SOJA, the internationally acclaimed, two-time GRAMMY-nominated eight-piece from Washington D.C., have released their new single “The Day You Came” ft. UB40 and Rebelution – PRESS HERE to listen and HERE to read American Songwriter’s “first listen.” The intensely personal track is a bittersweet breakup song that perfectly captures the confusion of heartache. “All my love songs are a conglomerate of experiences I’ve had; it’s never about just one person,” says the band’s frontman Jacob Hemphill. “But one thing I always make sure to do is write from the perspective of the woman I was in the relationship with, because to me that’s the way to tell a story that’s bigger than what happened between these two people.” In a particularly meaningful turn for Hemphill, “The Day You Came” finds UB40’s Ali Campbell lending his soothing vocals to the final verse. “Me and my dad used to sing ‘Impossible Love’ by UB40 all the time—we’d sing together at his piano, we’d sing it when we were driving somewhere,” says Hemphill. “Before I even knew Bob Marley, UB40 were my entry point into loving reggae.”
SOJA’s new album, Beauty In The Silence (their first in four years), will be released on September 24th via ATO Records (pre-order available now, and full track listing can be found below). Earlier this summer, the band released the album’s first two singles, “Something To Believe In” ft. Stick Figure and “Press Rewind” ft. Collie Buddz and J Boog which have racked up over 4.5 million streams across DSPs in the weeks since their debut.
Fueled by the sheer force of the band’s connection and chemistry, Beauty in the Silence makes for a much-needed antidote to fractured times, infusing so much warmth and wisdom and unstoppable joy into each and every track. Like 2014’s acclaimed Amid the Noise and Haste (a GRAMMY nominee for Best Reggae Album), the title to Beauty in the Silence references the opening lines of Max Ehrmann’s beloved poem “Desiderata”: Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. “My dad had that poem memorized, and before I’d go out on tour he’d sort of whisper it in my ear,” said Hemphill. “To me it’s a reminder of what we lose when we get caught up in the distractions all around us. You get so used to life being loud and fast and goal-oriented, but then you go out in nature and hear the silence and realize, ‘Damn, I got tricked.’ Life doesn’t have to be all go, go, go. The real key to life is in being still.”
SOJA deliberately took their time in creating Beauty in the Silence as they explored new sonic terrain—recording in such iconic spots as Miami’s Circle House Studios and Dave Matthews Band’s Haunted Hollow, and teaming up with producers like Niko Marzouca (Pharrell, Rick Ross, A$AP Rocky, Damian Marley), Mariano Aponte, and Johnny Cosmic—the band eventually phased into working remotely as stay-at-home orders set in across the country. In that process, lead guitarist Trevor Young (formerly SOJA’s guitar tech) took on a much greater role in the band’s creative direction, co-producing alongside Hemphill and carefully shaping the album’s hypnotic sound.
“I really love that this record is a mix of all of us together in a room and all of us far apart,” said Hemphill. “It’s something that I’d love to keep doing in the future: let’s get together, let’s get the vibe and the groove, and then let’s go off into our own worlds and discover what’s there.” SOJA deepens that communal spirit by collaborating with some of the biggest names from all corners of the reggae world including: UB40, Slightly Stoopid, Stick Figure, Dirty Heads, Rebelution, Common Kings, Mihali, Nanpa Básico, Eli Mac
and more. And while each artist brings their own distinct sensibilities to the mix, all of the guest musicians are deeply aligned with the band’s mission of uplifting the masses.
For more than two decades, SOJA has elated audiences across the globe with their fresh yet timeless take on roots reggae, a sound born from their shared passion for making music that transports and inspires. The band was originally formed by a group of friends while still in middle school and has since built a massive, dedicated global fan base. In the years following, SOJA has headlined shows in over 30 countries around the world, generated 7 million social media fans and more than 1 billion streams.
Beauty In The Silence Track Listing:
1. Press Rewind (ft. Collie Buddz and J Boog)
2. It’s Funny (ft. Eli Mac and Common Kings)
3. The Day You Came (ft. Rebelution and UB40)
4. Break It Down
5. Something To Believe In (ft. Stick Figure)
6. Things You Can’t Control
7. Back To The Start (ft. Mihali)
8. Jump (ft. Slightly Stoopid)
9. Still You
11. Reason To Live (ft. Nanpa Básico and Dirty Heads)
12. This Heart Of Mine (ft. Eric Swanson)
13. Fall Like Rain