Photo Caption: Younique Stars
Photo Courtesy of 2:AM Photography.
If you live in Salisbury, you would know there is definitely a buzz around a certain young woman by the name of Destiny Stone and rightfully so! She has earned a permanent spot in the hearts of many with her talented and anointed voice. The recent graduate of Catawba College is originally from Holly Springs, Miss. While attending Catawba, she blessed many of us with her soulful sounds. Music is her passion.
“Pretty much anything to do with music and the African American culture, makes me excited,” says Destiny. Her entrepreneurial spirit has been around for as long as she has been a musician. In addition to writing her own songs and playing the guitar and piano, she is also an elementary music teacher and teaches private piano and voice lessons.
I first heard her play at Livingstone College at a black-tie event organized by the Gemstone & Compass Leadership Academy. The academy helps local African American middle and high school boys and girls through mentoring and community service.
I was blown away by Destiny’s voice and was in awe of the sheer power yet tenderness of her singing. This is not just a blog about her singing; this is about Destiny using her gift to uplift the African American community that is in Rowan County. Destiny states her mission is “to empower women, challenge the negativity of colorism, and celebrate our accomplishments and culture.”
Hey Black Girl!
On June 22, she held a festival called Hey Black Girl! It was free to attend and was inspired by her hit song, “Black Girl,” which is played on local radio stations. When asked what inspired her to create the festival, Destiny said, “I just wanted to create a space that embodies the message and vibes of the song. I am also always looking for creative ways to expose people to my music and hopefully gain new fans. So, I figured since I had gone to college in Salisbury for four years and developed relationships and networked, it would be a perfect place for me to host the festival.”
Salisbury native, Liberty Brown, who attended the festival with her youngest daughter says, “I have been in Salisbury all of my life and I cannot recall an event that was centered toward celebrating black girls.” She goes on to explain how she came across the event on Facebook and knew instantly she had to be a part of history. She reminisces on a few things that stood out to her including “1) the Triple Threat Dance Team tapping to Lauryn Hill, 2) Younique Stars’ attire as an homage to the Black Panthers, and 3) Black fathers supporting their daughters on the dance teams”. Brown ends with her final thoughts on the festival, “A group of young girls strutted the brick runway, illustrating their vision for their future selves with the rain pouring, like a confirmation! It was a beautiful experience to say the least.”
Meika and Austin Imes of 2:AM Photography captured breathtaking moments at the festival. “We applaud the visionary of the Hey Black Girl Festival, Ms. Destiny Stone, and all of those that helped bring her vision to life. It definitely had a positive impact on our community; uplifting young black girls, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents, and encouraging them to embrace the skin they are in! It was also a great opportunity for small business owners to network and show the community all they have to offer,” applauds The Imes.
Attendees were captivated by various artistic performers. It was empowering and a joy to see so many smiling faces. Over 300 people attended, and even more are expected next year as the organizers are already eagerly planning.
Destiny thanked Devora Neely, Mr. Neely, and her boyfriend, Daniel King, who graciously helped plan and execute the event.
In regards to future festivals, Density has big dreams! “The goal is to eventually have it as big as the Cheerwine Festival that takes place in Downtown Salisbury. I envision generations of black girls and women coming from all over the place to gather and celebrate.” she hopes.
You’ll next find Destiny performing at the Princess Party, for “princesses” ages 3-9, on Saturday, July 13, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Destiny dresses as Disney’s Princess Tiana and sings, plays games, and entertains children. This fit-for-a-princess event will be held at Triple Threat Dance and Charm Studio, located at 129 W. Corriher Ave., Salisbury, NC. The children will play games, do crafts, and participate in a dance party and sing-a-long with Princess Tiana. Each “princess” will enjoy snacks from the bayou and experience the festiveness of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebration portrayed in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. The Princess Party is $15 per princess. Tickets are available on Eventbrite here.
Destiny will be spotlighted at the upcoming RAW showcase at The Fillmore in Charlotte, NC on August 21, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Show your support by purchasing tickets and learning more about this showcase for independent artists here.
Stay connected to all the inspiring things Destiny is bringing to Rowan County by following her on Facebook at Destiny Stone Music, on Instagram @destiny_d_stone, or through her website here.
Rowan County loves to embrace its diversity. We believe that teaching children love, culture and acceptance at a young age is the core of positive change. If you like this article you should see how South Rowan High is Mixing Things Up! The club has plans to do more service projects in the South Rowan area and to increase their knowledge about other cultures.