*Singer, producer, songwriter and virtuoso guitarist Andre Cymone gives huge props to iconic singer Jody Watley.
Cymone talked about Watley’s impact and influence on female artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Selena, and future generations during a sit-down interview backstage at her recent sold-out 35th-anniversary blockbuster self-titled album and birthday celebration at Sycuan Casino and Resort in San Diego.
Cymone says, “Her music and incomparable style is pure and stands the test of time still today, 35 years later.”
Jody Watley 1988 in May’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar photographed by Francesco Scavullo wearing Angel Estrada, hair by Jeff Woodley, make up by John Evans.
I’ve told the story before, but here it is again in a quick snapshot. When my publicist notified that Harper’s Bazaar wanted to feature me in the magazine with photo session in New York by the legendary fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo who has lensed some iconic images over the decades. They had no idea who he was or the additional significance.
this wasn’t a common occurrence in the music business at that time. My label did not agree to fly me to New York for this major opportunity asking me what did being in a fashion magazine have to do with selling records – forget the major exposure, the broadening of the audience, establishing me beyond music as a budding fashion icon and brand or however one wishes to look at things. I didn’t want to miss out and so I paid for my own flights and hotel to do this. Always invest in yourself if you have the means to do so.
Eventually of course major labels embraced the concept and additional prestigious PR and it became commonplace -and of course went even further with black superstar women in music like Rihanna, Beyonce, and more (Ciara, Alicia Keys) gracing the cover of high fashion magazines.
My solo debut was so monumental in a variety of ways beyond the Grammy nominations, winning Best New Artist, the hit singles and more. Always believe in yourself.
‘I Want Your Love’ is a CHIC classic – written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. It’s always been a favorite of mine and so I put my spin on it for my full length ‘The Makeover.’ With various remixes including the main version by New York’s legendary DJ Spinna. In 2008 the single ended up at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts and Number 1 Club Top 40 and Number 2 Commercial Pop on British Radio. Since then it’s become a staple in my live show as well..and for those that don’t understand the context, this is a reminder blog post about it. It’s definitely a highlight of many in this decade for me..just realizing that we are nearing the end one with 2020 on the horizon.
Music Week, UK (their equivalent of BillBoard Magazine). 12/01/08 – drawing parallel with Rihanna who wasn’t born when I first hit the charts in Shalamar, a teen at the time myself.
In 1987 after performing one of my hits from solo debut.. I think it was my second time from that album, chatting with Dick Clark on his American Bandstand. Music – Fashion – Jody Watley Style. I remember vividly Patti Labelle telling me at an American Music Awards “..a lot of people don’e get your style, but I do – It’s magazine baby, Magazine!”
Always be yourself whether people get you or not, has always been my thing.
Blessed to still be here – still a thrill being myself and doing what I love
This started out as an attempt at photoillustration of #jodywatley. I realized I don’t really have the patience for the technical details required to master this. I’m too in love with broad strokes. Just a slight stroke on the lips has turned this photo into #rhianna in my eyes. Anyone else see this? “
If there is no opportunity or representation-create it. Flashback to 1990 – “Dance to Fitness” which went on to become a number one fitness million selling video – “I wanted to do this because there were no videos by women of color in the health and fitness market..it was time and my music is perfect for it.”
Of the many business and marketing ideas (clothing line, cosmetic endorsements, a signature perfume) I had back then, this is one that actually came to fruition.
Another reason I’m so happy for Rihanna with her endeavors – the times often dictate and the door is opened a bit wider each generation.
Jody Watley Archived Image, 1987. Urban fashion meets high end chic. Fashion. Self styled. Independent. Betsey Johnson dress, Chanel belt, Converse sneakers, Jody Watley Jumbo Hoop Earrings. Harper’s Bazaar, VOGUE, Rolling Stone, and various fashion magazine layouts, first GAP celebrity ad campaign..making the door a bit easier and wider for today’s younger black artists to walk through. #itsinthemusic #JodyWatley
From Ebony.com –
“From Lenny Kravitz to Rihanna, here’s 25 of the most influential style and fashion icons in Black Music” See the full list, including Jody Watley named “Trendsetter” Here