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For the city, see Sōja, Okayama.
SOJA Press-Image 2013.jpg
SOJA in 2013
Top: Hellman Escorcia, Ryan Berty, Ken Brownell
Bottom: Jacob Hemphill, Rafael Rodriguez, Patrick O'Shea, Bob Jefferson
Background information
Origin Arlington, Virginia, United States
Genres Reggae
Years active 1997–present
Labels ATO Records, MapleMusic Recordings (Canada)
Members Jacob Hemphill
Bob Jefferson
Ryan "Byrd" Berty
Ken Brownell
Patrick O'Shea
Hellman Escorcia
Rafael Rodriguez
Trevor Young

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, 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.

Band members[edit]






  • "I Don't Wanna Wait" (2009)[5]
  • "I Tried (Don Corleon Remix) [feat. Gentleman]" (2010)[6]
  • "Not Done Yet" (2012)[7]
  • "Everything Changes (feat. Falcão)" (2012)[8]
  • "F**k Your System (Jr Blender Mentality RMX) [feat. J Boog]" (2013) [9]
  • "She Still Loves Me (feat. Collie Buddz)" (2013)[10]
  • "Tell Me (Jr Blender RMX feat. Richie Campbell)" (2013) [11]



External links[edit]