The Evolution of Ajeva
"Not only are the guys a powerhouse of excitement on stage, they are just as colorfully entertaining in a casual setting. Get to know Reed Skahill (lead Vox/Guitar), Skyler Golden (lead Guitar), Mark Mayea (lead Keys), Taylor Gilchrist (bass) and Travis Young (drums) in this candid interview which could easily be turned into a reality t.v. show about the life of musicians on the road."
Taylor started playing music at an early age. He first began music classes in school during the 4th grade and continued his musical journey on the trombone. After a few years in concert band classes, he took up the guitar in 6th grade and soon after found his home on the bass guitar. Throughout middle and high school he was a part of jazz band, concert band, and marching band. He later completed his formal education receiving a Associates degree in Bass Performance from Saint Petersburg College.
After graduating high school and attending college, Taylor began playing with a variety of local acts ranging from Reggae to Jazz Fusion. He also works frequently as a session musician with various studios/artists in the Tampa Bay Area, and has been a member of Ajeva since 2013.
Travis began exploring music in 2003. In his early years of grade school Travis decided to join the concert band. As he continued into his latter years of grade school, Travis continued to expand his musical niche by leading the concert and marching bands as the drum captain. After the conclusion of grade school, Travis realized that there was something missing. He didn’t have the routine of incorporating music into his daily life through band. Travis’s mother bought him his first drum set in 2010. Travis notes, “I owe it all to my mother for being such a positive role model and encouraging me to continue with my music whole heartedly.”
Through the years after grade school Travis played in different genres of music until he found his own sound. Travis has settled in to two different bands Ajeva (2012) and TRC (2013) which he brings his own touch of funk-fueled dance rhythms that will keep you grooving all night. When asked what music means to Travis he stated that, “Music is a universal language. It has been given to us as a gift to help heal our people and this earth. I strive to make positive music that will uplift our people and bring us together as one”
Mark was first introduced to music at a young age. When he was 5 years old, his parents got him a toy piano. Soon after, they noticed him playing back the songs from his favorites TV shows and enrolled him in private lessons. Mark spent his adolescence moving school to school and continued his classical training through private lessons. He attended a high school for the performing arts where he expanded his abilities, participating in musicals, the choir, and other activities. When he was 17 years old, he began playing in a local church and became acquainted with the Organ.
After a few years of playing in his local scene and working for the church, Mark attended Orange Blossom Jamboree, where he met Ajeva. Soon after, he moved to St. Petersburg, FL, and was asked to become a part of the band. Mark has helped evolve the band’s sound and push its members to new heights. Mark has been featured as an “Artist at Large” at a few of the Florida festivals and can be seen playing around frequently.
Ajeva is currently in the studio working on their 4th album.
- Evolve (2016)
- Let's Do It... Try It (2014)
- Bombthreat Loaches (2013)
Fool’s Paradise – Spotlight On Florida Talent
"First up on Saturday at 1pm is Ajeva. This six-piece group based out of St. Petersburg has been crushing sets all over Florida and beyond for a while now."
Skyler started playing music when he was 12 years old. His mom bought him a guitar and it was love at first sight. He took lessons for classical guitar soon after continuing his journey through high school. After graduating he was a part of The Grammy Museum Music Revolution project where he worked with bassist, Blair Bryant and executive producer Bob Santelli. Skyler met the band through mutual friends while still in high school and was featured as a soloist on many occasions. It wasn’t until a few years later, after he graduated, that he was asked to be a part of the band. Skyler’s guitar playing brings a ferocity to the band akin with the likes of Jimmy Hendrix and David Gilmour.
MEET THE BAND
Ajeva is On the Rise with New Album ‘Evolve’
"A year ago, a feature about Ajeva, the funk band from Gulfport, would have been about a quartet of young men who believed in their musical vision enough to live and work together toward that goal. They were an excellent four-piece band.
And then they decided to ‘evolve’ to a sextet — with superb results — last summer, and since then they have been playing awesome shows all over Florida for fans who cannot help but get caught up in the tidal wave of rock, soul, reggae, fusion… and funk."
Vocalist and Multiple instrumentalist Reed Skahill began his musical career by playing piano by ear at the young age of 7. He would hear a song on the radio or television and would proceed to tap it out on an old Steinway piano in his familys home. Self taught and determined to expand his sound Reed picked up a Synosonic electric guitar at the age of 14. At the age of 25 Reed continues to compose and will soon release the 9th album he has been a part of.
Ajeva (pronounced a-jay-vuh and translated as ‘One Soul’) is a progressive funk powerhouse from Saint Petersburg, FL. The band was formed in March of 2013 by Reed Skahill(Vocals/Guitar), Travis Young(Drums), Taylor Gilchrist(Bass Guitar), and Dean Arscott(Percussion). The band released their first album, “Bombthreat Loaches” soon after in September of 2013. The band spent much of 2014 playing around Florida and the Southeast. Later that year they released their second album, “Let’s Do It... Try It”. The band continued playing around the Southeast as much as they could and kept growing their sound.
In February Ajeva began production on their concept album, “Evolve”. This album is composed of two 20-minute sections that are meant to be listened to whole. The first half is the four piece band and the second half is the band with various artists from the “Hometeam” family. While production was happening on the album two members were added to the Ajeva Family. Long time friend, Skyler Golden(Lead Guitar) and new ally Mark Mayea(Keyboards) joined the band in September of 2015. Ajeva released Evolve in February of 2016 and continued to grow their sound with the new stacked line up!
The beginning of 2017 brought more changes to the band. Dean stepped down from his position in the band to pursue other avenues of art and professional sand sculpting. The band wishes him all the happiness and success in the world. With this change in lineup the band has continued working on new music and plans to begin recording their 3rd album in May/June.
You can find Ajeva on Spotify, Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook, but most importantly you can check out their high energy, infectious grooves LIVE in a town near you! We love you and look forward to seeing you around the universe!