Jody Watley. Original. Shalamar 1983 on tour in Belgium. Photo Courtesy of: Etienne Go.
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.
We’re just getting started with the single. An official video, limited edition vinyl, remixes by Moto Blanco and Jodie Harsh being completed as I type. Initially, I wasn’t going to do remixes because I want everything about this to be ‘classic’. That said, these will service a broader club community while maintaining the integrity of the record. Of course, remixes have always been a part of my repertoire. I’ll also be doing a bit more promotion while remaining selective. I’ve been asked if “Nightlife” is a part of an album or EP – it is a part of my forthcoming “Paradise” which will be released early 2014. All shares on your social media outlets, blogs and word of mouth mean the world. Let’s show the corporations and media know that classic quality music remains vibrant and strong – like an artist / songwriter / producer me! Thank you.
Nightlife at Giorgio’ with R&B Diva Faith Evans. Design: Ray Easmon
Photo: Christos Garkinos. Nightlife Graphic Design: Ray Easmon
My Saturday night at Giorgio’s was truly a night to remember. Meeting the legendary Giorgio Moroder was like a dream. Dancing to his songs and productions as a teen including one of my favorite soundtracks “Midnight Express” – “From Here to Eternity”, not to mention his groundbreaking work with Donna Summer along with his production and writing partner Pete Bellotte. He and his wife Francisca were relaxed and friendly, as Giorgio’s Bryan Rabin too me over for the introduction quickly prompting me to ask “Do you mind if we take a photo”, after hello’s were exchanged. You can say that I’m never too cool for school to be enthusiastic and show that I’m a fan of the people I admire and enjoy as well.
“It’s In The Music!”
More pics via my Instagram (JodyWatley) and Facebook.
The “Nightlife” Classic Glamour EP at iTunes – Here
Getting my drag on for Giorgio’s! Photo: (c) 2013 Jody Watley
Francisca Moroder, Giorgio Moroder and Jody Watley. Photo (c): Jody Watley 2013
My trip to Washington D.C. had a few twists and turns, but ended in a tremendously well received standing room only crowd at The Howard Theatre. The concert was a perfect way to put the cap on my limited engagement summer series of concerts which included The Essence Festival in New Orleans.
Jody Watley, The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013: Mark Sutphin
Jody Watley Live In Concert at The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013: Jay Boucher
Jody Watley LIVE at The Howard Theatre. Photo (c) 2013 DARRICK
Jody Watley by Larry Webb (c) 2013 via Facebook
With an appearance on Washington D.C.’s Fox 5 Morning Television (almost ruined by a driver that didn’t show up causing me to be late and miss my first time slot – and a last minute save by another company and driver – Uber!), all was well in the end; but I don’t like to be late and felt bad though it was out our control. In those times, we have to just roll with it, make adjustments; the ole’ keep calm and carry on mantra!
Jody Watley with Allison Seymour from Fox 5 WTTG Morning News. Photo Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
Though I had many problems with my feature in The Washington Post; among them -being referred to as ’80’s starlet’ ‘”Starlet?” I found it a bit demeaning. My continued artistic progression as an artist, songwriter and producer is consistent. I’ve remained on the charts whenever I’ve released music, though I moved away from Pop/R&B crossover a long time ago. I’m not looking for a new groove, rather continuing to make fresh grooves after decades in this business. Having had success in each decade with high charting singles is something I’m very proud of. It isn’t easy for artists to have hits, one, two, (or any for that matter) in any era. To make an initial major impact on my first two albums as a trendsetting pioneer in many aspects and then to continue on spanning decades in various genres and primarily in dance music should be notable not disposable or completely ignored. References to my looking for a ‘comeback’ didn’t come from my mouth – I despise that term, especially since it’s not fitting for me. While we’re at it, I also don’t like the term “old school”, though thankfully not included in the article. Classic, just like they refer to rock and roll – black music and artists should be given the same respect over time not relegated to some throwback nostalgia tag; unless it’s what is requested or marketed purposefully.
I’ve never left music, even with raising my children and taking time to live my life. I’m not looking for a comeback in today’s pop music climate. My next single ‘NIGHTLIFE’ is simply another step in my musical journey and evolution as a working artist. Neither am I looking for a new groove beyond a continued progression and a desire to write and release quality music while I’m still making it. The overall tone of the article was very marginalizing and reminded me why I don’t like doing interviews. A lack of homework on really knowing the subject beforehand goes a long way. I’ve learned most come with an already formed preconceived notion. Many of my fans felt the same way and posted as such under the link to the article on my Facebook page and felt that props nor respect weren’t given – rather lumping me in general terms of ‘the 80’s’ when I’m so not that – not stuck there and have continued to have success. The writer also insinuated my embrace of social media was confirmation that I was looking for a ‘comeback’, when in fact I’m just like any other savvy artist young or legacy music artist who embraces the times and appreciates the forum to connect and build the Jody Watley fan community. It’s my observation that when writing about rock stars no matter when they started or how old they are now, more reverence is given. It’s like someone taking your resume, not reading it and assuming who you are or labeling you something that you doesn’t represent what you’re about. Ironically, I read a post from author Paulo Coelho titled “Why I’m not giving that many interviews.” Paulo chooses to use his presence on social media to promote his work and tell his story.
OK, that off my chest – I’m not mad at the full page, that was earned in a solo career at 30 years now. We must always take every experience and learn from it. There’s a lesson in everything even if we can’t see it at the time. Seeing and reading the article online was one thing – however it was another deal to see it and be reminded of the traditional newspaper weekend edition – can’t be too grouchy about that. I just wish the young writer had really written a piece that brought people up to speed while considering the need to condense information reflecting some semblance of who I am as a a progressive artist and writer continuing to do things on her own terms -given the high profile nature of the piece – even if conveyed in a sentence or two.
No matter what – I’m grateful to still be here at a high level, doing what I love for my corner of the universe with a healthy mind, body and spirit – bringing joy to the people who support me through my artistry, growth and evolution.
With the backdrop and history of New Orleans as the backdrop amidst a variety of artists of various age demo’s; I’m so looking forward to being a part of this spectacular music and cultural event! Saturday night July 6, 2013 – it’s going down with my eclectic show of stylish funky pop soul in a concert of classic and dynamic hits (solo and Shalamar), a couple of critically acclaimed under the commercial radar gems, well new music and perhaps a surprise or two! To coincide with the performance I’ll be releasing two new singles titled ‘Nightlife’ Produced by the UK’s Count De Money and ‘The Dawn’ Produced by Mark de Clive-Lowe this summer. ‘Nightlife’ is a nod to my Shalamar / disco past though totally modern in approach – the groove never subsides. ‘Nightlife’ features vocal contributions by original Shalamar male lead Gerald Brown (Take That To The Bank) for added authenticity – if you loved Shalamar or music from that era – you will love ‘Nightlife.’ ‘The Dawn’ is another nod to my disco funk roots and written recalling my youth, while appreciating the me of now and adding those elements. This is the type of real dance music that not unlike what Daft Punk is being heralded for. Traditionally, other’s doing music rooted in soul, disco and funk receive more accolades however it’s not really about that – in the end for me my music always comes from a place of passion, joy and love first to represent me at a particular time in my creative and artistic life.