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
Jody Watley. Nightlife. Photo Courtesy of Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
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!
“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!
My love of sports came from my Dad: especially basketball and golf. I knew he loved to golf when I was little, and I had a vague memory of a big trophy in our living room but never really knew what it was. My Mom had told me in later years that my Dad could have been a Tiger Woods of his generation. She also told me he’d made a bit of history of his own as a teen-ager. My father was on the road to being a professional golfer but followed his own father’s footsteps into the ministry in the COGIC (Church of God In Christ) instead. Coming across this clipping of my father from JET Magazine in 1952, noting his being the first ‘Negro’ to win this tournament really made me smile. I love my father, and miss him everyday. He was a trailblazer in golf and in the COGIC (he had great diverse vision that the church powers that be didn’t fully embrace) – most of all he was my Dad.