Welcome March. Wishing everyone the best of the month!
Welcome March. Wishing everyone the best of the month!
Photography: Emily Rems
IN The Music – Wattage!!
Near capacity crowd – lots of love in the house to kick off Jo Long Theatre at The Carver Community Cultural Center new season.
Sound and visuals check. Design by Ray Easmon.
Testing out new opening choreography with SRL Nate Allen Smith and John ‘Havic’ Gregory.
I had to take off my heels and get in the audience for a twirl during a rousing version ‘Skin Deep’ from “Midnight Lounge” it was my favorite part of the show.
I want to thank Ebony Magazine for the acknowledgement and inclusion on this esteemed list.
Sharing this from the fan page jodywatleystyle on Instagram – Jody Watley; 1993 Us Weekly. Photography Jon Ragel. Make-up by Collier Strong. Styling Jeannine Braden and Jody Watley. Hair by Jody Watley.
‘Soul Survivor’ interview feature talking about my ‘Affairs of The Heart’ –when magazines were interested in what you had to say about your music, writers cared enough to do their homework.. and focus was not celebrity gossip or how many social media followers you had.
The event, originally an outdoor event was moved indoors to the Cox Business Center. It was a beautiful thing to see a music event with major sponsors to make it a free city family friendly concert and also be in celebration of Tulsa’s own former NBA player and respected jazz musician Waymon Tisdale. I performed ‘Skin Deep’ in celebration of Tisdale because I’d done two Smooth Jazz Cruises around the time of the original release of “Midnight Lounge” – the message was appropriate as well.
It was really special to see The Whispers, my former label mates from back in my Shalamar, Solar Records years..Scotty with the classic response!
Up Next October t:
October 13 – Detroit Soundboard Motor City Casino with Tony Toni Tony
October 19 – San Antonio Jo Long Theater
Hopefully you found time to enjoy summer with some days off, chilling, enjoying your me time or family, traveling..whatever you made time to do. As time continues to move on make sure you are living life not just going through life. Learning to revel in the moment, learning to pat yourself on the back for overcoming obstacles or some days feeling like you’d like more rainbows than rain – you are here, we are here. That within itself is a blessing and time waits for no one and remember to appreciate the small things because one day they may very well be the big ones you reflect on. Don’t let anyone rob you of your joy.
Just as trees shed their dead leaves to bloom in new ones for spring..don’t be afraid of new growth while remaining solid like the tree!
Wishing everyone the best of the season.
Up Next :: September and October —
September 28 – Soul Fest Tulsa Guthrie Green a family friendly event with The Whispers
October 13 – SoundBoard Detroit, Motor City Casino with Tony! Toni! Tone!
October 19 – Jo Long Theater at Carver Community Cultural Center – Get Tickets
Morning Wattage! A wonderful day to all – here’s to you!
::Current releases streaming now with an eclectic multi decade variety of Jody Watley music tops last week with Spotify being the number steaming source for my music. The following Artist chart is specific to my contemporary output from my independent Avitone label.
I performed my first full Jody Watley “Unplugged” in the beautiful setting of Blue Note Hawaii. Each show had something slightly different and both audiences loved the show. There was candor, spontaneous humor, heart and soul.
There’s a purity to the Unplugged experience of vocals and the sparse instrumentation that gives a different vibe to the songs – still funky when needed, and emotional connections. In this concept I was able to share back stories and talk a bit more than I do in my more fast paced full show experience. The crowds sang along as I told them “pretend we are all at a campfire just singing songs..” That’s what we did, we also laughed, got reflective in moments and had a wonderful time.
The set list included my tribute to George Michael, my Top 10 Jazz makeover of Bob Marley ‘Waiting In Vain” many familiar Jody Watley classics, a few from my Shalamar days and the 2018 Top 2 UK Soul hit ‘The Mood’ joined by Nate Allen Smith of SRL. The Unplugged musicians were Roland Hamilton on piano and Naz Chambi from the Jody Watley & SRL music collective.
It was an cool to be a part of the “People Magazine 50 Most Beautiful Summer 1990” issue needless to say (actress Michelle Pfeiffer was on the cover). I believe true beauty radiates from the inside out and honestly having smarts is higher on my list though being in the entertainment industry there is a level of superficial so I get it. In my interviews it’s always been key to get that across, not just being a ‘pretty face.’ The feature makes mention of my godfather music legend Jackie Wilson who will finally be honored with a Star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood September 4, 2019.
In this opportunity it’s noted that I was ok with my crooked bottom teeth..they are still crooked though I could easily have them straightened. Perhaps I will before all is said and done but they don’t bother me and are a part of being distinctly me. Imperfections are a part of who we are, it’s also what I replied recently to someone trolling me on Facebook who mocked me for my bottom teeth ‘you have enough money – why don’t you get your teeth fixed, people are talking about you behind your back..” Sure, we are all works in progress and if definitely fix or work on what needs improvement if it makes you feel better about yourself – go for it but don’t let society or certain standards make you feel less than or inferior in any way. You decide – I decide.
Going with short hair was also a statement in itself and somewhat rebellious in it’s own way..it’s not about my hair but my artistry and quest to always be what and who I want to be at any given time – not who and what other’s want to define or box me into. The short hair was not received well at the time with fans, or my record label. As an artist and a human being most of all, it’s often challenging to hold on and fight to be who you are and want to be while others may only see you one way and try to keep you marginalized to their vision.
This was also around the time I was photographed by legendary Herb Ritts for the GAP groundbreaking ‘celebrity’ ad campaign ‘Individuals Of Style’ – loved this session. Herb Ritts was so kind and easy going. Any intimidation I may have felt going into the session melted away as soon as I met him. We shot in natural light on the rooftop of his Hollywood studio, I wore my own denim jeans and Doc Martens, customizing the white GAP t-shirt to suit me, just a simple snipping off of the sleeves. Peter Savic, another legend in the fashion and celebrity hairstylist..actually he’s a master of hair, an artist not just a stylist worked with Herb Ritts often but it was a first for us. Wanting to do something fresh, modern and bold but not sure what – Peter suggested short and so we agreed on the pixie cut and he knocked it out of the park! An image from this session was also used for my “Precious Love” single…as well it was around this time I was nearly booed off the stage and received heavy backlash after by my only performance on the Soul Train Awards…that’s another post entirely. I do touch upon being black and forward thinking as an artist back then, the politics of the music business .. in my work in progress memoir.
Be bold if you feel like it – be you – live your life!! Wattage!