After its release during the Independence Season in October 2021, to positive reviews, the anticipation for the accompanying video for Yard Squad Band’s Reggae tribute to the Nature Isle, “Sweet Dominica” was high. Now out, at the start of Tourism Awareness Month, the video features several popular tourist attractions,
Despite scenes being shot in the US where Yard Squad Band founder, bassist and lead vocalist Art “Artical” Richards is based, the video crew is fully Dominican. Scenes of Art were shot by Desmond “Zion” Albert while on-island footage was captured by GloSho Multimedia’s Dylan “ProducerDlo” Lowe and drone footage captured by Chad Ambo of Ambo Visuals.
The audio-visual piece opens up with Art in bed, dreaming of home. Though asleep, the images in his mind are vivid and alive! It starts off with a shot of Red Rocks, followed by model Nicole Morson enjoying a river bath, and then aerial shots of the eastern community of Castle Bruce and its famous islets and then scenes from Roseau to include the Roseau Market and more. The video ends with him waking up covered in a Dominican flag blanket and wondering if this ‘trip’ was really a dream?
Richards’ says the song was a tribute to the land of his birth and he wanted to capture scenes and places that were popular but were also dear to his heart.
“I was born in Grand Bay and grew up in Castle Bruce and I really loved going to the Roseau Market. So those areas were a must have,” he mused.
Adding, “the rest of the scenes were not necessarily specific places I wanted to capture but a feeling maybe or energy- so the greenery, the river, the people dancing. Any Dominican can relate to that and even if you are not a Dominican its something you can appreciate.”
He migrated to the US in 1984 and returned to the island was two years later, in 1986 with a next visit long overdue.
“Yes, I think this song and now video, definitely has me thinking about coming back home. But really, home has never left me eh. Even my kids know and love Dominica.”
Richards has been making his own waves in music in the state of Missouri, after founding Yard Squad Band in 1994. The band has played at several reggae events throughout the US and internationally in places such as Canada, St. Barts and St. Martin; and backed a number of top artists to include Anthony B, Everton Blender, Junior Reed and more. The band recently shared the stage with Ky-Mani Marley, son of Reggae legged Bob Marley on April 30th at the Reggae by the River Minnesota Festival.
“Sweet Dominica” has been on rotation on local radio stations, and was also produced by another Dominican- Canada-based, multi-instrumentalist Osborne “Ifield” Joseph.
Richards is hopeful that Dominicans at home and abroad will share the song and the video to further connect to the land of their birth and spread the word about the beautiful and sweet, Dominica.