SOJA
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SOJA
SOJA
SOJA Press Photo (Jan 2015).jpg
Background information
Origin Arlington, Virginia, United States
Genres Reggae, reggae rock[1]
Labels ATO Records, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada), DMV Records, Innerloop
Nahko and Medicine for the People, Michael Franti, Gentleman, Falcão, Collie Buddz, Supa Dups, Damian Marley, J Boog
Website sojamusic.com
Members Jacob Hemphill
Bob Jefferson
Ryan "Byrd" Berty
Ken Brownell
Patrick O'Shea
Hellman Escorcia
Rafael Rodriguez
Trevor Young
Eric Rogers

SOJA (Soldiers Of Jah Army) is an American Grammy-nominated reggae band based in Arlington, Virginia. Formed in 1997, their music is currently produced under ATO Records. The eight-member band has released a number of singles, albums, and DVDs, including SOJA - Live in Hawaii. Their third full-length album Born in Babylon[2] peaked at #11 on the Top Heatseekers chart,[2] while their 2012 album Strength to Survive topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart.[3] The band continues to tour and record new music.[4]

History

1997-05: Founding, early releases

Before the band was founded the members had performed together on and off for some years. Frontman Jacob Hemphill (vocals, guitar) and Bob Jefferson (bass) met in first grade shortly after Hemphill had returned with his family from living in Africa, where Jacob's father was the IMF resident representative in Monrovia, Liberia.[3][4] He and Jefferson then met Ryan Berty (drums), Patrick O'Shea (keyboards), and Ken Brownell (percussion) in middle and high school.[3]

The band in 2011: pictured are trumpeter Rafael Rodriguez (left) and frontman Jacob Hemphill (right)

After forming SOJA in 1997, the members recorded their first album CREEPING IN in 1998. Next came the EP self-titled SOJA,[5][6] independently with sound engineer Jim Fox at LION and FOX Recording Studios in 2000.[7] It was positively received.[7] The band released their first full-length album, Peace in a Time of War, in 2002. SOJA then released a Dub version of the album titled Dub in a Time of War in 2005.[2]

2006-09: Releases with label

In 2006, the band released Get Wiser, their second full-length album, and their first on the record label Innerloop.[2] It debuted in the Top 10 Reggae Albums on iTunes and has remained in the top 100 since its release.[8] The album release party was held on January 6, 2006 at The State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia. It consisted of two separate sets, with the opening set being older songs, and the second set being Get Wiser in its entirety.[] The show was recorded and was released as a DVD, known as the Get Wiser Live DVD, on November 21, 2007.[2]

In January 2008, they released an EP titled, Stars and Stripes.[2] That same month in Hawaii, SOJA recorded their live performances in Oahu, Maui, and Kailua-Kona.[] Those performances were released as a DVD, known as the SOJA - Live in Hawaii, on January 8, 2009.[2]

2009-18: Recent years

The band has released 1 major album and toured largely Virginia. A great promotional effort by Nick Yuen in the release of their new album "Live in Virginia" following "Born in Babylon"

The band at Woodstock 2013

SOJA released their third full-length album Born in Babylon on August 21, 2009, on DMV Records.[2] It peaked at #11 on the Top Heatseekers chart, and reached #38 on the Independent Albums chart.[2] Trevor Young, formerly SOJA's guitar tech, became lead guitar and backup vocals in late 2011.[9]

The band released their next album Strength to Survive on January 31, 2012, their first album on ATO Records. It sold over 50,000 copies, and topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart[3] in both 2012 and 2013. It was also No. 9 for the year end Reggae Albums chart on Billboard, and reached no. 36 on the Billboard 200, as well as no. 2 on the Independent Albums chart.[10] It received 3.5/5 stars from Allmusic, with the website praising the band's growth as songwriters and Hemphill's vocal developments. While Allmusic criticized the non-reggae acoustic tracks at the end of the album, it stated that overall "you've got one of the best American reggae albums of the year."[11]

Amid the Noise and Haste

In 2014 they released Amid the Noise and Haste on ATO.[2] Produced by Supa Dups, the album was recorded throughout 2013. Guest artists include Damian Marley, J Boog, Anuhea, and Collie Buddz. Hemphill penned the lyrics, chords, and melodies of the songs.[12] The album topped the Billboard Reggae Albums chart, and received a Grammy nomination in the 'Best Reggae Album' category.[13][14]

Poetry in Motion

In October 2017, they released Poetry in Motion with ATO label with the following songs: Moving Stones. I Can't Stop Dreaming. Tried My Best. More. Fire in the Sky. Everything to Me. Life Support. Bad News. To Whom It May Concern. Sing to Me. I Found You.

In 2018 they booked in some festivals in the USA and touring on Europe on summer

Members

Drummer Ken Brownell in 2011
Current
Past

Discography

Studio albums

Studio albums by SOJA
Year Album title Release details Chart peaks[10] Certifications
200 Regg Heat Ind
1998 CREEPING IN
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: Independent
  • Format: Cassette
-- -- -- --
2002 Peace in a Time of War
  • Released: Jun 5, 2002
  • Label: DMV Records
  • Format: CD, digital
-- -- -- --
2004 Dub in a Time of War
  • Released: Jan 13, 2004
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: CD, digital
-- -- -- --
2006 Get Wiser
  • Released: Jan 2006
  • Label: Innerloop
  • Format: CD, digital
-- -- -- --
2009 Born In Babylon
  • Released: Aug 25, 2009
  • Label: DMV Records
  • Format: CD, digital
-- -- 11 38
2012 Strength to Survive
  • Released: Jan 31, 2012
  • Label: ATO Records
  • Format: CD, digital
36 1 -- 2
2014 Amid the Noise and Haste
  • Released: Aug 12, 2014
  • Label: ATO Records
  • Format: CD, digital
20 1 -- --
2017 Poetry In Motion
  • Released: October 27, 2017
  • Label: ATO Records
  • Format: CD, digital
-- 1 -- --

Live albums

Live albums by SOJA
Year Album title Release details Chart peaks[10] Certifications
200 Regg Heat Ind
2016 SOJA: Live in Virginia
  • Released: 2016
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: digital
-- 1 -- --

EPs

EPs by SOJA
Year Album title Release details
2000 SOJA (EP)
  • Released: Jan 1, 2000
  • Label: DMV Records
  • Format: CD, digital
2008 Stars & Stripes (EP)
  • Released: Jan 2008
  • Label: Innerloop
  • Format: CD, digital

Singles

Incomplete list of songs by SOJA
Year Song title Album
2009 "I Don't Wanna Wait"[16] Born in Babylon
2010 "I Tried (Don Corleon Remix)" (feat. Gentleman)[17] 1 track single
2012 "Not Done Yet"[18]
"Everything Changes" (feat. O Rappa) [19]
2013 "F**k Your System (Jr Blender Mentality RMX)" (feat. J Boog)[20]
"She Still Loves Me" (feat. Collie Buddz)[21]
"Tell Me" (Jr Blender RMX feat. Richie Campbell)[22]
2014 "I Believe" (feat. Michael Franti and Nahko Bear)[23]
"Your Song" (feat. Damian Marley) Promo single/
Amid The Noise and Haste
2017 Bad News Promo single
2017 More Promo single

DVDs

DVDs featuring SOJA
Year Album title Release details
2006 Get Wiser Live DVD
  • Released: Jan 6, 2006
  • Label: Innerloop
  • Format: DVD
2009 SOJA - Live in Hawaii
  • Released: Jan 8, 2009
  • Label: self-released
  • Format: DVD

Production credits

Albums produced by SOJA
Yr Release title Artist(s) Notes, role
2008 Syr Mahber -
A SOJA Production
Various (Bobby Lee (SOJA), Luciano, Prezident Brown, Zedicus, Queen Ifrica, Ras Attitude, Jacob Hemphill (SOJA), Sister Carol, Ras Abel, Batch, Tony Rebel, Fear Nuttin Band, Don Carmelo (Gomba Jahbari), Jah Dan & Junior Kelly) Production and track compilation, released Oct 4, 2008

Further reading

See also

References

  1. ^ Jeffries, David. "SOJA - Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Soldiers of Jah Army". AllMusic. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ a b c d Jackson, Kevin (2013) "Band SOJA marches on", Jamaica Observer, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  4. ^ a b "About the Band". SOJA Music. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ "Soja EP". Allmusic. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ "SOJA (EP)". Discogs. Retrieved . 
  7. ^ a b "SOJA EP (SOJA, 2000)". Reggae Reviews. 2000. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ Loughlin, Sean (March 24, 2014). "Popular reggae band Soja ready to bring their popular energy, amazing music to House of Blues Thursday". Atlantic City Insiders. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Trevor Young". PRS Guitars. Retrieved . 
  10. ^ a b c "SOJA". Billboard. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ Anderson, Rick (January 31, 2012). "Strength to Survive Review". Allmusic. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ http://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/artists/album/soja_amid_the_noise_and_haste
  13. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2014) "SOJA is number one", Jamaica Observer, 22 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014
  14. ^ Jackson, Kevin (2014) "Six vie for Reggae Grammy album", Jamaica Observer, 5 December 2014. Retrieved 6 December 2014
  15. ^ "Ziggy gets GRAMMY nom for Best Reggae Album with 'Fly Rasta'". bobmarley.com. July 12, 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ ""I Don't Wanna Wait" by SOJA". iTunes. 2009. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ ""I Tried (Don Corleon Remix)" by SOJA". iTunes. 2010. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ ""Not Done Yet" by SOJA". iTunes. 2012. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ ""Everything Changes" by SOJA". iTunes. 2012. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ ""F**k Your System" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ ""She Still Loves Me" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved . 
  22. ^ ""Tell Me" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved . 
  23. ^ ""I Believe" by SOJA". iTunes. 2014. Retrieved . 

External links


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SOJA
 



 

 
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