At Nate’s home for a creative session for “Bridges.”
No illusions or delusions – doing me in the now and grateful to still be doing what I love in ways that bring rejuvenation to us all.
April has remained a month of creativity, writing – stepping away, gathering thoughts and coming back to new ideas for my solo work as well as SRL’s “Bridges.” I can say the collaborative give and take in the process of making this record is cool. We don’t agree upon everything, but always come to a meeting of the minds and always end up in a really good place – we’re a real group.. the awesome thing is in our differences (i.e. I think this song could be stronger, or I think we should do.. whatever it is) the respect of each other and the laughter that comes out of it all in the end is something we’re really enjoying. One of the things that came out of the last session is both Rosero and Nate saying “you sometimes downplay yourself too much..you’re J O D Y W A T L E Y and maybe because maybe in the past you’ve been around people who haven’t always respected or lifted you up..we do.” That meant so much and they were right. These men are awesome and such a gift on this journey. It was fun as well because Nate really laid out the food situation..when we’re at Rosero’s it’s a running joke he never has any food.
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With my Shalamar hotties Nate Smith and Rosero McCoy.
What a great night of music. 3 songs in the seated audience gave the new Shalamar a standing ovation. It was such a beautiful moment. In all of my years – I’ve never really experienced something like this. It was as if they wanted us to know we are supported despite any outside negativity others are trying to create. Check out what Spins and Blends had to say – along with some pretty cool photo’s. I’m in twists, which I have not worn in forever – for these dates! Here
Thank you Jody, for the fantastic performance last night in Annapols. Your detractors need to see the show before they open their mouths about Shalamar. Loved you, loved the band, and loved the guys. Who knew you rapped too?! – Paul Saxon
“Having last see you perform with Shalamar 32 years ago in Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle I would say last night was just as magical. Great show from you, the guys and the band laying down the groove!” – Scott Streibich
Next up Blues Alley November 6-8 – Saturday night’s shows are sold out!
It was a week of major losses in the entertainment world, actress civil rights activist Ruby Dee, unsung jazz great Little Jimmy Scott and radio and voice legend Casey Kasem. One of the biggest thrills when I became a solo artist and making a mark on Commercial Top 40 was to listen to Casey Kasem’s Countdown anticipating hearing Kasems announce my music – it always felt like a “you really have made it” moment. Not every artist got to hear their name amidst the American Top 40 Countdown – what an honor. Who can’t forget his voice on Scooby-Doo?! It was sad to hear his end of days turned so tragic, but he is in a peaceful place now as his children said in their statement to the media. The music of Little Jimmy Scott always soothes, having discovered him from my Mom as I have done with a lot of jazz and my affinity for it. When recording “After You Who” for Red, Hot and Blue, his music was on my playlist to capture and evoke the essence of emotion and elegance as my foray into jazz. I join in the voices of what an inspiration and positive Ruby Dee was. These were lives well lived having touched so many of us in a positive way. I enjoyed this in depth article with video on Ruby Dee on OkayPlayer which was shared on my Facebook page: Here One of my favorites from Little Jimmy Scott: Casey Kasem New York Times: Here Father’s Day posts on my Facebook were tributes to my father and brother John. Because our family lost possessions in storage when I was a little girl, there are any photo’s of he and I, however I do have a few cherished photo’s of him. As well, his memory lives on in my mind, memory and heart. He passed away in 1981 at 49 years young.
Before Tiger Woods there was my Dad John Watley Jr. who was also a pioneer in golf. JET Magazine, 1952
My brother and I like most siblings have had our ups and downs – but we’re cool! I paid tribute in a surprise post for him on Saturday June 14, as he lives in Japan. The first anniversary of Giorgio’s was Saturday night – and it was truly a night to remember, complete with an impromptu performance by yours truly! Read a fabulous article and check out the photo gallery on BlackBook: Here
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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.