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
Happy Music Anniversary to my solo debut “Jody Watley” released on February 23, 1987! “you know it’s funny.. funny how times flies..as I watch days turn into years..” and decades – still me..keeping it new! Thanks to those who still rock and roll with me and my music in all of it’s continued incarnations beyond my debut into the NOW!
Eternal thanks to all involved who helped me execute my vision and exceed all expectations.
It’s not years of life of music – it’s the life in living life and good music which has no expiration date and continues to be discovered and appreciated.
Lesson learned: To be fearless, have faith and always believe in yourself. Be yourself – no matter who doubts you, doesn’t agree, doesn’t understand, wants to discourage you or your l choices. I didn’t quit Shalamar to go solo – I quit to be happy. The sudden passing of my father forever changed my view on living life. It’s best to the life you choose towards love, peace, respect with joy – inspiring others to do the same in the process, God blessed me for my choice and continues to in so many ways.
An ongoing career is not a curse to those who have implied “Best New Artist” is curses because a few in the category have faltered. I’ve always found that narrative insulting not to mention ridiculous. It’s a blessing.
The same is never said of recipients of Album, Song or Record of the Year, some never reach those pinnacles again but continue to work and be creative without the fanfare or accolades.
What I know is to date I have great success with an ongoing discography full of hit singles in various genres over many albums, have watched things I’ve done or worn become trends and open the door bridging music and style open for a new generation of female artists regardless of the lack of acknowledgement. “Friends” ft. Eric B and Rakim, as an example, and a hit from my second album is the first collaboration like that to become a Top 10 Crossover Hit Hot 100, R&B/Hip Hop and Dance – a formula that eventually had to be recognized with its own category and continues to dominate. “Friends” was not nominated however it’s significance in music and pop culture influence is indelible. In 2018 Billboard Magazine ranked me in the Greatest Dance Artists of All Time and in the Top 60 Female Artists of All Time for further clarity.
In my ongoing catalog songs that aren’t hits all represent an artist, songwriter, producer who happens to be a woman and black (the first to be marginalized generally) continues to write, record and release quality music on my own terms outside of the “machine” or conventional methods nor the assist of big time producers or executives using their clout to keep me afloat. Survived though a certain executive for a time was trying to have me ‘blackballed’ at black radio – my debut happened anyway despite his attempts because a higher power is always on my side, rather than a publicist on year round retainer to keep my name in the news, as some do. Thriving despite obstacles, traveling the world and better than ever with time is what’s real. It is frustrating at times to still not get the respect, however going to why I do what I do and always counting my blessings not woes or detractors. There are those who are still angered at my win for various reasons.
Over the years I’ve come to appreciate the meaning of success isn’t often what others see or view…status and big money, headlines, quantity of awards and so on are not it and aren’t what has driven or inspired me. Never thirsted for those things though of course though mad at any of those things, never about ‘playing the game’ to achieve any of it. Some of my music heroes and heroines never received a Grammy including Diana Ross with the exception of an honorary one. Ask Little Richard as well – the architect of Rock n Roll.
True success is maintaining your own self worth on your personal life journey which is unique to all of us – authenticity and living a life that brings you joy and joy to those you love is the greatest award and reward ..and to hopefully inspire others to do the same.
Presenting to MJ the night I won Best New Artist – surreal because I was such a fan and used to write him fan mail when he was in The Jackson 5.
2019 – Continuing to shine. Wattage!
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”
Make sure to subscribe to the Official Jody Watley Youtube Channel for new video releases, behind the scenes, interviews and positive Wattage inspirations for Jody Watley as well as Jody Watley & SRL fans. Each week I’m going to make it a goal to publish something new. As outlets like Facebook and Instagram rely more and more on algorithms as to what you may see in your feed, i.e. the most popular or trending subjects – it’s increasingly important to find ways to connect with my niche base.
Competing with gossip sites and artists with millions of followers is futile, as well as what these sites choosing what fans see from music, design, art, business pages etc. can be very frustrating.
As an independent I’ll continue to use my platforms as best as I can and hope those interested will discover, keep up and share. Just click ‘Subscribe’: Jody Watley Youtube
This is an honor to be included on this list. In my efforts and journey as an artist, songwriter, producer and entreprenuer..and in the midst of my career being a mother raising two children and being able to primarily single-handedly raise them to be quality and ground human beings (my most significant job/role) sending them off to college to achieve their dreams as young adults.
Fighting for everything, facing every challenge, continuing to grind, working hard far beyond what people know or see – succeeding toward new goals like many every day.
The older I’ve gotten the more it’s important to know that through this my work and chosen profession in music with this type longevity, knowing many have counted me out since the beginning..through this I hope it inspires others to be fearless and strong – even when there are times you feel despair, discouraged, weak and want to give up..keep going – stay strong.
This is another fun video with a take on the new Shalamar Reloaded single and video “O.R.I.G.in.A.L”
Ironically in the past few days, fans have shared with me these posts heralding the jumbo hoop earring, the blend of eclectic style high and low fashion.. it’s been pointed out “they mention other artists who have followed the trend, trends you set – except the person who started it – you”..origins people, learn it! “What you mean you don’t know about my hoops!”
Read the Teen VOGUE Post: HERE – News Flash to the Teen VOGUE style writers – they’ve always been chic – and never left! I think it’s wonderful that the style endures generation to generation. To see them the Jody Watley Hoops -always makes me smile. Go girls – WerK!!
Don’t You Want Me – 1988. Recently signed with love from legendary designer Jean Paul-Gaultier.
THE IRREPRESSIBLE JODY WATLEY RETURNS WITH A BRAND NEW ALBUM THAT HARKS BACK TO HER FUNK SOUL ROOTS. HERE, THE SINGER REFLECTS ON HER RISE TO THE TOP, WORKING WITH THE WORLD’S GREATEST FASHION PHOTOGRAPHERS AND STAYING TRUE.
Jody Watley at Giorgio’s the exclusive, the exclusive Saturday party at The Standard in Hollywood, where Mick Jagger and Andre Harrell mix and David LaChapelle might be spotted with Daphne Guiness on his lap. Watley is the queen of the venue-she holds court almost every week just past DJ Adam XII’s booth with her friend and Decades cofounder Christos Garkinos. Tonight, the mother of two a self described basketball mom, carpool mom, fabulous mom..” wears all black save for a pair of crystal Jimmy Choo pumps. When she’s in the mood, she’ll fan herself on the dance floor-something she has done since beginning her career as a dancer on Soul Train as a teenager. “I always have my little fan action.” the icon says with a smile. “It’s so glamourous. Eat your heart out Karl Lagerfeld.” Watley shot the video for “Nightlife”, the clubby lead single off her new album “Paradise”, at Giorgio’s.“I want to inspire people, because people get stuck in a rut.” she says of the music. “Oh, I’m not going out, Oh, the good ole’ days..” And it’s so frustrating. It’s like make new memories! Even if you had a great time ten, twenty, thirty years ago, be fabulous now! You’re alive, Hello!”
The daughter of a Chicago minister, Watley first performed onstage as a child with her godfather, the incredible crooner Jackie Wilson. After relocating to Los Angeles she succeeded in her mission to become a Soul Train regular. In 1977, Don Cornelius the show’s creator and host, selected her to become an original member of the disco super trio-Shalamar, which would record world-class dance-floor anthems like “The Second Time Around” and “A Night To Remember.” Watley left the group after six years, loved to London, and recorded “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with Band Aid.
After returning to Los Angeles three years later, she signed with MCA Records and released her 1987 solo album “Jody Watley”, co-writing a handful of tracks. It contains some of her most enduring dance music, including the lead single “Looking For A New Love” (which features the popular pre Terminator 2 kiss-off “Hasta la vista baby!”). “Don’t You Want Me.” and “Some Kind of Lover.” She accepted her 1988 “Best New Artist” Grammy-winning over Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Swing Out Sister and Terence Trent D’Arby – in a vintage dress and biker jacket painted with her likeness.
‘When I signed to MCA, I didn’t see anybody like who I wanted to be.” she says. “I wanted to do that badass fashion chick that’s just different. And not everybody likes her. And not everybody liked me. “You don’t smile, you’re a black girl, you’re glamorous and you’ve got this cold as ice stare.” While in London she sought out designers like Azzedine Alaia, Claude Montana, Vivienne Westwood, and Jean Paul-Gaultier. “I bought one of the first cone bra’s, pre-Madonna. It’s on the single sleeve of “Don’t You Want Me”. I also bought the huge one that she ended up wearing, but the understated one was more me”, she says.
With her gorgeous mane, lean frame, stunning brows illegal cheekbones and ballsy attitude Watley was the perfect subject for fashion’s top photographers.”[When I first started] the label didn’t want to fly me to New York for my first layout for Harper’s Bazaar” she laughs. “So I flew myself out to shoot with Scavullo!” Steven Meisel photographed the cover of her 1989 follow-up album Larger Than Life. The video for ‘Real Love’ was directed by David Fincher and featured her ruling the runway in menswear paving the way for future acts like Aaliyah and TLC.
“I never wanted to be like anybody else” says Watley who, in the decades that followed never stopped recording, performing and changing up her style and sound. Now she’s writing a memoir, which she plans to finish this year. “I can only be who I am. Because to me that’s what street is. Street is real.” – Mark Jacobs
If you slept on the album, it’s a nice one to discover for the first time or revisit or you haven’t played it in a while. I’d already made a decision with my third album to broaden the scope of my artistry and the songs I wrote and recorded – not wanting to be trapped in the pop box and all that that entailed. I’d accomplished what I’d wanted with my first two albums and wanted to move on creatively. This album also went against the grain of Hip Hop and New Jack Swing which was the dominating sound of this era.
“Intimacy” remains a warm and beautiful album written and recorded during the demise of my marriage and a difficult time in my personal life.