Destin has long inspired artists from painters to musicians, and while the white sandy beaches have been sung about before in the country genre, local hip hop group The Strangers have brought a fresh sound to the area with their recent song, “Destin.”
“Destin is such a beautiful secret,” said group songwriter Kevin Price. “I thought, maybe if I write a cool enough song, instead of touring around, it will make everyone else come to us.”
The song, which launched in May, employs a slow lyrical free-styling throughout the verses to paint a picture of the Destin area.
“With the white sandy beaches, every day is like a weekend, people stay right here just to try to get a peek in,” a voice raps throughout one verse.
Next comes a layered melodic chorus with both male and female vocalists belting; “Miami’s cool, but I’d rather live in Destin.”
Finally, as the beat slows down at the end of the song, the group’s true message speaks out, “Paradise is right in front of you.”
The song “Destin” is on The Strangers' newest album titled #Iamdjdeezy, which is available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and other online music streaming sites.
Price explained that The Strangers are an ever-evolving group of local artists in the Destin area that come together to produce hip hop music. The group currently has seven musicians and two DJs, including local radio personality Devin Anderson of Q92.1, who goes by stage name DJ Deezy.
Group members on the track include Marcus “Obliq” Leslie, engineer of the song, and vocals by Chase Carter, Demetrius “Mechee” Robinson, Davy Macon and Stephanie Soul.
Leslie said that he met Price in college and subsequently was one of the first members of The Strangers. The pair moved to the Destin area from Kentucky in 2012 after a personal tragedy.
“We used to be a trio, but our friend and brother was shot and killed in a home invasion,” Leslie said. “We came down here for a fresh start, to rebuild. When we moved down here we were homeless, but we knew what we wanted to do.
"With The Strangers what we want to let people know is that if you push through your fear and get past that, everything happens once you push through that fear," he added. "It helps to do it with someone too.”
The Strangers recently met at the Q92.1 radio station to film a music video for the song “Destin.” The idea for the video was to show a flash mob demanding that DJ Deezy play their song on the radio, then once successful, continue the party in iconic spots around Destin, such as Norriego Point and the Emerald Grande.
“We are going to release the music video to come out and get some buzz by spring break,” Price said. “Our plan is to have people driving down here singing our song already. We want this to be the theme song of Okaloosa County.”
Although the song “Destin” focuses on adult themes and the night-life of Destin – mentioning AJ’s Seafood and Oyster Bar, Duck, Duck and the Red Door Saloon – Price said he hopes to bring new appreciation for both the hip-hop style of music and the Destin area.
“We are hoping to get it national,” Price said. “Hopefully, this song does a lot for the area at large.”