GRAMMY WINNER JODY WATLEY & SHALAMAR 'RELOADED' CELEBRATE NEW SINGLE AT GIORGIO’S, IN THE STANDARD, HOLLYWOOD
|Shalamar ® Nate Allen Smith. Jody Watley and Rosero McCoy celebrate single release in style.|
On Saturday, July 18th, the most infamous disco dance party in Los Angeles, Giorgio’s housed at the Standard, Hollywood hosted an once in a lifetime performance by Grammy-winning multi-platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur Jody Watley. Watley, one of Pop/R&B and dance music’s most enduring and stylish trailblazers, returned with the newly Reloaded Shalamar ® that features Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy which released on 7.17.15. The performance served as the launch for the newly Reloaded Shalamar ® and the release of their sexy new single “SlowDance” that has been celebrated worldwide in all digital outlets through Watley’s longtime imprint Avitone Recordings. This is the first single for the modern trio and the first official single release for Shalamar ® since 1990 in it’s earlier recording history.
Disco lovers were in awe as Watley commanded the stage. The jaw dropping performance proved Watley has not missed a beat since Shalamar’s ® last release as the crowd danced the night away in awe of the amazing performance they were able to witness. Always fashion forward Watley was wearing a black sequence Chanel coast while LA’s fashion set was out in full force such as designer Michael Schmidt, shoe designer Jerome C. Rousseau (named a shoe in his last season collection called “The Watley”), Marcy Medina (WWD), celebrity make-up Kathy Jeung, and celebrity hair stylist Peter Savic. Some other attending notables included: celebrity photographer Greg Gorman, actress Tisha Campbell, comedian Craig Robinson, famed hollywood interior Designer Cliff Fong, Billy Woodruff (Director), and Ed Patuto (Broad Museum).
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Giorgio’s is located on the famed Sunset Strip hidden away behind the kitchen of The Standard, in Hollywood. In the short time Giorgio’s has been in existence it has taken Hollywood by storm. The guest list reads like a veritable who’s who of cool. From musical legends such as Mick Jagger and P. Diddy to TV and film stars Bradley Cooper and the entire cast of EMPIRE.
|GRAMMY winning solo artist, and SHALAMAR ® original Jody Watley chops it up with hosts.|
|Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley owner of the SHALAMAR ® trademark and Rosero McCoy with hosts of Magic Mornings after performance.|
|Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley, Rosero McCoy. SHALAMAR® at Dream Magic Studios, Canoga Park|
The week started off with the newly reloaded SHALAMAR ® fresh off the heels of a mega single launch party in West Hollywood's Bryan Rabin and Adam XII Present": Giorgio's A Modern Discotheque inside The Standard Hotel; the trio taped an 4 performances (two for Shalamar including the new single "SlowDance" and two for Jody Watley) for Nigeria's Magic Mornings for Silverbird TV airing on July 27. Jody Watley has led the media blitz with longtime PR guru Thomas Estey introducing the public to the new era of Shalamar ®. "This was a plan from the start as the registered owner. Rebrand it, make it fresh and to make sure the public understood this was not a reunion. That this is a new era and I've reloaded the group with two new members."
The week ended with the announcement of a series of concerts in the nations capital at one it's most historic music venues Blues Alley. Celebrating 50 years, the venue has hosted such heritage greats as Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie to contemporaries like Wynton Marsalis and Terence Blanchard.
To date the new Shalamar has performed concerts in America at a diverse range of venues; New York (BB King Blues and Jazz Club / Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing 2015), Harrah's Resort and Casino (New Jersey), Oakland (Yoshi's), San Jose (Mountain Winery), Philadelphia (Tower Theater), Cache Creek Casino and Resort (Sacramento), Chicago (The Shrine), The Howard Theater (Washington, D.C) in just a few months. On the international front Shalamar ® rocked the stage at the massive Let's Rock London Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the soulful leaning Happy Days Festival in Shepperton UK, sold out Melkweg Amsterdam in the Netherlands and AudioClub Sao Paulo, Brazil - add to that list Japan's Billboard Live with sold-out concerts in Tokyo and Osaka.
This is just the beginning of this new chapter - no matter the detractors, naysayers, wikipedia vandalism, smear tactics and those clinging desperately to days gone by with hateful hearts Shalamar ® Reloaded is making moves and proceed, you can take that to the bank!
We celebrate the past, but SHALAMAR ® are in a new era with Pop/R&B Dance Icon and Grammy winner Jody Watley, new male lead vocalist Nate Allen Smith who hails from Ohio, and renowned choreographer/dancer Rosero McCoy. Moving forward.
Blues Alley: Washington Post
SHALAMAR ® / JODY WATLEY TICKETS: Here
|Nate Allen Smith. Jody Watley. Rosero McCoy. SHALAMAR ® immediately following a sizzling performance pause for a photo moment with famed photographer Alex Berliner Gaia.ABImages.|
|GRAMMY® winner, multiplatinum artist, songwriter, producer, style icon entrepreneur and SHALAMAR ® original Jody Watley.|
|Bringing sexy back - again! Jody, Rosero and Nate. Shalamar ® Reloaded for a new era.|
On Saturday night after a day of thunderstorms and rain it was a perfect way to cap off a steamy evening as the humidity dripped from the atmosphere. A-list celebrities who relish the privacy, great music and atmosphere are one of the things Bryan Rabin and Adam XII Present: Giorgio's A Modern Discotheque is known for. It was no exception for the newly reloaded Shalamar's big night. Heralding the release of their debut single "SlowDance." Jody Watley was glamorous in a Chanel beaded and sequin trench coat with Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy flaunting model looks, vocal and dance chops with tailored suits came out to an enthusiastic crowd and overcame the power outage but there was no shortage of electricity. Everyone sang along, danced, chanted and instantly knew the hook "Does anybody slow dance anymore at the end of the night on the dance-floor with everyone appropriately squeezed in together for one sexy night.
As the new Shalamar® who are reloaded for the new era solidify this new: Read
Giorgio's Set To Host Exclusive Celebration and Performance of Newly Reloaded Shalamar for the Official Single Release SlowDance
PR Release: Grammy-winning multi- platinum singer, songwriter , producer and entrepreneur Jody Watley, one of Pop/R&B and dance music’s most enduring and stylish trailblazers, returns with the newly Reloaded Shalamar ® featuring Nate Allen Smith and Rosero McCoy. Shalamar ® celebrate the worldwide release of the sexy new single "SlowDance" out 7.17.15 at all digital outlets through Watley's longtime imprint Avitone Recordings. This is the first single for the modern trio and the first official single release for Shalamar ® since 1990 in it's earlier recording history. The night will be punctuated by a special performance.
Bryan Rabin and Adam Xll Present: Giorgio's "A Modern Discotheque" is located on the famed Sunset Strip hidden away behind the kitchen of The Standard, in Hollywood. In the short time Giorgio's has been in existence it has taken Hollywood by storm. The guest list reads like a veritable who's who of cool. From musical legends such as Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, P Diddy, Kylie Minogue, Rita Ora, Debbie Harry, Boy George, Duran Duran, Die Atwood, Common, Rufus Wainwright, Jody Watley, Billy Idol, Robyn Sade, Black Keys, No Doubt and The Sex Pistols to Fashion Designers Olivier Theyskins, Haider Ackerman, Prabal Gurung, Johnson Hartig, Michael Schmidt, Monique Lhullier, Brian Atwood, Oliver Rousteing and Gath Pugh. Fashion photographers: Ellen Von Unwerth, Mert & Marcus, Inez & Vinoodh, Mario Testino; Supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Makaika Firth, Amer Valetta and Erin Wasson to the ladies o the international best dressed list Daphne Guiness, Dita Von Teese and Catherine Baba. The Social register is even showing in droves from Hannah Bronfman, Liberty Ross, Crystal Lourd to Alexandra Von Furstenberg to Vanessa Getty, as well and TV and film Stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Kate Beckinsale, Amy Poehler, Lisa Edelstein, Denzel Washington, Sofia Vergara, James Caan, Rashida Jones, Baz Lurhmann, Ron Pearlman, Lee Daniels, Queen Latifah - the entire cast of EMPIRE. The icing on the cake was when the man himself Mr. Giorgio Moroder has come as a prized guest.
|Daniel recounts the sudden Shalamar split in the only archived article from any member in 1983.|
As Told To Adam Sweeting For Melody Maker, July 16, 1983:
Heavy thunder brooded over Soho as I stepped with relief into the sweating street. On my way out of WEA offices, Jeffrey Daniel had touched my arm. "Hey," he said. "I'm glad this was for Melody Maker, cos they wrote the first story about us..that's what started Shalamar off over here." I wished him luck, and he smiled.
Jeffrey had just spent an hour and a quarter trying to describe why and how his personal heaven had suddenly caved in on top of his head. The day before, Shalamar had decided to end a lengthy period of personal and professional discomfort by splitting up the group. There had been friction in the recording studios, friction with their management and with Solar, their Los Angeles based record company. Worst of all, the three members had begun to turn on each other.
"I guess the public is due some explanation." said Jeffrey. "After all, the British public has been exceptionally good to Shalamar. And we actually care about people, i do."
If I'd been Jeffrey's attorney, I'd have certified him unfit to be interviewed this particular Wednesday afternoon. He was badly confused, visibly still reeling from the shock turn of events and struggling desperately to come to terms with a barrage of emotions which at times were clearly too much for him. Still, I guess our conversation - or at least his conversation - was some kind of necessary therapy. Some of the time, I'm not sure if he realised I was there.
With a new album, "The Look", finished and ready to go, and with their latest single "Dead Giveaway" hovering nicely in the top ten, times should have been extremely pleasant for Shalamar. Instead, it seems that "The Look" will serve as a bitter-tasting requiem for the good times which peaked with the success of their 1982 album "Friends" and it's impressive clutch of hits -- "A Night To Remember," "I Can Make You Feel Good," "There It Is" and the title track. So what the hell happened?
It started in 1977, when Jeffrey and his long time friend Jody Watley were regular dancers on the American "Soul Train" TV show. "Soul Train" supremo Don Cornelius formed a record company called "Soul Train Records" in partnership with Dick Griffey, and plucked Jody and Jeffrey off the dancefloor to become two-thirds of Shalamar. After Cornelius bailed out, the record company became Solar and Shalamar followed up their debut album "Uptown Festival", with "Disco Gardens" (1978) and Big Fun ('79).
The arrival of singer Howard Hewett in 1979 replacing Gerald Brown, seemed to complete the magic circle, and 1981's pair of albums "Three For Love", and "Go For It", preceded the chart busting "Friends"...but below the surface all was not well...
On the well tried Motown pattern, Solar had made Shalamar very much a product of company philosophy and regimented studio procedure. Regular producer Leon Sylvers III dominated choice of material and regularly used his own team of musicians, Dynasty. Plainly, the system worked. Equally clearly Jeffrey and Jody are not the same dance-mad kids they were in 1977. They've seen plenty and learned a lot, but their efforts to put their developing skills into practice were brushed aside.
"Well, what it was was we were fooling ourselves, you know, because Shalamar was put together by the company, so that's why...how much can you say about the situation?" Jeffrey Daniel paused, perhaps wondering how much he could say about this whole mess. "But there was always the promise that we would grow into something and in the past six years I have grown into something. Jody has grown into something. And now that we have reached that plateau, the facilities are still closed. When it's time to do a TV show and it's time to be onstage, then that's when they leave it up to Jody and myself and they want our full co-operation, full participation to help their records sell. But when it's time for us to contribute, they're not as open any more. All of a sudden you get a lot of second thoughts and a lotta reasons why it shouldn't be done."
"What I'm looking forward to in the future is just expressing what I do, you know, cos that's all I've ever wanted to do. That's why I joined the record company, so that I can make records and so that I can write records, and create music and musical concepts, so hopefully in the future I'll find those types of facilities. Of course, I resent a lot of decisions that have been made for Shalamar but I don't hold it against my record company or the other participants."
Was this the first time this kind of tension had broken out in the group I wondered?
"No" said Jeffrey, "but it's never become so prevalent.. Because if the fact that Shalamar is becoming an even bigger group, we're going to places we've never been and the snowball is accumulating as it rolls down the hill. And it's just that the people who are responsible for the snowball are getting the short end of it, while the other people continue to roll and grow and accumulate. It just makes you stop and wonder 'who am I doing this for and why am I doing it?'"
Jeffrey Daniel grew up in the housing projects of east LA - "we grew up on welfare, I've never had my father in my family" - and he owes everything he has to the street-dancing which first earned him a break on "Soul Train".
"I was only a street dancer, I was dancing on 'Soul Train' for free. The only reward we got was a box of chicken at lunchtime, okay, bu we were getting national exposure as dancers on television - everybody knew our faces and stuff snd we got popularity, and it helped a lotta other people lead to bigger things by being seen on 'Soul Train', so it was a good outlet for people who took street dancing serious."
As much as anything, it was Jeffrey's flabbergasting bodypopping dance routines which led to Shalamar being taken to enough British hearts for them to pack out Wembley Arena last year. The balance seemed to work effortlessly, with Howard as lead vocalist, and the more athletic and photogenic Jody and Jeffrey tackling the physical projections and backing vocals.
"That never bothered me," said Jeffrey, "because I accept Howard's voice and I think Howard does have a great voice. I've never tried singing more songs than him or anything like that, you know, because I feel that Howard is good at what he does. I feel I'm good at what I do. And Jody had developed into a very good vocalist over the years, and it's just sickening to see that over the last six years she's not getting any more play on our records than she does."
"Y'know, she gets her usual duet with Howard, maybe she gets to lead a song, and fine...but it's 'okay, now let's get the best material and give that to Howard, that type of attitude is what we're being given."
It's especially galling for Jeffrey that it was he who introduced Howard into Shalamar. Much of the cause of Shalamar's sudden demise stems from the fact that Howard has apparently taken steps to ingratiate himself with the group's management and record company, leaving Jeffrey and Jody outside looking in.
The fact is that when people you're working for and you're working with don't give you the consideration as a mutual artist or a mutual human being, then that's when you stop the ball and say 'wait a minute', why in the hell am I here?"
I've always told them, when I no longer enjoy this I will never do this for money. I would never just do it for the money. Because I could do other things for money, I can't, you know, just bullshit an audience and the public believe in what I'm doing, and it wouldn't be so important if I didn't believe in it, alright?
If I didn't have a purpose or a cause, and if I wasn't struggling for something, well then it wouldn't matter, it would just be a concept and it would all just be for fun and I'd be making money and the public would enjoy it and everything would be dandy, you know, Solar could do whatever they want to do with Shalamar.:
Jeffrey paused, trying to disentangle his whirling thoughts. "I believe in myself, you know, and after that then I believe in Jody and Howard, then after I believe in them I believe in Shalamar okay? I lost my belief in Shalamar a while back, and here recently I've lost my belief in Jeffrey, Jody and Howard being together. Now before I lose belief in myself I'd better stop things and regroup the situation."
The pressure inside Shalamar had been mounting steadily over the last few days the group had been in England. An interview with Howard appeared in Black Echoes, which contained some veiled digs at Jeffrey and Jody. Howard didn't want to do photo sessions. "Jody and I will be friends for life, okay" I've known her since she was 12 years old and we've been family friends I know her entire family. We've always been close.
"Jody and I have had serious fights. We went through a period when we weren't speaking to each other. We had a fight onstage one time, this was back in the states. We were doing a routine and she kicked me and the audience couldn't tell what was going on you know. It was really funny, but when you love people you can do that, because if we didn't love each other we would have split up the group and went our separate ways back then and we'd no longer be friends now, you know? So that's genuine love. When you love people and care about them then you don't mind fighting to get things right."
Lately, though, attitudes had changed.
"Recently there's come a day that Howard has had the attitude of 'screw you guys, piss off.' I'm not downing Howard, I understand where Howard's coming from because actually, when I selected him to join Shalamar, I think he wanted to purse a solo career then, but I think the best thing he could have done at that moment was to join Shalamar, and that's what he did. And he did it for the money as well, you know, and I don't think he believed in it when he did it, I think he did it to earn a living. He needed work, so of course.."
And, as Shalamar's success grew, the group's earlier intimate relationship with management and with Solar became increasingly distant.
"I remember a time when Dick Griffey, who's our manager and record company president, would come down to the studio with us, when he took us off Soul Train, he'd be there in person, y'know. Once the business started rolling and the money started coming in, I guess for business reasons as well he just drifted farther and farther apart from us, and we spent less time together at that point."
So strained had relations become, claims Jeffrey, that Solar even refused to pay for eight hours of studio time which he used to record some demos.
"it's like they're saying, 'hey okay, fine, yeah you can write, yeah you can do this, but just shuddup and dance. Yeah that's nice Jeffrey, let's get back to rehearsal now.' And that's what we felt when it was time for 'Dead Giveaway' yesterday.
The group did their best to finish the video session at Camden Palace, but it was a little difficult since they couldn't talk to each other.
"I walked over to Howard" Jeffrey recalled, "and stood toe to toe to him and just looked at him. He said 'hey man, what's happenin' Then I just gave him a punch on the arm, y'know, like 'don't worry about it'. So then he came across the stage and punched me on the arm and then walked back to his side, and that was all for the entire evening. It was so strange because at that exact moment I was caught between wanting to...er...y'know, hug him or something or tell him I love him or something..."
Suddenly it all became too much, and I watched in amazement as Jeffrey's face crumpled and tears started to roll down his face.
"I know Howard's not totally responsible for what he's doing, " he sobbed, struggling to regain control. "i think if the management team doesn't pull us apart, yknow..and they're encouraging him. Because they've done it with the other lead singer like 'Jeffrey and Jody and just the kids, they're just that, you are the important thing, you are this, you are this and you are this ..' And they make people believe this stuff, and I can understand why Howard probably feels the way he feels."
After a couple of minutes, Jeffrey was a little steadier. Obviously, you feel betrayed by Howard?
"Yeahm Jody and I both do. And even if he did decide to go back to the management, at least tell us, let us know. I can only respect his reason even if I don't like his reason. I have to respect it cos it's his decision, he's his own person."
Phew. "Crossroads", anyone? With all this brewing up, perhaps it's no surprise that recording sessions for the forthcoming album "The Look" were marred by all kinds of bitterness.
"I'm not pleased with 'The Look', and it's very impersonal to me. " said Jeffrey sharply. "in fact it's the biggest slap in my face for as long as I've been in this business. It was like 'you're gonna accept this whether you want to or not' and then 'after it's put on tape and when the record's released, you're gonna get onstage and perform this stuff, like it or not, and act like you believe in it.' Y'know, you know what your role is and get out there and do your role is so get out there and let's help make this project successful.' I
mean, how can you live like that? How can I sleep like that?
Jeffrey has taken under his wing the six LA kids who comprise the song and dance troupe Eklypse. He's trying to bring them over to England, but on the day we met they were stuck in Paris because British Immigration officials wouldn't let them in. Also, Jeffrey has his alter ego Colonel Pop to think about. The Colonel is the guy Jeffrey always wanted to be with Shalamar but wasn't allowed to, a dancer/singer/writer expressing himself in as many forms as he could find.
"Howard never wanted it to happen," he continued. "He expressed it openly in meetings, and he told me that I was just believing in my own bullshit and once you believe in your own bullshit you just get lost. He told me to my face that Eklypse and Colonel Pop and the whole thing was nothing but bullshit.
"But yet there's a 'Flashdance' with people bodypopping in it, and it helped spin off this breaker thing that's going on in New York, and Paul McCartney selected me to be in his film which was great not as a member of Shalamar, he selected me to do this dancing bit in his film which was a great privilege. This bodypopping thing is what established Shalamar over here, y'know, the appearance helped spin it off. But yet at home thet tell me it's just bullshit and forget about it."
At the moment, the future is unclear. Jeffrey says he's going to rescue Eklypse from Paris, then he's going on holiday alone for a couple of weeks to clear his head. The fate of jody and Howard remains to be seen.
"Everyone's kinda lost right now, cos everything happened so bitter at the end." says Jeffrey quietly. "The only thing that I resent is just that the hatred was allowed to accumulate. I don't mind the split because I think that's gonna allow me to do what I always wanted to do.
It's just the hatred and dislike that has grown between the certain individuals, y'know, between the company, between the group itself. That's what I really regret. And I just hope everyone finds their happiness, and I just hope the public accepts what we do in the future. I know a lot of people are gonna be disappointed, because a lot of people believe in us now."
Watch the video interview and performance previews from "Midsummer Night Swing' Concert Event at Damrosch Park Lincoln Center June 25, 2014. While celebrating the past the focus is on now and what's next for the newly reloaded Shalamar taking a moment from soundcheck to chat with music journalist Brian Pace.
Get Ready For A SIRIUSXM Performance and Interview to Remember with SHALAMAR ® Reloaded and Jody Watley
|Rosero McCoy, Nate Allen Smith, Jody Watley, Sam Rubin - KTLA Entertainment 5 Los Angeles.|
Fresh from a series of successful concerts and appearances ranging from Chicago, Washington DC, Sao Paulo Brazil, New York City's Lincoln Center Damrosch Park, London (Let's Rock London Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), and Amsterdams's Melkweg - the newly reloaded SHALAMAR ® under the ownership and leadership of Jody Watley continue their debut introduction with another high profile appearance on Los Angeles' #1 morning entertainment show with the venerable Sam Rubin. After the interview the trio the audience was treated to a delightful exchange with the trio of Jody Watley, Nate Allen Smith and choroegrapher/vocalist Rosero McCoy leading the way teaching Rubin some dance moves. Watch the fun: KTLA