Villanova is home to a wide variety of music-based groups and organizations, both formally and informally organized. The Villanova Band is home to many musicians at Villanova, while groups like the Spires and Vocal Minority provide vocal-based opportunities for students. However, informal bands have also sprung up on campus in recent years, Vasey Hall being one of the most prominent groups.
Now, The Bajas, Villanova’s newest home-grown band, are ready to make a name for themselves and bring their music to the masses. Senior Madison Barella plays the piano and provides vocals for the band, junior Chris D’Amico provides the percussion, junior Grant McGhee adds additional piano, and both McGhee and junior Danny De Graff contribute guitar to round out the band.
The band’s inception came from De Graff and McGhee’s jam sessions in Sullivan Hall last year. After determining that they had compatible playing styles, the pair added D’Amico. Then, after discovering Barella’s musical aspirations while at the John Mulaney performance this past September, De Graff invited Barella to a jam session, who then committed to the band full-time shortly after.
De Graff set the band’s aspirations as improving on a music level and adding music for the general Villanova student body population. “Our main goals are to get better, create fun atmospheres for other people and have fun ourselves. In the end of the day, we all have natural talents and we click and this creates a creative and unique sound that we want to share with the public. We hope to increase the amount of shows that we play and eventually reach into the greater Philadelphia area to play shows,” De Graff said.
As for the band’s playing style, The Bajas don’t want to label the genre, calling the style of music “their music.” The band has already brought this music to campus as well, with The Bajas’ first performance on campus taking place in the Commons. The closed show took place in front of a crowd of 30, De Graff describing the performance as “basically like a Tiny Desk concert.”
The band is taking additional steps to build their audience though, including branching out into the public sphere through an Instagram page that features content from the concert. With this page, the band hopes to gain recognition from audiences at Villanova, but also music fans off campus.
With the rest of the school year wide open for The Bajas, the band has already begun to set additional goals to make the biggest impact they possibly can, aiming to play additional shows at more venues.
“We hope to play at bars and other music venues around the area as well as in the city of Philadelphia,” De Graff said. “This will allow us to gain a following and perform on a broader scale. There’s something electrifying about performing in front of people. Plus, we get to showcase our music as well.”