BD (British Dependency) – a unique sound from Anguilla

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German journalist Ingo Ackerschott of Insight World Music Magazine recently interviewed BD (British Dependency), a music group from Anguilla with a name that is a great conversation starter. [Our thanks to Peter Jordens for sending us this item.]

Also known as “BD”, the band name is about where the members come from, not what they are about or where they are going. A blend of voices, drums, guitar, and bass, BD’s music is eclectic, delivering a unique sound influenced by a variety of genres including reggae, jazz, and French creole and the members’ own inner voices. The band features Anguilla’s first female bass player Joyah, accomplished drummer Jaiden, and lead vocalist Ruel, a uniquely skilled guitar player. I chatted with the band recently, read it here:

British Dependency – why did you choose this name for the band? Are you political?
We are all political in some way. But in this case, not necessarily. British Dependency is all about love and social commentary. The name British Dependency? Well it’s who we are and where we come from as a small Island nation. We mean to keep the term alive. This way there is no going back and no forgetting, Why forget your history? Face it. Do better. Rise! Beside, it’s the first question everybody asks: “Why British Dependency?” It’s just a really good way to start a conversation. And we do need to talk more, interact more. As a good friend in Jamaica, Ras Basil Walters said: “British Dependency – anything but colonial.”

You are based on Anguilla, what does Anguilla represent for you?
Freedom. Beauty. Calm. A safe place from the world. It’s good to tour and get back to this serenity.

What are your lyrics about and who writes them?
We all write. Ruel. Joyah. Jaiden. And founder Davon. Our lyrics? Social inequality. Social injustice. Love.

Where do you draw your inspiration?
Everywhere. Life, Fans, TV, the news. We try to be positive and inspire people to move, to change stuff. Even if you have to protest and riot.

How do you describe your music style?
Roots Rock Reggae with elements of jazz, Latin and French creole. In the truest sense.

What is your personal favourite song of British Dependency and why?
Two:”Selah” for its religious experience and “Caskets Closed” for its militancy and edginess.

Who influenced you?
So Many. The great drummer Michael Carvin, Cat Coore from Third World, Bob Marley, Prince, Jimmy Hendrix, Bankie Banx. The people we interact with everyday.

Where do you perform regularly?
We are building our tour schedule as we speak with less and less regular gigs. But when we are home {Anguilla}, Veya on a Friday is a good bet. We also like to hang at Smokeys on the beach.

Upcoming shows? Tourdates?
Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village. Farafina in Harlem. Montreal Reggae Fest. Tour date updates can be found at or British Dependency on Facebook(

Joyah, you are the first bass player from Anguilla. What made you choose this particular instrument to play? And would you mind sharing the story of how your  bass is connected to James Brown?
I didn’t choose the bass, the bass choose I. It was a gift given on to I from my Father, The Creator. One night years ago while working in a kitchen as Pastry Chef, I heard a band playing outside and the guy playing the bass was to stop for. I immediately ran outside just to get a view of him and I remained there until he passed by which was like 45 minutes. I stopped him and complemented him. He then asked if I want to learn the bass I said yea!!! And he introduced himself as Jimmy Lee Moore, James Brown bass player for 19 years. I froze. We remained friends ever since. He was the first one to see it in I. So many people and different museums wanted that guitar but he decided to give it to me saying “this guitar been around the world once and its going to go around the world again through you”. I believe that’s a blessing.

How did you guys met actually?
Actually Ruel and Davon were together in different units for many years starting with a band called Concepts Trio which morphed into the first version of British Dependency with Darius James on drums and Jonathan Warrington as bassist. Darius and Jonathan departed to form another band after internal friction over business and artistic direction. This move opened the door for Joyah and Jaiden who were introduced to Ruel and Davon by a mutual friend, Josveek Huligar.

What did you do before you started to play music?
Ruel was a teacher, Joyah a Pastry Chef and Jaiden a Student.

What drives you to play music at all?
Passion. We are all really just artists with a passion to speak to the world through music.

Thank you and have a beautiful and an Anguilla type of sunny day!

Information about British Dependency:

Follow BD on Facebook:

Check out the music:


“Casket Closed”

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