CoM&L Episode 1- Navasha Daya

Join Host Marko Nobles and featured artist Navasha Daya this Saturday morning, 11a est.

Perhaps best known as the lead singer of the nu-jazz ensemble Fertile Ground, Navasha Daya has been making music all her own for half a decade. She was a founding member of that (initially three-member) group in the late 1990s, and Daya distinguished herself with vocals ranging from supple and angular (“Let the Wind Blow”) to sultry and assured (“Take Me Higher”). With its 2004 recording Black Is, Fertile Ground found, well, fertile ground, and the band toured for years in support of that project. Things changed by 2009, and the group’s members embarked upon their own paths in 2010. Daya released an EP titled Rebirthed Above Ground (2012). In an interview with The Baltimore Sun she called the move to a solo career “scary,” despite having made her debut as a professional singer at age 13 with her father’s Cleveland-based reggae band, Jah Word. “I had to figure out how I wanted to show up in the world,” she told The Sun.

Daya recorded four albums with Fertile Ground, so still having ahead of her a full-length and freestanding solo project could give her the appearance of a neophyte. Consider the following list of her other guises, though, and a different picture comes into focus: songwriter, producer, performing arts curator, certified holistic wellness practitioner. Her devotion to the simple art of human kindness shines through songs including “Iwapele.” With her husband, Fanon Hill, she operates the Youth Resiliency Institute, through which she teaches music to youngsters in places including East Cleveland and Baltimore. The initiative attracted recognition from President Barack Obama and won a half-million-dollar grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. In the aftermath of Fertile Ground’s breakup, which included a divorce from cofounder James Collins, she directed some of those aforementioned wellness practices at herself. As she told The Sun, “I had to heal … now … I’m ready to go to the next level.”

-Edward Austin Hall

Marko Nobles

Marko Nobles

Dir. of Programming, G2 Digital Media

Conversations on Music & Life (CoM&L) is a weekly program which presents relaxed conversations with artists from the Jazz and R&B genres for digital audiences. Host and producer Marko Nobles invites the greats and soon-to-be greats to join him for an hour of music and conversation. The artist selects the music: music they were, and continue to be, influenced by. The conversation about the music leads to a discussion of a myriad of topics including social issues, business and politics. Most importantly, he allows them to share what they think is important to them and gives us the listeners a deeper insight into the artist and the person that they are.

E A Hall

E A Hall

FAS Editorial Dir.

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