Square One (band)

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Square One
Years active1996–2005, 2010–present
LabelsIce, I-Man/Gator
Past membersAnderson Armstrong
Cecil Riley
Paul Slater
George Jones
Winston Beckles
Alison Hinds
Terry Arthur
Keanne Walters

Square One is a Barbadian soca band, formed in December 1986. They continued until 2004, splitting up after singer Alison Hinds left the group. They re-formed in 2010.


The band was formed in 1986 by Anderson "Youngblood" Armstrong (vocals), Cecil "O Shaka" Riley (vocals), Paul Slater (bass guitar), George Jones (keyboards), and Winston Beckles (drums).[1] Armstrong had begun performing in local calypso competitions in 1983, and was the youngest finalist in the Pic-O-De-Crop Calypso Monarch competition.[1] Alison Hinds joined as co-vocalist in 1987, and the band took the name Square One that year.[1] Their début album, Eat Drink and Be Merry, was released in 1988, and they were named 'Hotel Band of the Year' by the Musicians & Entertainers Guild of Barbados the same year, winning it again in the following two years.[1] In 1990 they were joined by keyboardist Terry Arthur, and toured Europe for the first time. They built an international fanbase, with Hinds singing in French, Portuguese and Caribbean Patois.[2] They were signed to Eddy Grant's Ice Records, releasing Special in 1992.[1] Square one became the first representatives from Barbados as the Caribbean Music Awards at the Harlem Apollo in 1993.[1] After a further album, Square Roots, they parted ways with Ice Records in 1995. Their next album 4 Sides spawned the hit single "Raggamuffin", which topped the charts in Guatemala for 49 weeks,[3] and further hits followed with the Sweetness album and "Aye Aye Aye", "Turn it Around", "Ju Ju", and Sugar (Sweet)".[1] They also won the Road March competition at the Barbados Crop Over in 1997 with "In the Meantime".[1] Their 1998 single "DJ Ride" topped St. Lucia's Radio Caribbean chart for four weeks, only knocked off the top spot by the band's next single, "Faluma".[1] They also had a number-one hit in Barbados with "Bandit Dance", and had several hits in Trinidad and Tobago.[1] In 1999 they won a Sunshine Award for 'Best Group Recording' ("Kitty Kat").[4] The band performed at the Negril Getaway festival in 2002.[5]

Hinds left the band in 2004 after her daughter was born, having first taking a break in 2003 with Keanne Walters taking her place, but has since enjoyed a successful solo career.[6][7]

Square One split up in 2005 but reformed in 2010, headlining the 'Soca On De Hill' festival in 2010.[8] Anderson won the Party Monarch title in 2010 with his song "Foot On Fire".[9]


  • Eat Drink and Be Merry(1988)
  • Special (1992), Ice
  • Square Roots (1993), Ice
  • 4 Sides (1996)
  • Sweetness (1997), Square One
  • In Full Bloom (1998), I-Man/Gator
  • Fast Forward (1999), I-Man/Gator
  • Champion (2001), Square One
  • Higher Heights (2001), Musicrama/Koch
  • Walk of Life (2016), Showdown Records
  • Square One, A3
  • Missing Files Collections (2001)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Thompson, Dave (2002) Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, p. 275-6
  2. ^ Sullivan, Lynne M. (2000) Adventure Guide to Barbados, Hunter Publishing, ISBN 978-1-55650-910-0, p. 12
  3. ^ Collinder, Avia (2007) "Alison Hinds - Soca Mama Archived 2011-08-12 at the Wayback Machine", Jamaica Gleaner, 15 July 2007, retrieved 2010-10-30
  4. ^ Oumano, Elena (1999) "Caribbean Acts Aim For Exposure Beyond 'Carnival Season'", Billboard, 11 December 1999, p. 11, retrieved 2010-10-30
  5. ^ Chaos (2002) "'Di wata' ran at Negril Getaway", Jamaica Gleaner, retrieved 2010-10-30
  6. ^ Pareles, Jon (2008) "Happiness Abounds, With Extra for the Ladies", New York Times, 27 August 2008, retrieved 2010-10-30
  7. ^ "Soca star says farewell", BBC, 13 December 2004, retrieved 2010-10-30
  8. ^ Springer, Michelle (2010) "Back to square one", NATIONNews.com, 24 July 2010, retrieved 2010-10-30
  9. ^ Henry, Anesta (2010) "A footnote about fame", nationnews.com, 29 July 2010, retrieved 2010-10-30