A Calypso King and a Reggae Legend
The Reggae and Soca music worlds took major hits this year, losing two major artists who popularized the genres.
Reggae artist Gregory Isaacs died yesterday, October 25, at his home in London after a long battle with Lung Cancer.
Isaacs was a true Legend and one of the most prolific reggae artists of the 1970’s, releasing over 500 albums throughout his career.
Let us not forget though that Arrow also passed away this year due to complications from brain cancer, in September, at ago 60. He died at home in Montserrat.
According to Dahved Levy of Caribbean Fever, Arrow’s casket was all-white in the shape of an arrow. His funeral was well-attended by Prime Ministers and politicians alike. The government of Monserrat had to make special arrangements to accomodate the number of people who attended.
Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell won worldwide fame for his 1983 song, Hot Hot Hot.
“Arrow paved the road for all the international Soca stars that came after him, such as Edwin Yearwood, Machel Montano, Rupee, Kevin Lyttle and Bunji Garlin. He was like the Bob Marley of Soca music in that he was ahead of his time in fusing sounds to help mold the genre and create what it is today,” according to Edwin Howell, A&R manager of the Soca division at VP Records.
So it’s surprising that so many people didn’t know he passed away, and that it wasn’t covered by more media outlets. This goes to show that there is still a long road to march for soca music.
Today, artists like Machel Montano carry the torch to continue bringing the Soca genre to the world’s attention.
Both Gregory Isaacs and Arrow are worthy of the recognition and respect for all that they’ve done for caribbean music as a whole. Rest in Peace to both legends.