Foundation Room at House of Blues
SOJA with Footwerk and Sophistafunk
Jacob Hemphill (lead vocals & guitar) met Bobby Lee (bass) in the first grade in Virginia, shortly after Jacob returned from living in Africa with his family. The two instantly became best friends, and in middle school found a common love for hip hop, rock and reggae music. Throughout middle and high school, they met Ryan Berty (drums), Patrick O'Shea (keyboards) and Kenneth Brownell (percussion). Together they formed SOJA. In the formative years the band gigged locally in the DC area while a couple of the guys finished school. All the while making plans to hit the road after graduation...
In 2005 the band hit the road... and they hit the road hard. Often dubbed "road warriors", SOJA has brought their unique sound and stage show to nearly every city in North America, as well as many cities throughout Europe, South America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean. While touring in Puerto Rico the band linked up with sax player Hellman Escorcia & trumpet player Rafael Rodriguez. These two exceptional musicians earned their position as SOJA's mainstay horn section by helping further develop the band's eclectic sound.
With no signs of slowing down, SOJA is planning a world tour for 2011/2012 in support of their upcoming album release. It's all about the message in the music for this band. "People think we write music about the earth for the earth's sake, but it’s not really like that. If we harm the earth, it will reject us. For all we know, it’s happened one hundred times before. This place gets too hot, that's it. Reset button. That's why I sing what I sing - to pull us all in the same direction, the same future. Without that, were finished (Jacob Hemphill)."
There is no doubt about it. This band is on the forefront of a Revolution with hopes to bring about positive change: environmentally, politically and socially. "Maybe we need to WANT to fix it. Maybe stop talking, maybe start listening. Maybe we need to look at this world less like a square and more like a circle. Maybe just maybe God's not unfair, maybe we're all his kids and he's up there. Maybe he loves us for all our races, maybe he hates us when we're all so racist. Maybe he sees us, when we don’t care, that its heaven right here, but its hell over there. Then maybe the meek will inherit this earth, because it was written before... so..." Everything Changes - SOJA.
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