Channeling the great Josephine Baker in Essence Magazine in 1989.
Photography: Adrian Buckmaster
I had the opportunity to see Josephine Baker when I was a little girl. My mother took my brother and I to see her at The Regal Theatre. Later, after becoming an artist myself, I nearly won the role to play her on the HBO movie “The Josephine Baker Story” ultimately the role went to actress Lynn Whitfield. Ms. Baker was obviously much older when I saw her, but I’ll never forget how mesmerizing she was and thinking back on it now – I also realize what a blessing it was to witness this icon while she was alive. I’ve read many books on her fascinating life – and what a life she lived through it all. What a trailblazer.
Josephine Baker; Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the “Black Pearl,” “Bronze Venus” and even the “Creole Goddess”. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine later became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French.
Baker was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) or to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker, who refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. She was once offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King in 1968, following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. Baker, however, turned down the offer. She was also known for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and received the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.
Visit the Official Josephine Baker Website: HERE
NIGHTLIFE: written by Jody Watley (Jody Watley Music, BMI) Julien Aletti, Raphael Aletti (Aletti Brothers Music, BMI) Produced by Count De Money for Peace Bisquit and Jody Watley – Remixes by Moto Blanco; Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona, Luminodisco, released on Avitone.
Despite the accessibility of information and frequent posts on all of my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), some seem to lag or simply too lazy to read and actually get updated to see what’s NEW with Jody Watley. “Any new music coming?” What have you been up to?” It’s all here and out there. In the event you’re sincere with interest and have missed or overlooked the numerous updates and interviews, I’ve compiled a easy to follow list of links to read, watch and get plugged in. “Nightlife” featuring Gerald Brown another fellow original Shalamar lead built momentum beginning in the summer of 2013 and continues going into 2014 (NIGHTLIFE moves to #18 Hot Billboard Dance Club Play will it will peak in the Top 20), and I prepare for the next single – It’s In The Music!
The “Nightlife” video is still to be released with the single still on the rise on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts – the edit took longer than we all thought, but’s it nearly done. There really are no rules in the music industry these days especially for independent artists – it still takes a while to get the word out, without some sort of scandal! With the video, as with anything I do – it has to be right or not at all for me. Limited edition vinyl is available in the boutique. Do you have yours?
Upcoming Concerts: Billboard Live Osaka and Tokyo, Japan: Jan 18-22, 2014. David Gest presents Legends of Soul UK, get info: HERE. I look forward to doing select cities in 2014 in support of “Nightlife” and the forthcoming “Paradise. Expect a couple MAJOR surprises this year and a bombshell or two!
Jody Watley “Nightlife” -Single Preview Edit
“..Jody Watley delivers upon arrival..”
CentricTV, Editors Choice:
“…the relevancy of this tune proves that Watley is a master class in how to keep a career in dance and R&B music going..”
The Urban Link, Jody Watley “Nightlife”
Soulbounce: “Jody Watley Loves The Nightlife”
“..there are some talents who are living and breathing examples of diva-dom such as Jody Watley..”
Ebony Magazine: Sonic Boom The Weeks Hottest New Music: Jody Watley “Nightlife”
Urbanbridgez: Jody Watley Reunites With Shalamar’s Gerald Brown for New Single:
Poptastic Confessions: Nightlife #1 Song of 2013
The QHBlend: Jody Watley From Soul Train to Nightlife:
“..Watley continues to define her artistic destiny unapologetically; it’s something in the reality television era of ‘R&B Divas’ that should be savored.”
Bossip: Jody Watley New Single NIGHTLIFE: Here
Soultrain: Jody Watley “Nightlife Single Preview”
Blues and Soul: Jody Watley “Nightlife” Single Preview
Soul11: Jody Watley Back with New Joint “Nightlife”
FreshasFrankie: Jody Watley Nightlife Single Preview
The Los Angeles Examiner: Jody Watley Releases New Single “Nightlife”
Singersroom: Jody Watley Releases New single “Nightlife”:
Wax Poetics Issue 57, cover story with Dean Van Nguyen, Music Maverick
Yahoo Music: With Billy Johnson Jr. — 3 parts video interview Why Jody Watley’s New Single Is a Call To Get Fabulous
Uptown Magazine, Uptown Unplugged: ICONIC with Isoul Harris, Jody Watley Talks Trendsetting Fashion and Music
Ebony: Jody Watley Is Still A Thrill with Miles Marshall Lewis
JET Magazine: Catching Up With Jody Watley
The Singersroom: Jody Watley is Back Talking About Being An Innovator, The Music Industry, Radio and More
The Amalgamation Interview: Talking Shalamar, Career and New Music
USAToday Sports: Chop-Up with Jason Jordan: Jody Watley
Eurweb: Jody Watley Wants To Put Dance Back In The Mix
The Life of Riley: Jody Watley Talks to Patrick Riley, A Nightlife To Remember
Essence Magazine: Queen of Nightlife Jody Watley Shares Top 10 Picks (Style/Fashion)
Shulman Says: Jody Watley Talks Nightlife (3 part interview)
Ebony Magazine: Jody Watley Shares Spicy Nightlife Recipe (Food/Entertaining)
Madame Noire: Jody Watley Talks Career, New Music, Entrpreneurship (Business); Here
Musicians Institute Foundation: Grammy Award Winning Artist Jody Watley Shares 7 Tips for Aspiring Artists (Business/ Guest Celebrity Blogger): Here
Sister2Sister Magazine (December 2013):
Sophisticates Black Hair (January 2014): A Look Inside A Music Icons Paradise
Upscale Magazine January 2014: Legends Jody Watley Soul Power
From Essence Magazine: “Nightlife” Queen Jody Watley Top 10 NYE Picks:
“Nightlife” with it’s call to “be fabulous” forget your worries – get yourself together, is really my way of encouraging a call to lift yourself up, to have fun. “It’s in the music” because it is about music where so much inspiration and energy lives as a great resource, let it use you – I do! When you’re releasing music independently, so much depends on not simply my efforts but others getting behind and supporting. There’s something to be said about that aspect in today’s commercial commerce driven marketplace – what a concept, focus on ‘the music’ and the hope to inspire others. We can change the world with one smile, one dance at a time – I know it sounds cliche but for me it’s truth.
The single moves up to #14 Pop in the UK in Music Week and #40 Hot Dance Club Play on Billboard. The single peaked at #5 Urban in the UK – which is still quite awesome. It’s not so much about charts and sales but I’m proud of this as an addition to my discography – it’s really always about moving forward and being proud the work; that’s really success. Thats said, I do love proving that a veteran woman artist, writer, producer and style diva can still hang without pandering and with a level of class and my signature authenticity. There’s a core group people working with me, supporting me because they believe ‘in the music’ and not because of financial gain. We are connected by a passion and love for the music, the arts and a time when it was really more focus on ‘music’. The work I continue to do and with the integrity I try to bring appears to inspire others which gives me confidence and hope for all of us out here still trying to do things the right way. It’s all very organic and I’m thankful to those working with me on this and of course you the ones helping to get the word out there through your actions, buying the single and sharing my posts. Thank you.
Fabulous! My daughter and son – who always encourage me as must as I encourage them and tell me I’m the best Mom in the world – which fuels me on my darkest days and always reminds me what’s most important. Thank you Count De Money (Julien and Raphael Aletti- Aletti Brothers Music) Bill Coleman of Peace Bisquit, Gerald Brown, Juanita Stephens PR, Steve Ripley at Soulfood Music, Music House UK, Craig Jones, Niven Govinden, Matt Waterhouse, Moto Blanco, Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona, Luminodisco, Claudia Cuesta of Maxi Promotion, Patrick L. Riley of ‘Life of Riley’ and Dave Higdon of Poptastic Confessions, (early blogging supporters of ‘Nightlife’) along with Okayplayer, Soulbounce, Soulculture UK, Centric TV who got behind the single early — Fabulous!! Thank you Rosero McCoy, John ‘Havic’ Gregory, Christos Garkinos of Decades Inc, Billy B., Albert Sanchez, Sandra Green, Billy Johnson at Yahoo Music, Access Hollywood, Uptown Magazine, Isoul Harris, Essence Magazine, Jet, Ebony, Soulbounce, Singersroom, Lee Bailey at Eurweb, Urbanbridgez, Wax Poetics, Wallace Butts, Van Roy, Shawn West, Brian Walmer, Vernon Sze, Steve and Laura Hall at Future Disc Systems, Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin aka Adam Xll of Giorgio’s, Steven Willis, Harwood Lee, Christina Grady and all DJ’s and outlets supporting this effort…and anyone I forgot to mention my apologies, it’s not intentional. My hardcore fans – I love you!
Vinyl arrived today – yaaay! Details on when they’ll be at my online boutique. I have to number and sign them – limited edition Ba-By! Excited to be filming the final footage for the “Nightlife video tomorrow at my favorite place to dance : Giorgio’s!
On Wednesday October 16, 2013 I did a day of press at a few outlets as well as meet and greets – lots of good vibes and enthusiasm which is always nice. I’m also in New York to celebrate and spend time with my son who turns 21 today. Words can’t express my love my for son and daughter – music is great but they are the core, meaning and balance of my life as “Mom.”