The DC-based chart topping reggae band SOJA will make their national television debut March 12 on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” This comes hot on the heels of their new album Strength To Survive, released on January 31 on ATO Records, which shot to No. 3 on the overall iTunes Album Chart and No. 1 on the Billboard and iTunes Reggae Album Charts. The band who relentlessly tours over 360 days a year, just wrapped up the first leg of their Strength To Survive tour selling out notable venues including The Fillmore (SF), House of Blues (LA), Lincoln Hall (Chicago), Ogden Theatre (Denver), and more!
Tune into their national television debut before they kick off their next leg of their tour that will see them playing shows alongside Dave Matthews Band and Steel Pulse, sharing stages at Bonnaroo and Wakarusa, with a pair of hometown shows at DC’s 9:30 Club on May 18 and 19, with The Roots’ Questlove opening the latter date.
Strength To Survive, which was produced by John Alagia (Dave Matthews, John Mayer, O.A.R.), was praised by the Washington Post for its “mix of traditional roots reggae broken down for the casual listener and party reggae as re-imagined by jam bands such as Dave Matthews Band and Phish.” Wrote Relix, “Passionate and well-crafted songs… one can easily see, after spinning through the tracks on this superb and timely release, why these reggae road warriors—with more than a touch of hard-earned soul—have attracted a dedicated following.” AOL Spinner debuted the amazing claymation video for the album’s title track (http://aol.it/sojavid) and compared the record to Brett Dennen and Ziggy Marley.
SOJA lead singer/guitarist Jacob Hemphill says the album was greatly inspired by Bob Marley’s Survival. “That’s the greatest reggae album ever made,” he says. “It has the best basslines and the best lyrics ever heard on one record. Marley wrote it after he went to Africa. I was 13 or 14 when I listened to it for the first time and it triggered all these long-forgotten memories of when I lived in Africa as a kid. My dad was an IMF res rep in Liberia in the late 80′s. I remember when the coup first started — my family had to hide in these iron bathtubs for 3 days because the military was shooting at everything. I was 7 and that was one of my first memories. We made it out on the last flight. So Africa was always a big part of our lives — it defined our family, in a way. Music came right after that, so, for me, music was always tied to Africa and music was always something powerful.”
Over the course of the past few years, SOJA has sold more than 200,000 albums, headlined large theatres in more than 15 countries around the world, generated over 20 million+ YouTube views, and amassed more than 785k Facebook fans. The past year and a half has seen this 7-piece rule the road including headlining sold-out tours of North and South America. SOJA continues to push the “homegrown reggae” scene forward and confirm NPR’s recent story (http://n.pr/njreggae) highlighting on the growing popularity of “Non-Jamaican Reggae.”
Don’t miss your chance to see SOJA live!
Thu/Apr 19 – House of Blues – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina *
Fri/Apr 20 – House of Blues – Lake Buena Vista, FL *
Sat/Apr 21 – Wanee Festival – Live Oak, FL
Tue/Apr 24 – Jannus Live – St. Petersburg, FL *
Thu/Apr 26 – Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL *
Sat/Apr 28 – La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX *
Sun/Apr 29 – Houston Intl Fest – Houston, TX
Tue/May 1 – Granada Theatre – Dallas, TX
Fri/May 18 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
Sat/May 19 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC #
Sat/June 2 – Wakarusa Music Fest – Ozark, AR
Thu/June 7 – Bonnaroo – Manchester, TN
Thu/June 14 – The Friendly Gathering – Windham, VT
Fri/July 6 – Summerjam Festival – Cologne, Germany
Fri/July 13 – First Niagara Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA^
Sat/July 14 – First Niagara Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA^
Thu/July 19 – All Good Music Festival – Thornville, OH
Sat/July 28 – Floydfest – Floyd, VA
* = with Steel Pulse
# = with Questlove of The Roots
^ = with Dave Matthews Band