Written by | Ray Cornelius

Jody Watley is having the time of her life!  The Grammy Award-winning singer has a hot new club track that is burning up dance floors across the country titled “DANCER.”  She’s also teamed up with versatile performers—Nate Smith and Rosero McCoy—for a new group named Shalamar Reloaded.  According to Watley, the vocal dance trio is not a new version of the old group but simply a brand new one.

“We as a group decided, we don’t want to be the new version of an old Shalamar. We want to be the new version of Shalamar Reloaded, a new group and start clean,” said Watley during our 25-minute interview on Wednesday evening.

The savvy business woman acquired rights to the Shalamar trademark last year and immediately followed up with the release of a new single titled “Slow Dance.”

In addition to the group’s success, Watley is also enjoying some attention from Millennials who are discovering music from her solo years and the many doors she kicked open with her signature stiletto heels, crinoline skirts and over-sized silver hooped earrings. “Real Love” still remains one of MTV’s most nominated videos of all time and who can forget her game-changing song “Friends” with Eric B. & Rakim?  That 1989 collaboration was the music industry’s first marriage between an R&B/Pop/Dance singer and a Rap/Hip Hop artist.

Jody-Watley-ShalamarA trendsetter, no doubt Watley was one of the first major artists to embrace New York’s underground dance culture and proudly displayed transgender models and club kids in her music videos. Don’t get it twisted, Jody’s been “snapping for the kids” long before Beyoncé.  She was also the first female artist to step away from the cookie cutter music labels and launched her own, Avitone in 1995. That was a power move that set a precedent in the industry when it wasn’t popular.

But that’s all in the past now and Watley is not interested in doing what she’s already done. Instead, she’s directing her energy towards the now, like her Shalamar Reloaded show on Friday night (January 29) at L.A.’s famed Roxy Theatre.  It’s been a minute since she’s performed there and the place still holds some pretty bitter-sweet memories.

“It’s the first place that I saw Prince and they’ve had so many great artists to perform there. In the early days of one of the older versions of Shalamar, we performed there and didn’t get paid and there was a fight in the dressing room. So, I’m just looking forward to going back and making it a great experience. It’s the day before my birthday and the guys are looking forward to it. It’s time to get turned up,” said Watley.

Check out more of my one-on-one interview with the music legend where we discuss her thoughts on today’s artists like Solange and Miguel, why she never used a fashion stylist and the advice she would give to her 18-year-old self.

Click here to purchase tickets for Jody Watley and Shalamar Reloaded at the Roxy Theatre – Los Angeles!

Photo Credits: GetOutMag.com