AJ attended a performing arts school where he studied music, drama, and dance. His experiences and education at this school influenced who he is as a performer. AJ was also a student of multiple instruments including drums, steel drums, and saxophone. In his quest for “the sound” AJ would later discover his passion for the steel guitar-a love that would carry him on a never-ending journey. AJ’s introduction to the instrument came from a decade of stories spoken by members and witnesses from the church his great uncle, grandfather, and father played in for many years. His forefathers and great uncle were considered Masters of the steel guitar and they all introduced a unique approach to the instrument which rendered an incomparable sound. “It’s like I was birthed into a family of kings, and chosen to one day take the throne,” says AJ. These steel guitar masters were celebrities in the church and everyone loved them. This particular church, named ‘’The House Of God’’ was known for its distinctive praise and worship style driven by the steel guitar as its lead instrument.
AJ later attended these same services following the footsteps before him. “I had to play,” he says. Unlike many, AJ taught and trained himself on how to play the steel guitar. His mother and father divorced when he was very young, demanding him to learn this craft on his own. “My father and I didn’t have much of a relationship, I worked really hard to make up for his absence,” says AJ. “The steel guitar is not the easiest instrument to learn on your own, and I struggled at first; but it wasn’t long before I got the hang of it. I think the fact that it was “in my blood” helped me tremendously.”
By the age of 18, AJ had rapidly transformed into an artist influenced by the sounds surrounding him, adopting multiple styles into his playing. “Overall I’m a soulful kind of guy although I tend to blend other sounds into my playing.” Playing the steel guitar alone wasn’t enough for AJ. He had a other loves which included singing, free-styling, dancing, and writing. Every one of the above mentioned components can somewhat define AJ, and can be seen through his presence on stage giving all listening ears an indescribable feeling of what has been described by some as a melodic high.”My shows aren’t too crazy,” says AJ. Most people probably won’t even realize what they experienced until after the show,” he continues.
AJ makes it clear that the only genre he can truly claim and aim for are the heart and soul. He recognizes that in the world of music like every other industry, things get very political very fast. “I’ve learned to except and understand that I will probably never fit in, and that’s something I’m OK with,” says AJ.
AJ is unpredictable and always delivers. How a sound, song, or thought comes to his head is how he likes to capture it.This will be manifested through the AJ Ghent Band’s latest EP, ‘’Elevator Love’’.The EP is set to be released later this year. AJ’s music speaks on love, life, relationships, changes, hardship and trouble and through it all, he aspires to inspire.
AJ Ghent constructs an indie-rock sound howling from the church to the blues. His style can be defined as fresh, nostalgic, electrifying and rootsy, — fusing the sounds of blues, funk, r & b, hip-hop and more into a genre he likes to call, NEO BLUES. Ghent is often compared to a mix of Lenny Kravitz, Prince and James Brown.
AJ is a direct descendent of “sacred steel” legends and creators. His great uncle Willie Eason introduced the lap steel guitar to AJ’s home church in the early 1900′s, his grandfather, Henry Nelson played with Mahalia Jackson, and Sis. Rosetta Tharpe; and his father Aubrey Ghent tours the world playing lap steel with the Slide Brothers.
AJ Ghent [ j-ent ] was hand picked by Zac Brown to open on the Zac Brown Band’s 2013 U.S. tour and AJ performed on the Grohl Sessions Vol. 1. Additionally, AJ has been a member and front man of Col. Bruce Hampton’s band in the past, and has played alongside Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers.
Visit Them Online at http://www.ajghentband.com/