Photography: Victoria Pearson, Makeup: Paul Starr, Design: Lynn Robb and Jody Watley
I love all of my songs, including this one so I chose this as today’s #tbt #throwbackthursday spotlight on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Thank you Gardner Cole and James Newton Howard for writing such a great song, I feel like it came from my own heart as one I’d write myself! –Wiki: “Everything” is the third single from my second album, Larger than Life. “Everything” was my third consecutive top-ten Pop and R&B single from that album in the U.S., peaking at #4 and #3, respectively.” Produced by Andre Cymone, Executive Producer Jody Watley. Official Jody Watley “Everything” Video:
“Not everyone fits in with the mainstream. Some are born to be different. They are misfits, individualists, outsiders, and eccentrics that let their freak flags fly. Yet they have found a way to thrive on their own terms, transcending barriers of categorical concepts and popular expectations.” Read the article: Wax Poetics
Photo: Jody Watley from Soul Train: The Music, The Dance, The Style of a Generation by Questlove, Soul Train Holdings LLC
I’d changed clothes after performing my first solo #1 single “Looking For A New Love” to perform “Still a Thrill.” I loved that funky top hat which I’d purchased in Japan – my style always represents what I’m feeling. I still rock denim and ankle boots but wear them differently..the bra tops, not so much!
“Nightlife” will jump into the Top Ten Music Week Urban Chart next week and enter the Pop Top 40 at #40. I’m never jaded or cynical about this musical journey the way a lot of veteran artists get. I’ve not wanted to surrender myself the easy and often lucrative ‘nostalgia’ circuit and rely solely on my back catalogue. Cultivating new fans has always been important to me, Being in the ‘Now’ has always been important to me because it’s good for the spirit and keeps close the fact that each day we live is a new opportunity for something good if we want it.
You have no idea how difficult it is to make it as an artist – and it gets harder the older you get no matter how much success you’ve had previously and especially when you’re always wanting to be authentic in a business that works hard to turn artists into what you are not. It’s difficult when you choose to not sell out for the true big money in many cases as well as not wanting to become a parody of your former self, desperate to find relevance in pop culture. It’s difficult being a woman, getting marginalized or resented because you have standards and care about the details of business. Add in being a black woman who would not stay in that box of expectation (be more street, more urban, more this, more that..market a down-trodden story or upbringing to be relatable..as if women if any race aren’t multifaceted and multi-dimrnsional with different tastes, thoughts..) I don’t have a major label push and haven’t had one since the 90’s nor a big budget or corporate machine or industry ‘gatekeepers’ as they’re called in certain circles in the know. But none of that has discouraged me from continuing to make quality music and to grow as an artist, songwriter and producer. I’ve never had the machine behind me to be honest, yet I’ve always managed to prevail. Why? Among other things thank you to God and the universe -having an endless abundance of determination and passion for what I do, you must have that. Standing always for what I believe in with my art on my path regardless of what others say or believe along the way has always been key. I contemplated retiring from music in 1998 and discovered the rich underground scene and electronica in 1999 – the music and artists in that scene rejuvenated me creatively. It’s in the music and about the music, to entertain, inspire, uplift and create some escape through the music. Being on the charts at a high level in each decade since I began in Shalamar in 1977 – 80’s, 90’s 00’s and now into the 10’s is something to be grateful and appreciative of – it’s rare. What I do has never been for the charts per se, but the joy and happiness I get from doing what I love. Anything worth having is worth fighting and working hard for. Many people have delighted in my stumbles along the way, and Im sure there will be more – but I’m never deterred always positive and motivated. It’s not about how many times you get knocked down – it’s how many times you get up and what’s learned from the experience; living joyfully in that notion.
So I say in pushing forward –Believe, work hard, pray, meditate, plan, execute the plan, revise when needed, step away and live life keeping perspective not the perception of others — trust in yourself and your instincts, there is no failure unless you never try– I raised my children to believe that about themselves -surround yourself with a few good people who feel the same and keep pushing. That’s for anyone reading this – artist or simply a human being no matter what your profession or what your reaching for. Go in the cave from time to time when you need to feel on your lone island – pain, frustration, sadness, whatever you need – but come out swinging and rejuvenated! Keep it pushing – forward.
“Nightlife” and “Nightlife Remixed” Available at iTunes and Amazon Now.
Make sure to purchase ” Jody Watley -Nightlife Remixed” available today at iTunes and Amazon, with remixes by Moto Blanco, Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona and Luminodisco. Perfect before a night of clubbing, for your holiday party playlists, workouts and beyond.
Jody Watley from her monster solo debut in one of her signature looks featuring jumbo “Jody Watley Hoops” aka jumbo silver hoop earrings, black everything – petticoat, studded ankle boots, concha belts, rubber bustier – and soft waved long hairstyle.