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!