Summer scene..enjoying the view in Waikiki – it was a work trip but I made it relaxing too!
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.
Photography by Debra L. Rothenberg – Sony Hall NYC August 16 2019
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.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Nate Allen Smith and Jody Watley. Photography by Alan Fukushima.
Roland Hamiton, Naz Chambi – Jody Watley. Unplugged.
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!
En route to concert – stage ready..stopped and got out to capture the colorful background – did not order food!
Pacific Concert Group and Groove 99.3 Presents SummerBash went down in the small city of Bakersfield August 24, 2019 – scorching summer heat and a party crowd packed Stramler Park. The multi-act all hits show also included The Jets, Digital Underground, Rob Base and Color Me Badd.
Stage ready with the squad. Pictured with Jody Watley (Tevyn Cole, Kayla Simone, John ‘Havic’ Gregory, Nate Allen Smith and Jasmine Boyes).
Though I prefer doing full spectrum concerts with my band because of the musical freedom and showcasing my artistry, songwriting and vast eclectic repertoire spanning decades – these all hits shows are meaningful in a different way.
The classic stations keep the hits alive by continuing to keep the songs in rotation and as a result not only service those who love the memories classic hits represent but also expose the music to new generations.
Remaining creative and not stagnant through the decades is important to me, keeping the music coming and evolving. At the same time I appreciate the blessings of being able to have so many classic hits as well that contribute to my livelihood.
I have one more of these shows for the summer August 31 in Lincoln, CA WorldOne Concerts Presents Rewind Funk & Soul with headliner Morris Day & The Time. My set is second on the multi-act bill so get there early.
Jody Watley – Sony Hall, NYC 8.16.19. Photography by Sean Jamar. (c) 2019 All Rights Reserved.
“Appreciate what you have – but keep reaching for the best with all your heart and soul. Life is a gift.” Wattage! – Jody Watley
I’ll be in Bakersfield tomorrow August 24 for Summer Bash for the dance oriented classic hits show. The place is Stramler Park. Tickets and Lineup: Ticketfly
August 31 – Thunder Valley Outdoor Amphitheater Rewind Funk and Soul. I’ll be doing a 20 minute set. Tickets and Lineup: WorldOnePresents
September 7 Jody Watley ‘UnPlugged’ at the beautiful Blue Note Hawaii will close out my 2019 summer concert schedule. The Unplugged show will allow me to share more back stories about some of my biggest hits and inspirations. Here’s a taste, just uploaded to Jody Watley Official Youtube Channel – one of my Top 10 singles – ‘Everything’ Unplugged.
I believe this is 1980 for RightOn! Magazine, a feature on my style – in this case hair. This is around the time of Shalamar ‘Three For Love’ album. The style came about because of not wanting to braid to the ends because the unbraiding would be more time consuming. It was unique at the time.
Very proud of the resilience I continue to have, the woman and artist I grew to be – still trying to be the best ME I can be no matter what. I’m full of gratitude, healthy and happy fast forwarding decades later living life and going beyond what I ever dreamed initially to create new ones.
Always choose to believe in yourself and keep growing – never get stagnant or lose faith.
People often get upset when you have standards, especially women. “Who does she think she is?” As well, there’s a friction that occurs when you refuse to lower them to suit someone else, not to mention when the expectations that may be low to begin with.
What I continue to learn and believe –
“Always hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone expects from you- and exceed them.”