SOJA’s roots go back to vocalist/guitarist Jacob Hemphill and bassist Bobby Lee meeting in first grade (Hemphill’s family had just returned from Africa, where his father had done contracting work). The two friends began playing music in high school and assembled the band that would ultimately become SOJA.
Hemphill claims any number of disparate influences on the sound and philosophy of SOJA, but he hails Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Survival as the greatest Reggae album ever made.
That assertion is solidly supported by the social, cultural and political messages (particularly the call for healing and unity in a divided world) and raging Reggae energy generated on Strength to Survive. SOJA wants to be an element of global change and they want you to rise up and join the fight.
SOJA plays Thursday, Feb. 16 at the 20th Century Theater with guests THE MOVEMENT and KIDS THESE DAYS. For more on SOJA, read Sound Advice here.