Currently, in the midst of their first headlining tour in five years, American reggae favorites SOJA just dropped their first single since the release of their 2021 Grammy award-winning album, “Beauty in the Silence”. What could follow up such a perfectly phenomenal album? Well, hopefully this new release is a little sneak peek of the magic we can expect in the future. Titled “Nothing Lasts Forever,” this track features Trish Jetton of Hirie, one of the greatest female vocalists in our scene.
With the two acts on the same bill for this current tour, fans have been treated to the live version of this song at each show. I just got to witness this at both the New York City and Philadelphia shows and I can say, it is really something special! Seeing a song played live with the original feature artist is always an electrifying experience. It is something you cross your fingers and hope will happen at festivals where so many of our favorite artists have collaborations on each other’s albums. When a moment you were hoping would happen, doesn’t, it’s a little disappointing. However, when it does happen, it’s EVERYTHING. I can tell you, this live collaboration is making fans’ dreams come true every night.
I got to catch up with Trevor Young, guitar and vocals for SOJA, to talk about this newest release.
On the writing process, Trevor says the band’s own manager, Elliott Harrington, had a hand in this song. “Elliott wrote the pre-chorus and chorus, and then I made the music, along with Christopher Cope. Then Jacob wrote his verse, and a songwriter friend from Nashville wrote the verse for Hirie.”
Elliot told us, “We’ve never done a song like this before. Musically… it’s a mix of doo-wop and reggae. Lyrically… it’s a love story, and a reminder that no matter how much we love, eventually there will come a time to say goodbye, for one reason or another. Time is fleeting. And as sad as that may be, that’s what makes love so beautiful. And motivating. Love all you can, while you can, because nothing lasts forever. We collaborated with Hawaii’s own Hirie. An incredible songstress whose contribution to this song we could not be more happy with. Her vocals are absolutely breathtaking and it was an absolute pleasure working with her. We hope everyone enjoys this song as much as we do.”
Discussing the sound of “Nothing Lasts Forever” Trevor goes on, “So the song has a 50s/60s doo-wop sound mixed with modern reggae which transitions for Jake’s verse and keeps a mix of the two throughout the song.”
Trevor continues, “My favorite part is the overall vibe and the instrumentation. I also really love the solo and Hirie’s verse. Speaking of Hirie, she has been performing it every night and been crushing it. That part is really high, but she always kills it.”
Trevor sings the chorus with Jacob Hemphill and Hirie each taking a verse. It’s got that upbeat, feel-good vibe we have come to expect from SOJA in the more recent years, straying from the earlier politically charged songs. They can clearly pull off either mood, and have been playing a lot of their old favorites on this current tour that fans have not seen as set list regulars while the band has been performing as festival or supporting acts. In the mix are recent fan favorites “Jump,” “Reason to Live,” and Trevor Young led “Things you Can’t Control” that SOJA now plays regularly. New to their set was a powerfully moving version of “Fall Like Rain,” played after Jacob gave a touching speech about what this song meant to him. This was a moment that had the crowd, and Jacob himself, fighting back tears; definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
There is not much that can top a great collaboration though, and “Nothing Lasts Forever” has undoubtedly been a tour highlight for both the band and the fans. You can find this song on all streaming platforms and even catch the incredible live version on one of the remaining tour dates.