Reggae artist J Boog brought loud bass lines and island style to Cal Poly during University Union (UU) Hour in the UU Plaza on Thursday to promote his newest album.
The journey to San Luis Obispo wasn’t easy for J Boog and his DJ, Jah Wzer. The two took a flight from Hawaii to Oakland, then traveled by car to Cal Poly, arriving at 4 a.m.
“Oh man, the trip was exhausting,” J Boog said. “The rain put a damper on things, but I am glad it cleared up for us to come out.”
J Boog just finished his Backyard Boogie Tour to promote his new album titled “Backyard Boogie.” The album was released last year, and has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Reggae Music Charts.
J Boog, born Jerry Afemata, has not always sung reggae, though. His musical talent was obvious at a young age when J Boog sang Whitney Houston’s “One Moment In Time,” per request of his sister and mother at a family reunion for more than 200 people, according to ReverbNation.
From then on, J Boog knew he wanted to make music. In 2005, J Boog met Polynesian reggae artist George “Fiji” Veikoso and started working with him to focus J Boog’s sound and style, J Boog said. A few years later, he released his debate album “Hear Me Roar.”
In 2008, he began working with reggae musician Gramps Morgan of Morgan Heritage. This is where J Boog started to mix his Jamaican reggae style with his island influences. Then he started climbing the Billboard Music Charts and touring worldwide.
His popularity was obvious on Thursday, as a large crowd of students gathered while J Boog walked down the steps of the UU singing and high-fiving the crowd.
Excited to see J Boog, biological sciences sophomore Sarah Powell decided to climb on stage and dance with J Boog. Unfortunately, security escorted her back to crowd, but she was full of smiles as she danced back toward her friends.
“It was a really good show,” Powell said. “I was feeling the music, and getting on stage to dance with J Boog seemed like the right thing to do.”
J Boog showed the crowd love by throwing out free T-shirts and CDs, then stayed after the show to take photographs with fans, autograph CDs, shirts and even one student’s arm.
“This was a great show,” J Boog said. “Great vibes. Great crowd. All around good time.”
Shortly after his performance, J Boog and Jah Wzer got back to their car and headed back to Oakland. From there, they said they planned to fly back to Hawaii and perform for the University of Hawaii. Meaning J Boog made a day trip to California just to play for Cal Poly, and having popular musicians come to campus is a major goal that Musical Entertainment Supervisor at ASI Events Leif Garrovillas is working on for this quarter’s UU Hour.
“We want to get good artists that people like at UU hour,” Garrovillas said. “We have Top Shelf coming on May 3, and we will have Hieroglyphics on May 24. They should be a very popular shows.”
Editor’s note: This article originally stated that J Boog’s birth name was Jarell Damonte Houston, but it is actually Jerry Afemata. The article has been updated to reflect the changes.