Navasha Daya rewinds the clock back 40 years and represents for an unsung R&B tune and her hometown on her latest single. The East Cleveland-bred beauty has released a remake of General Caine‘s 1982 track “For Lovers Only,” the theme song for Cleveland radio station 93.1 FM WZAK’s quiet storm show of the same name.
The year 1982 was a good one for R&B, producing many songs that were hits then and are classics now. Songs like Marvin Gaye‘s “Sexual Healing,” Prince‘s “1999,” Vanity 6‘s “Nasty Girl,” The Gap Band‘s “Outstanding” and Patrice Rushen‘s “Forget Me Nots” are just a few of the jams that came out of 1982.
That was also the year that the lesser-known R&B band General Caine out of Los Angeles released their album third Girls, which featured the song “For Lovers Only,” co-written by group members Mitchell McDowell and David Chadwick. Although the track didn’t make much of a splash on the national charts, WZAK radio personality Lynn Tolliver Jr. heard the song, selected it to be the theme music for the station’s For Lovers Only late-night slow jam set and the rest is history.
Navasha Daya grew up hearing “For Lovers Only” nightly on the radio. The song stuck with her long after moving to Baltimore and planting down roots there. The accomplished songstress knew that she wanted to pay tribute to this regional classic and does so with a beautiful remake.
Lovingly produced by Navasha’s husband Fanon Hill, Navasha’s take on “For Lovers Only” stays true to the original as she puts her sultry stamp on it. Originally sung by a man, we now get the song’s narrative from a woman’s perspective and nothing is lost in the transition. If anything, Daya delivers the lyrics with more urgency and passion compared to the original singer. When she belts, “Let’s take a ride in my daddy’s car / We’ll do all the things we used to do, boy,” in the first verse, it’s a sweet command instead of a polite suggestion.
Stylistically, this remake keeps it old school soul instead of trying to make the song sound like modern R&B. Navasha is giving us pure vocals not just vibes.
Navasha Daya breathes new life into General Caine’s “For Lovers Only,” managing to introduce the 40-year-old song to a new audience and trigger misty watercolored memories in those who remember it. This remake was made in partnership with Fanon Hill’s community arts project Soul City Cleveland Stories and is dedicated to the memory of Lynn Tolliver Jr. and Mitchell McDowell. Navasha’s “For Lovers Only” is available for purchase on Bandcamp, and you can also listen to it right here.