Lead Singer of America’s Top Reggae Band Chats About His Ambition To Follow Bob Marley’s Footsteps
Tonight in D.C. SOJA will celebrate the release of their latest album, Amid the Noise and Haste. The band has developed a massive international following since being founded in Arlington, Virginia 1997. During a recent pass through NYC, SOJA lead vocalist Jacob Hemphill chatted with Rob Kenner about how he and his friends fell in love with reggae and decided to start what’s become one of the biggest reggae bands in the world. “When I was a kid I grew up in Africa,” he says. Based on his observations there, he says, “I thought black people are happier than white people.” Eventually he came to a larger realization: “Life is not about accumulating crap.” Instead of doing “the reggae move” (“girl song, weed song, etc”) he decided to “do the Bob Marley” and try to change the world. “If I squander this opportunity,” he says, “that’ll be the biggest mistake of my life.” The new album—whose thought-provoking title is taken from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata—was produced in conjunction with dancehall selector turned pop hit maker Supa Dups, and includes features from Damian Marley, J Boog, and Michael Franti among others. Hemphill says he sees SOJA as distinct from the “California Roots” movement, and speaks of an ambition to be bigger than the genre of reggae, not unlike Bob Marley. Speaking about the group’s perception in Jamaica and the rest of the world, Hemphill said “We haven’t been [to Jamaica yet],” he says, “but those guys have so much love for us.” He also speaks on his sense of mission. “If they shoot me, it’s gonna be 20 times bigger than it ever was before they shot me… If I was to die tomorrow, at least I got to do this tonight.” Video After The Jump…
Part 1 of 3: “When I was a kid I grew up in Africa” Part 2 of 3: “We idolized Bob Marley” Part 3 of 3: “Jamaica has so much love for us” Stream & pre-order SOJA’s new album Subscribe to Boomshots TV Follow @Boomshots
Great interview! Really puts a clear picture behind SOJA music. Spreading the positive message.
DVD in BRAZIL !!!!!!!!!!