The reggae singer is back after a few years with a new album, “Wash House Ting,” which was released in November.
“We took our time with this album,” he says during a recent phone interview. “Everything just felt right. From the writing process to getting on tour, it’s all blended nicely.”
Afemata is known by his stage name, J Boog. For the better part of a decade, he has toured the world spreading a positive message through his reggae-inspired music.
Steeped in Samoan culture and the son of a Samoan chief, he says his large family has had a huge impact on his artistry. He is the youngest of seven brothers and one sister.
He credits his sister with being one of his earliest musical influences. She played piano and he began to sing along when she brought home a Bob Marley songbook.
He says each sibling offered exposure to other genres, such as rap and R&B, which allowed a sense of freedom to be himself.
“I have many positive influences in my life,” he says. “Each one of them shows through my music. I’m about sending the right message across and making a difference.”
Although touring can wear one down, Afemata says it’s the fans who make all of the travel and sleepless nights worth it.
“I’ve never realized the power of music on others until I began touring,” he says. “When I’m writing a song, I try to make it the best song I can. Then I go out and sing it for an audience. I’m blown away when the fans give me their reasons on why and how they connected to my music. It’s a special bond to have with people.”
With the new album out and a couple months for fans to bond with the songs, Afemata is embarking on a national tour.
He’s excited for the tour because it’s a chance to showcase the material he’s been working on.
“We haven’t quite figured out the set list yet,” he says. “We’ve all just arrived in Los Angeles and have a few days before the tour begins. There is so much optimism surrounding the new album and tour. It’s great to be starting the new year like this. And I can’t wait to get on the road and simply perform.”