The funeral of the King of Soca, Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell will take place on Friday, October 1, 2010, at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Tributes have been pouring in from people who were close to him personally or professionally, such as Trinidad music producer Leston Paul, Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Culture, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, Grenada’s Junior Culture Minister Arley Gill, soca giant Slinger Francisco, and soca king of kings, The Mighty Sparrow.
Leston Paul, the man that helped make Arrow’s “Hot, Hot, Hot,” said that he was saddened by the death of his close friend and over the loss of such a great artist, who was a perfectionist that spared no effort to create the best music possible for global audience, saying that “Arrow’s mission then was to give the music a different flavor that would appear to everyone.” He added that the Montserratian was a very generous person always willing to assist people either by giving advice or money.
Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Culture, Winston “Gypsy” Peters, who is also a calypsonian, said Arrow’s death was a loss, not only to his native Montserrat and the wider Caribbean but to everyone and everywhere in the soca world.
Senator Arley Gill stressed that “Arrow must be credited for breaking barriers and reaching new places with his music,” the senator said. “He is well-known not just around the region but around the world. His contribution to the development of the art form and to the cultural industry in the Caribbean should not, and cannot go, unnoticed. I think it is quite fitting that we should pay homage to a great Caribbean son.” Gill also highlighted Arrow’s desire to promote Caribbean integration.
As BBC Caribbean reports, for the calypso king of the world, the Mighty Sparrow, Arrow was truly special. Sparrow said Arrow’s “Hot Hot Hot” had turned him into a sort of Bob Marley of the soca world.
The Trinidad Guardian credited him with paving the way “for many Caribbean soca and calypso entertainers to be eventually heard”.