Dwight Richards is a Reggae ManMonday, June 14, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
TRUMPETER/SINGER Dwight Richards sees the bright side of every challenge that comes his way. So, when COVID-19 'shuttered' the global entertainment industry last year, he channelled his energy into his 12-song, yet-to-be-named album, slated for release in August.
On July 4, however, Richards will share Reggae Man, the first single from that project.
“ Reggae Man will see me on lead vocals and trumpet... The song is really about my experiences of touring all over the world with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff ... and seeing how people react to reggae music. It's just awesome to see people embrace the music globally,” Richards, 48, told the Jamaica Observer.
Richards has been touring with Cliff for the past 18 years. His duties include opening act, back-up singer, musician, and tour manager.
Reggae Man's line-up of musicians comprises: Jamaica Festival Song Competition 2011 winner Everton Pessoa on trombone; Paul Madden (bass); Christopher Tyrell (drummer); Andrew Marsh (keyboard); and Shadeeka Daughma (guitar).
Reggae Man, like the upcoming album, will be on the trumpeter's Rich Yard Productions label. He said the move is a calculated one.
“I want to do this project by myself... Yes, it is costly affair for any musician to undertake, especially at this time. But what you find, you have more creative control over your work and that is very important for any serious musician,” said Richards.
“If an established label, for instance, wants to assist with distribution of the project, I'd be open to that.”
For his upcoming set, Richards said he pulled on a few other friends. They include 'sax man' Dean Fraser; drummers Kirk Bennett and Dave Clarke; Othniel Lewis on keyboards. Franklyn Bell will be credited as the project's engineer.
“This album is in the works for a number of years... It's good music... It's a live album and I want a certain feel, so I have different musicians for each song,” he said.
“COVID made it (the album) happen. Since March last year, there has been no tours, so I just sat down and began working and refining the product,” he continued.
Hailing from Somerset in Manchester, Richards attended the legendary Alpha Boys' School in Kingston. He won the then popular Tastee Talent Competition in 1989.
He has three albums to his credit — Sudden Impact, Dreaming of a Dwight Christmas, and Journey.
Richards's horns can be heard on songs for Lauryn Hill, British reggae bands UB40 and Aswad, Taurus Riley, Stephen Marley, and Toots Hibbert.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login