Lead singers Jacob Hemphill (vocals, guitar) and also Bob Jefferson (bass) met in an initial grade in Virginia, shortly after Jacob had returned from life in Africa through his family. The two instantly ended up being best friends, and also in middle school found a usual love because that hip hop and also rock music. Throughout middle and high school, lock met Patrick O’Shea (keyboards), Ryan Berty (drums), and Ken Brownell (percussion) – who would later form SOJA. Throughout this period, reggae music was becoming an seeks for the budding musicians. Lead singer Jacob shares, “We loved rock and also hip hop, but there to be something lacking in the message. Also with our favourite artists, friend would acquire one tune that hit home and also touched you, then three that were around nothing. Through our favourite artists in the reggae genre, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, they were singing around something beautiful that truly mattered in every song. We never really gained over it.”
SOJA’s first album was recorded individually with famous sound engineer Jim Fox. Jacob notes, “Jim told united state that the would occupational with us and also so we could afford to make our first record, and also when us ran the end of money the started consisting of ‘discounts.’ It was awesome. Ns asked him why a if back, and also he stated ‘I didn’t desire to see a good thing stop.’ What was also crazier was at the time he no working with bands the were native the US, simply Jamaican artists. Big ones like Black Uhuru, Israel Vibration, burning Spear, Don Carlos, and Inner Circle. Jim operated with united state independently and also recorded, mixed, and also mastered the whole thing. That is just how it every started.” SOJA’s very first album, “Soldiers the Jah army EP” was released in ~ the start of 2000.
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In 2002, SOJA exit their first full-length album, “Peace in a Time that War.” despite the tape was young, the album had actually hits. “True Love,” “Rasta Courage,” and “Peace in a Time the War” to be the first songs to carry the band solid attention nationally and also internationally and cement castle in the reggae world. Tours became larger, their fan base broadened rapidly and also they thrived up clever in the independent music industry. In 2006, the tape released “Get Wiser,” their 2nd full-length album. The album to be a break v for the band, as they discover the duality in your music, combining beautiful, longing melodies with tough drum and also bass, and layered with detailed lyrics. SOJA produced their musical style with a brand-new complexity and depth the they would lug with lock to their future albums. Jacob shares, “When you listen to an artist you deserve to either have actually a collection of one liners, or you can tell a story through your music. We set out come tell a story, it’s prefer poetry – to dance around whole theme, yet never putting a period on anything. That is favor the 2 sides the a coin, yet you can see them at the same time.” “Get Wiser” debuted in the top 10 Reggae Albums top top iTunes and has stayed in the peak 100 because its release. Singles off the album consisting of “Open my Eyes, “You Don’t understand Me,” and “Can’t call Me” stay in heavy rotation on university radio throughout the united States, and have additionally received significant radio play around the world in areas such together France, Brazil, Argentina, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Costa Rica, Mexico, Venezuela, Guam, and also Tahiti. The success that “Get Wiser” take it the band on 3 years of extreme touring nationally, and also internationally. In 2008 SOJA released your EP “Stars and also Stripes.” lock blended brand-new sounds and new rhythms v their present reggae sound, farming into what SOJA to be becoming. The EP contained three new songs to add remixes and new versions of famous songs. In early on 2009 the tape released the documentary DVD “SOJA Live in Hawaii: A Marc Carlini Film,” showcasing the power and also energy of their 2008 Hawaiian tourism which included four islands, 5 cameras, four shows, and everything in between.
Now, SOJA is prepared to unleash their third full-length album “Born in Babylon” - the culmination of all past initiatives on their label DMV Records. Collection to be released August 25, 2009 exclusively on iTunes, “Born in Babylon” concentrates on telling the very same roots story that reggae artists have actually been singing around for decades, however their way, from the upper and lower reversal perspective of kids who grew up no in poverty, but in a government saturated neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia, across Mason-Dixon heat from the White House. SOJA shares about their new album, “This is the album we’ve to be wanting to make for ten years. At very first we were hard-core old school, then us got brand-new school and also inventive. This is what we’ve learned from every that. ‘Born in Babylon’ is difficult roots drum and bass, large wide guitar and vocal melodies, and also two and also three sided lyrics, with two and also three face messages.”
For the remainder of 2009 and moving right into 2010 – SOJA plans on touring the united States generally while promoting “Born in Babylon” with mainstay horn players Hellman Escorcia (saxophone) and Rafael Rodriguez (trumpet). Currently, SOJA averages 150 mirrors a year and also the team has toured every significant city in the US and internationally transparent Canada, Puerto Rico (avg 2500), Brazil (avg 4000), Argentina, Uruguay, new Caledonia (16,000 in attendance) Palau, Saipan, Guam (avg 3500), Hawaii (avg 2,000 on each island), Sweden, Switzerland, France, Portugal (avg 2000) and also Holland. The tape has also shared the phase with significant artists such as Citizen Cope, Matisyahu, Ben Harper, contempt Stoopid, Damian Marley, Govt Mule, Umphrees McGee, and also Steel Pulse to surname a few.
In enhancement to their new music and touring, the band continues to be committed to creating real music, music the cant be ignored. Jacob pauses, “Bob Marley’s pan all feel like once he is to sing a song, it’s to them. You could be from anywhere, any kind of situation, rich, bad – it doesn’t matter; the song is directed at them. He speak to you, the love song too. That is what we room after. No one side of the story, the entirety thing, both political parties of the coin. Simply listen come ‘Born in Babylon.’”
disambiguation: If you're looking for a us act: http://www.last.fm/music/Soldiers+of+Jah+Army
Over the years, the Washington, D.C. Music scene has come to be best recognized for its hardcore (Minor Threat) and also go-go (Trouble Funk) alumni, but as confirmed by the good Bad Brains, reggae has been represented as well. SOJA has risen to the forefront, choose up right where the brain left turn off – creating their very own blend of conscious roots music entwined through the traditional rhythms of reggae, that “comes throughout with passion and depth.” (Washington article ’06)
That said, SOJA is not that basic to define. Return they room rooted in reggae, they room not minimal to it; their fan-base reflects this through a really diverse population. The music includes and embraces every walks of life - it has actually no prejudice – it is because that everyone. The band grew up listening come reggae, hip-hop, and also rock. In your sound, reggae came to be the predominate influence since it is specialized to a genuine message and also promotes revolution.
The group, which contains a pair of lead singers who likewise pull dual duty - Jacob Hemphill (guitar) and also Bob Jefferson (bass) – and Patrick O’Shea ~ above keyboard, percussionist Ken Brownell, and drummer Ryan Berty, originally came with each other in 1997. Because 2000, the quintet has issued three full length albums and also one EP – their latest, ‘Get Wiser,’ is their 3rd for the group’s very own label, Innerloop.
Hemphill describes the an interpretation of the album’s title. “The brand-new album is called ‘Get Wiser’ – it is the idea. We as a culture tend to have blinders on. We space trying to uplift peoples’ awareness by breaking down what renders us blind. To do this, we got to bring earlier truth. Civilization get wiser.”
“Every track is various of course.” Hemphill continues, “I uncovered music to be a method to refer myself - v my life I’ve never been able come express myself fine in conversations, however I deserve to do it with music. It’s choose my way to talk.”
Ever the road warriors (SOJA averages 150 gigs per year), the team will be supporting their recent release with a healthy and balanced amount of live dates this year top top the “Get Wiser Tour”. With such a list of collected live dates, a certain high allude is difficult to pin down, however Brownell remembers a particular performance. “One that the shows that remains in the former of my mind was play in Guam for the very first time for virtually 6,000 fans. That was an impressive experience.”
With SOJA phone call their very own shots, ‘Get Wiser’ proves that the band’s message and also music will only continue to flourish stronger with each successive release. In assistance of their latest album, “Get Wiser”, SOJA is embarking top top a journey about the world.
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The band Jacob Hemphill - lead Vocals, etc Bob Jefferson - command Vocals, bass Ken Brownell - Percussion Ryan Berty - drums Patrick O’Shea- Keyboards
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