“I want to speak for people who don’t have microphones,” Jacob Hemphill says. “Our goal as a
band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the
limited time we have here.”
This is the philosophy behind SOJA’s music, a simple statement that has driven the Grammy
Nominated D.C. area band, who blend reggae, go-go, D.C. hardcore, Latin, rock and hip-hop.
Originally formed by a group of friends while still in middle school and has built a massive,
dedicated fanbase around the world since. In the years following, SOJA has sold more than
200,000 albums, headlined shows in over 20 countries around the world, generated over 4
million Facebook fans, and over 120 million YouTube views. The band has toured with Dave
Matthews Band, Incubus, 311 and appeared at major festivals including Bonnaroo where they
attract an almost Grateful Dead-like international fan base along the way, with caravans of
diehards following them from city to city. After the release of their 2012 album Strength To
Survive, the musicians started writing material for what would become their fifth full-length
album, “Amid the Noise and Haste.”
For Hemphill, who pens the lyrics, chords and melody, each song starts with an experience:
meeting someone, reading something, experiencing something that seems pertinent to the
human condition. On this album, the songwriter is suggesting that “all of life’s problems, and all
of life’s answers are within us. We’ve been conditioned to accumulate, compete and break others
down around ourselves — not inherent to the human condition, but rather taught. Those things
can be untaught. The real us is in there, somewhere.” All of this is translated into short, sweet
packages of music.
The writing and recording process for Amid the Noise and Haste stretched out over a year and a
half, mostly because the musicians kept finding new collaborators and new ideas along the way.
The aim was to engage as many guest artists as possible, with each working on a song that had a
legitimate connection to them. The album was produced by Supa Dups (Bruno Mars, Eminem,
Rihanna, John Legend) and recorded at Circle House Studios in Miami and Lion & Fox Studios in
Washington D.C. throughout 2013. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley appears on “Your Song,” a buoyant,
hopeful number that asks fans to remind the band why they got into music by singing along, while
“I Believe” brings Michael Franti and Nahko together to offer thoughts on how to control your own
destiny. Collie Buddz, J Boog and Anuhea are also featured on various tracks. “We wanted to bring
together people who would help demonstrate each song,” Jacob says. “We wanted people who
could either relate to or convey the message. The whole album is about the human race relating to
itself and connecting with itself.”
For SOJA, whose live show is an explosion of energy and positivity, music is a means of helping
people relate in a more affirmative way. It also asks people to look inside themselves and really
ask what it is they want to do with their life and how they can be happy. SOJA’s music is about
finding that happiness and peace we all deserve and helping others do the same, something
Amid the Noise and Haste aptly conveys in its songs.
“I put words in my songs that I believe to be true,” Jacob says. “The point of the album is
reconnecting people to the power inside themselves, getting them to fall back in love with life
again. Look around, take a deep breath. All the answers are there.” ❖
iTunes | Amazon | Spotify
Jacob Hemphill (lead vocals, guitar)
Bobby Lee (bass, vocals)
Ryan Berty (drums)
Kenny Bongos (percussion)
Patrick O'Shea (keyboards)
Hellman Escorcia (saxophone)
Rafael Rodriguez (trumpet)
Trevor Young (lead guitar)

J Boog (Jerry Afemata), a reggae singer of Samoan descent was born in Long Beach and raised in Compton, CA. He is the youngest of seven brothers and one sister who come from hard working parents that relentlessly instilled a strong cultured household.

Currently residing back and forth between Hawaii and California, J Boog has been working incessantly since the release of his debut album "Hear Me Roar" (2007). He followed that up with his sophomore album "Backyard Boogie" (2011) which topped the US Billboard Charts and iTunes charts in numerous countries.

J Boog has shared his craft & has toured around the world: Europe, Africa, Dubai, New Zealand, Australia, The US & Japan all have felt the authenticity of J Boog.

Jerry helped pave the way for many Polynesian artists with the help of island music pioneer George "Fiji" Veikoso. The two met in 2005. They immediately clicked and created a sound that opened many doors for the Polynesian community. In 2008, J Boog joined Hawaii/San Francisco based recording & record label, Wash House Music Group Inc. Together they've been on a journey thats most promising with endless limits.

Shortly after that, J Boog teamed up with Yami Bolo & Gramps Morgan of reggaeʻs royal family, Morgan Heritage. They embarked on a journey to have J Boog witness the culture of Jamaican music & history. This being Jerry’s first visit to Jamaica, he was completely overwhelmed & found himself working in historic studios: Bob Marley's "Tuff Gong Studio", Don Corlean's "Hit Maker Studio", Bobby Digitals "Digital B Studio", Shaggy’s "Big Yard Studio" & Sugar Minotts "Youth Man Promotions". All very prestigious recording artists & compounds. He was constantly surrounded by several artists he had been influenced by and many of these artists where featured on his 2011 release Backyard Boogie. Backyard Boogie entertained a wide spectrum of reggae fans, old & new. It gave a variety of roots, r&b, lovers rock and good vibes. Hits included: Let’s Do It Again produced by Don Corleon and Sunshine Girl produced by Gramps Morgan featuring Morgan Heritage front man Peetah Morgan.

The success of Backyard Boogie earned J Boog Best Entertainer Award at the 2012 Irawma Awards held in Chicago, IL. A year later, he dropped a 5 song EP called "Live Up" & a mix-tape collaboration with fashionista powerhouse Diamond Supply Co. His most recent EP "Rose Petals" (2016) peaked the US Billboards & iTunes Charts at #1 & was nominated for Best Reggae Album of the Year at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. It featured hip hop mogul Snoop Dog & six time Grammy Award winner Stephen "Ragga" Marley. The Rose Petals EP was just a little foreplay to what would become his next full length album called "Wash House Ting".

A true student of music; you can catch J Boog on worldwide tours across the globe, on radio interviews or in the studio working on new material. His humility has gained him true fans everywhere he goes while exercising, MUSIC IS THE ONLY UNIVERSAL TONGUE. Stay tuned....

Dustin Thomas

Big hair, big smiles, and a whole lot of love: International globe-trotter Dustin Thomas is making waves from Australia to Moscow with his infectious blend of beat-box/soul folk. Armed with a voice, a guitar and universal anthems of faith, love, and war; this young artist continues to inspire hearts around the world on his mission of music, joy, and peace.



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