Soja, SensaMotion and Iya Terra Bring Mellow Reggae Sounds To The Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival Check Out Photos From Each Of Their Performances On Blurred Culture
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ-
“… Soja is a very interesting musical group that works within a reggae style framework, but incorporates other influences like R&B & funk to deliver their trademark sound. One thing I really like about this band is their clean, technical instrumentals specifically the integration of percussion and horns which serve to punctuate their musical sound. This band seems to take no shortcuts in the creative department and that would include their lyrics, which can be anywhere from deep and meaningful, to love songs and ballads all the way to songs about social justice. Soja’s music is very relatable, inciting thought and reflection through interpretation. Soja is Jacob Hemphill on guitar and lead vocals, Bob Lee on bass, Pat O’Shea on keys, Ryan Berty on drums, Ken Brownell on percussions, Hellman Escorcia on sax, Rafael Rodriguez on trumpet and Trevor Young on guitar and vocals. Soja’s latest album Poetry in Motion dropped in 2017 via ATO Records.
Soja came in hot, starting the show with “I Don’t Wanna Wait” off the bands 2009 album Born in Babylon, the combination of horns and off beat reggae rhythm compelling the crowd to dance and sing along. I don’t think reggae music gets taken as seriously as it really should, and while I agree it’s not mainstream music, it’s delivery can be a thing of extreme creative beauty. This music (Soja’s) has the ability to connect with people on a truly personal and almost spiritual level not often found in other musical styles.
Soja played a great set of their classics, but also included a few more recent songs for the chill but still energetic crowd. A few high points for me were “Here I Am,” Everything Changes,” and “When We Were Younger” an emotionally moving song that can’t help but trigger intense contemplation.
The opening artist for this set were SensaMotion and Iya Terra who are currently on tour with Soja. Both bands did a commendable job of getting the crowd in the mood for an afternoon of smooth reggae sounds…”