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Has Navasha Daya Left Fertile Ground?


Fertile Ground is one of my top 10 groups of all time. From the instrumentation and production led by genius producer James Collins to the mesmerizing vocals of Navasha Daya, I became a fan in 1999 when a good friend invited me to check them out in Baltimore, MD where they would perform regularly at free outdoor concerts at Hopkins Plaza. From the upbeat "Peace and Love" to the somber ballad "June," every Fertile Ground song I heard became my favorite. I've been a groupie ever since.

Center
After the bounce

So imagine my surprise when I attended last week's amazing Soul Symphony
concert at Howard University, where Navasha was introduced by
the emcee as the lead singer of Fertile Ground who is
embarking on a new solo career. I had not a clue that Fertile Ground
may be losing their lead singer--who the group is mostly
known for--or, worse yet, breaking up. While Daya and Collins divorced recently and James
will be marrying
radio host Maria More of
Atlanta's Hot 107.9 this May, the band has always appeared to present a public
image that has never indicated disharmony or the threat of break-up.
Nevertheless, Navasha has been actively performing and traveling
nationally these past two years as a solo artist or as part of the Three
Generations
, a group dedicated to the preservation of Native
American and African song.

Here's hoping
that Navasha's solo run is not an end to the organic Soul machine known
as Fertile Ground. However, if it does come to that, Navasha's
career will most definitely take off. At the Soul Symphony concert, she
threw it all the way down with her rousing renditions of "Betcha By Golly
Wow" in tribute to Phyllis Hyman and Chaka Khan's
"Tell Me Something Good." Her performances were captivating during this show, which recognized the power of Soul music while honoring legend Roberta
Flack.
I would have loved to have taken photos or video of the
performance to show you, but the venue--and
Flack--prohibited all of that. Photographer to
the stars and popular podcaster, Stevie Robinson, however, was front and center and
able to catch some of the goodness on stage through still photography,
including Navasha doing her thing. Peep her photos below and check out Stevie's Soul podcast when you get a moment. Enjoy.


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11 Responses

  1. When I saw them last year James made mention that they were working on her solo cd. I had no idea that they were divorced or on the verge and really shocked by how quickly he has moved on.

  2. Wow!!! I remember going to Hopkins Plaza and seeing the group sing hits like, "Be Natural" and "Season's Change" Too bad however, I did see star potential in Navasha!!!

  3. They will be missed. Let's hope that something or someone can come with that same energy and fill that void for the next generation. I am grateful that I ever heard, met, and played with them. Love them FOREVER.

  4. Holy crap.
    1. I had no idea they got divorced.
    2. I'd support her and Fertile Ground, but I don't think either would fare well without the other.
    3. I met her 2 yrs back and got a really "friendly" vibe. lol Guess I missed my chance @ a date? darnit. lol
    I love Fertile Ground, I'm kinda bummed.

  5. This make me sad... I hope this isn't the end but divorces ruin everything (most of the time...) Hopefully they will be able to work something out... Maybe I should book them for an LA show just in case... I haven't heard them in a while
    What do ya'll think???

  6. For the Record James and Navasha have been divorced for a while now. Both have Re-married. Fertile Ground has a new album coming out this Fall. Not the end of an Era but the beginning of an exciting new Movement in Music...

  7. I have always loved Fertile Ground. I saw them with Juie Dexter at the Birchmere in Northern Virginia and that was one heck of a concert. These sisters can really sing. An Navasha brings it on the stage. Well wishing them all the best. I will support them where I can by purchasing CD's and attending concerts.

  8. I wish James and Navasha well in their new lives post-marriage. Hiroshima has always been one of my favorite jazz groups. The leader of the band, Dan Kuromoto and his ex-wife June continue to play together in a business relationship years after their divorce.

  9. Oh nooo... Why am I on the late bus with this info... so sad... I wish both of them well, but to go from Navasha Daya to Maria More? I just don't get it.. but then I'm on the outside looking in.

  10. Wow!! I have been a Fertile Ground Fan since they first started. I was shocked and a little let down that the group split up. I was also sorry and surprised that James and Navasha divorced! I also can't believe James has moved on so fast and into another marriage WTH!!! Maybe it wasn't fast and that relationship was in the works for some time?? But that's life, wishing all members of the group the best.

  11. FYI - Navasha remarried before James did. James is just more public about his new marriage. I do think it will be strange to see them separate, but life calls for change. This goes to show just how much a "fan" really knows about their favorite artists' personal life. Anyways, I support whatever makes them happy!



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