Soca artist Arrow dies‎

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The man often credited with taking soca global, Arrow, has died after fighting cancer for some time.


Outside the Caribbean, many know soca music, a fast-paced cousin of calypso, through Arrow’s biggest hit Hot, Hot, Hot, recorded in 1982.

Fifty-five year-old Arrow, whose real name is Alphonsus Edmund Cassell, had been fighting brain cancer for over a year and had been back and forth for treatment in the US.

He was one of the forerunners to the advancement of soca – Veteran Calypsonian Sparrow

However, upon returning home to his native Montserrat, he fell ill recently with pneumonia and was hospitalised in neighbouring Antigua.

Businessman

Arrow was known locally as a businessman as well as an international soca star.

He set up his own record label in 1973 and ran a shop on the remaining habitable part of Montserrat after the volcano destroyed large parts of the island.

His song ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’ became the biggest selling soca hit of all time.

Arrow had always stated how much he loved calypso, the precursor for soca music.

And he had named himself Arrow in honour of calypso veteran Sparrow.

Born and raised in Montserrat, Arrow grew up in a musical family where both his older brothers had been Calypso Kings of Montserrat, Hero, Justin Cassell and Young Challenger, Lorenzo Castell.

He first performed at age 10 at a concert at the Montserrat Secondary School.

He started singing calypso in 1967 taking the junior monarch title and four times the Monserrat crown.

Arrow was a very popular performer at the Caribbean King of Kings Calypso Competition in Antigua.

He was the first soca artist to perform at Jamaica’s Reggae Sunsplash.

He recorded his first single in 1972, Dance With Me Woman.

He recorded his first album in 1974.

 

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