Venerable Grammy Award Winning Artist, Style Icon and Trailblazer Jody Watley’s latest music triumph is her stunning jazz turn of the Bob Marley classic “Waiting In Vain.” Watley continues to delight and surprise – with decades of hits under her belt in various genres she broke new ground with a Top 10 in the Smooth Jazz field on the heels of being ranked as one of Billboard Magazines Greatest Dance Club Artists of All Time.
A truly timeless artist, songwriter and renaissance woman.
As I’ve shared on on social media pages this past week, it’s a blessing to be able to be loved and appreciated consistently through the decades since the first time coming to Japan when my second solo album came out in 1989. Fast forward to 2018 – it’s still a thrill.
By the time the final concert of 2018 was ending I was moved to tears of joy and deep gratitude. Whenever I decide to retire (if I am given the blessing and opportunity to choose) I know I will miss performing and coming to Japan more than anywhere I’ve been along the way thus far
Here are a few highlights of many. Thank you to the great staff of Billboard Live Tokyo and Osaka, SRL squad, my sharp rhythm section and the incredible fans of Japan. I love you! Domo Arigato and I always pray for the next time.
Arrival. Tokyo – June 4, 2018.
Room service-Breakfast. I took a picture because the presentation was so beautiful.
Soundcheck day 1.
Ready for Act 1 of my show kicking off the music journey with some my classic solo hits with John “Havic” Gregory and Rosero McCoy.
Jody Watley and Ro — Nate dressed for SRL. Rosero is in first part of Jody section.
Photography courtesy of Billboard Live Tokyo-First
two songs of Jody Watley and then Jody Watley
I love capturing Nate on “Make That Move” a classic from my Shalamar days. The audience loves him and Nate brings so much zeal and energy to the song and performance.
I love these fan-made hand held fans I keep them all!
With the gifted and beautiful illustrator Hatsune Utsumi
With the very beautiful and kind Cheiko- we first met 18 years ago.
Entry of Billboard Live Tokyo after concert.
We asked fans to join our after show photo when we went into venue entrance.
Nate Allen Smith, SRL
Jody Watley. Art by Hatsune Utsumi
Nate Allen Smith, SRL
Backstage and ready for my close-up!
Sound checking “Waiting In Vain”
Love these guys! Hiro, Yoshinori and
The very kind Shun Naka gifted me with handmade bags.
Tokyo – We did that!
Lunch in Osaka
Jody Watley and SRL.
With John “Havic” Gregory and Rosero Mccoy
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Hand painted kimono and gift by Hatsune Utsumi
Meet and Greet.
He asked me to pose with him – and I did.
The Masato Family – Mile and Madna danced with us onstage and gifted awesome art
It’s always a joy to come to perform and share the love with everyone. I feel very blessed to have these opportunities. Billboard Live staff is fantastic as well which also makes everything go smoothly.
Chic and Disco Fabulous – Shalamar Act 3 Of Show
Jody Watley and SRL. Photography courtesy of Billboard Live.
While “Waiting In Vain” remains in the Smooth Jazz Top 10, Jody Watley again shows no signs of slowing down or clinging to past glories. Her new group Jody Watley & SRL will release their 4th single and video titled “The Passion” written and produced by the trio, with a video directed by young talent Damien Sandoval this summer.
The members had this to say:
“People ask what is SRL.. we are a Soul Revolution Of Love put forth in our music, live performances and through our budding fan community. The Passion is all about that.. love, living and the fire within.” -Jody Watley
Rosero Mccoy of SRL says “We’re building something new for ourselves and anything against the grain feels revolutionary to us.”
“Each video we bring something new and fresh. It’s dope to be a part of something we are creating together not something from the past, although we do draw on inspiration from soul R&B for sure, it’s one of the genres I grew up on.” – Nate Allen Smith
Often referred to by many of her devoted fans as “The Queen Of Cool” the singer, songwriter and founder of her independent label Avitone continues to fuel quality music, and one of the few black women in the game as a longstanding artist to continue to do what she’s from her Shalamar years, solo artist and now founder of a successful and much buzzed about new group.