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Published: 2011/12/08

SOJA Signs to ATO, Sets 2012 Dates

Washington, DC’s SOJA have signed to ATO and will release their next studio album Strength To Survive on January 31. SOJA will support the album with an extended tour scheduled to kick off at the Kaka’ako Waterfront Park Amphitheater in Honolulu on January 21. The tour is slated to come to a close at San Diego, CA’s House of Blues on March 11. Strength To Survive, was produced by John Alagia, who has helped polish acts like Dave Matthews, John Mayer and O.A.R.

SOJA lead singer Jacob Hemphill says Strength To Survive was greatly inspired by Bob Marley’s Survival . “That’s the greatest reggae album ever made,” he says. “Marley wrote that album after he went to Africa, and I lived in Africa when I was a kid. I remember listening to that album for the first time and having all these long-forgotten memories unleashed. My dad was an IMF res rep [International Monetary Fund resident representative] in Liberia in the early ’80s, and I remember the coup happening and our family hiding in these iron bathtubs for three days straight, because the military was shooting at everything. I was seven years old. So Africa was always a big part of our lives—it defined our family, in a way. Music came right after that, so, for me, music was always tied to Africa and music was always something powerful.” The band will also play two big hometown shows at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club on May 18 and 19.

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