procter, former ST alum like me – freestyle, waacking, just making it up as we went along. I styled myself (a bit of Jean Paul Gaultier mixed in) as well as Tyrone (in a Jean Paul Gaultier T-shirt).  It was about the edgy style against the opulent setting and getting in the music. Creating art outside the box especially for a black girl at the time dealing with industry politics among other things – quietly opening doors and raising the bar for myself and others to follow has always been important to me – before social media.

You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing-that’s usually how artists make a mark.

Classic.

Paris By Night was the theme and concept of the video – totally enjoyed collaborating and working with Brian Grant.

 

Today’s Inspiration. Quote and Motivation.

Meet The DJ and Remix Producer Behind Jody Watley & SRL’s U.K. Hit The Mood

Alex-Di-Ciò-678x381

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Great feature on Alex Di Cio “Man of The Moment” Historic Italian DJ Producer & Remixer since the end of the 70’s he began to collect vinyl..in the mid-80’s Alex was a pioneer of primordial House Music and in the late 80’s he was a precursor to the Acid Jazz movement : Read The Full Article 

 

Jody Watley Chene Park Detroit 2018 Recap

Early Morning Television Performance and Interview on Local NBC affiliate WDIV 4’s “Live In The D”

The building was abuzz with a lot of love from the staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soundcheck

Taking in the beautiful view.

Showtime.

Jody Watley. About to smash the stage.

Jody Watley and some of the band and squad.

Stage view – performing “Everything” piano and vocals only. Photo by Nazim Chambi.

Disco fabulous in the Shalamar section of my show joined by Nate Smith and Rosero McCoy from SRL.

It was night to remember!

Modern Disco Fabulous In Metallic Trench

A really cool fan selfie.

Meet and greet

Rochelle Darlene said I was her idol growing up, very sweet moment full of love.

With WDET’s Chris Campbell Host Of The Progressive Underground

With veteran Detroit on air personality Kelly Holmes

Love this! Jody Watley Jumbo Hoops Wattage Crew

Check out the brief interview on iHeartRadio On The Go With Tiffany Patton Podcast

Feeling blessed as always and full of gratitude for a fantastic Detroit experience

Some of the squad- a wonderful time was had by all.