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For the city, see Sōja, Okayama.
Origin Arlington, Virginia, United States
Genres Reggae
Years active 1997–present
Labels ATO Records, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Members Jacob Hemphill
Ryan "Byrd" Berty
Bobby Lee
Ken Brownell
Patrick O'Shea
Hellman Escorcia
Rafael Rodriguez
Trevor Young
Past members Bob Jefferson

SOJA, formerly known as Soldiers of Jah Army,[1][2][3] is a band based in Arlington, Virginia in the Northern Virginia / Washington D.C. area. Starting as an active band in 1997, their music is produced under the ATO Records record label.


Formation and early years[edit]

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 IMF resident representative in Monrovia, Liberia.[4] He and Jefferson then met Ryan Berty (drums), Patrick O'Shea (keyboards), and Ken Brownell (percussion) in middle and high school.[4]

After forming SOJA in 1997, they recorded their first album, the self-titled Soldiers of Jah Army, independently with sound engineer Jim Fox at LION and FOX Recording Studios in 2000. 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.

In 2006, the band released Get Wiser, their second full-length album. It debuted in the Top 10 Reggae Albums on iTunes and has remained in the top 100 since its release. 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.

In January 2008, they released an EP titled, Stars and Stripes. 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.

Breakout and current years[edit]

SOJA released their third full-length album Born in Babylon on August 21, 2009.

The band released their latest album Strength to Survive on January 31, 2012; It sold over 50,000 copies, and topped the Billboard Reggae Album Chart.[4]

Trevor Young, formerly SOJA's Guitar Tech, became Lead Guitar and Backup Vocals in late 2011.[citation needed]

The album Amid the Noise and the Haste is due to be released in August 2014.[5]

Band members[edit]



Studio albums[edit]

Studio albums by SOJA
Year Album title Release details Chart peaks[6] 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


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


Incomplete list of songs by SOJA
Year Song title Album Notes
2009 "I Don't Wanna Wait"[7] Born in Babylon
2010 "I Tried (Don Corleon Remix)" (feat. Gentleman)[8] 1 track single
2012 "Not Done Yet"[9]
"Everything Changes" (feat. Falcão)[10]
2013 "F**k Your System (Jr Blender Mentality RMX)" (feat. J Boog)[11]
"She Still Loves Me" (feat. Collie Buddz)[12]
"Tell Me" (Jr Blender RMX feat. Richie Campbell)[13]
2014 "I Believe" (feat. Michael Franti and Nahko)[14]
"Your Song" (feat. Damian Marley) Promo single/
Amid The Noise and Haste


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[edit]

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


  1. ^ "Top Albums by Soldiers of Jah Army". Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Soldiers of Jah Army". iTunes Store. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Soldiers of Jah Army". AllMusic. Retrieved June 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c Jackson, Kevin (2013) "Band SOJA marches on", Jamaica Observer, 24 May 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013
  5. ^ Gomez, Adrian (2014) "A call for unity: SOJA’s reggae is all about that", Albuquerque Journal, July 4, 2014. Retrieved July 4, 2014
  6. ^ "SOJA". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  7. ^ ""I Don't Wanna Wait" by SOJA". iTunes. 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  8. ^ ""I Tried (Don Corleon Remix)" by SOJA". iTunes. 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  9. ^ ""Not Done Yet" by SOJA". iTunes. 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  10. ^ ""Everything Changes" by SOJA". iTunes. 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  11. ^ ""F**k Your System" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  12. ^ ""She Still Loves Me" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  13. ^ ""Tell Me" by SOJA". iTunes. 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  14. ^ ""I Believe" by SOJA". iTunes. 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 

External links[edit]