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Alphonsus "Arrow" Cassell




November 16, 1949 – September 15, 2010

raise you' han' … if you want to jam)



“My music lets me share a piece of Caribbean paradise with the world.
It’s like a ray of sunshine; it touches the heart and soul.
I will not rest until Soca music is known throughout the universe”

Alphonsus Celestine Edmund Cassell, the youngest of nine siblings was born, raised and chose to live on the lush Caribbean island, Montserrat. Globally recognized as “Arrow, King of Soca,” he became the architect of Soca music with a series of songs that transcended the normal reaches of calypso music.

It is every performer’s aspiration to record at least one song that becomes a standard, a benchmark of popular music and the “signature song” by which they will always be remembered.

At least one song? Arrow redefined the concept of the signature song. At his death, he was an internationally known recording artist of mythic proportion.

He was widely recognized as the dynamic performer responsible for placing Soca music and Montserrat, on the world map. His landmark accomplishments belie his humble beginnings.

He was the first Soca artist to:

  • Have music available on compact disc (CDs)
  • Place hits on the British music charts (“Hot, Hot, Hot” & “Long Time”)
  • Perform in Austria, Belgium, Columbia, Cuba, Holland, Japan, Nigeria, Paris (France), Switzerland and Vienna
  • Receive “Keys-to-the-City” from Oswego, New York and New York City
  • Perform for the King at the Palace in Morocco
  • Sell more than 4 million copies of a single (“Hot, Hot, Hot”) and have that single recorded in more than 20 languages!

Hot, Hot, Hot,” the most popular of his many “signature songs,” has been figuratively subtitled, “The national anthem of Soca;” is a perennial listing on the top-50 most requested songs; used for commercial endorsements; and, along with “Dancing mood,” part of the Academy Awards, Oscar-winning movie Soundtrack for the Disney movie, “The Little Mermaid.

Ashton Daly & Arrow,
Mother's Day Extravaganza, 1994

His accomplishments in the music industry have earned him royal recognition: 1989, he was appointed Member of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, England. July, 1991 he was awarded “Keys-to-the City” by the Mayor of Oswego, New York for his staunch support of Partners of the Americas (Oswego-Montserrat), a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic, education and social development in the Western hemisphere, through the use of volunteers.

Summer, 1995 when the volcano activity started and created a still ongoing exodus of more than two-thirds of Montserrat’s population, Arrow chose to stay and live on-island, using his international appeal as a modicum of stability and reinforcing world focus. He participated in the making of the CD, “Song for Montserrat,” with more than 100 Caribbean recording artists and at the “Concert for Montserrat,” organized by Sir George Martin at the Royal Albert Hall, London, England - September, 1997.

Considered by many as the unofficial “Ambassador of Montserrat,” Arrow continually made himself available, always “on-behalf-of-Montserrat,” for interviews, fundraising and other events that maintained an awareness of Montserrat’s plight. His role as an ambassador of Soca music, his goal -- to revolutionize the artform and his continued allegiance to Montserrat and Montserratians are well documented.

Rest now, ACE, you are known throughout the universe...


Excerpt (embellished) from the Society’s Mother’s Day Extravaganza – Souvenir Journals, 1994 & 2004.
Alphonsus C. E. Cassell was Special Honoree, 1994 and Special Guest, 2004.
Arrow and his Multinational Force Band performed for the Society’s 86th Anniversary Show & Dance
Friday, November 24, 2000 at St. Luke’s Community Center, New York City


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