by Gene Scaramuzzo
From Montserrat, Arrow got his start as a first-class calypsonian in the traditional Trinidadian style but soon began exploring ways to bring the music to an international level. Always an innovator, he played around with mixing elements of cadence, salsa, and American R&R guitar into his music. In 1983 he experienced his first pan-Caribbean success, Hot Hot Hot (a song that later became an international hit). Since then he has branched out to include a wider array of world-music elements, from hip-hop to the sounds of various African nations, while concentrating on lyrics that act predominantly as a vehicle to drive the music to a higher frenzy. A late-80s contract with Island/Mango Records has made him the soca artist most widely distributed and most easily available in the States. His 1992 release, Zombie Soca, was notable for including three songs with social commentary lyrics. Unlike those of most calypsonians, Arrows early releases, including those preceding the Island/Mango albums, are still easily available.