Destiny Frasqeri has a protean stage name. In the past two years, she’s performed as Wavy Spice and Princess Nokia. To those, add a third: her own. “Orange Blossom” is the second video under the “Destiny” moniker, so that it spins a narrative about personal identity is fitting.
“Orange Blossom” moves along several harmonizing trajectories. Over a handgame rhyme, the video vacillates between VHS-tinged, nostalgically-shot footage and crisper clips lit more like a Princess Nokia video, all at Coney Island. After cutting to title card, a beat comes in with plenty of reverb and little top end. As it fills itself in and moves sonically forward, Destiny backs up a ramp into Coney Island and “Orange Blossom” begins in earnest: “Orange Blossom favorite flavor/I am tender and I’m fragrant.” The meter recalls the earlier childhood rhyme, but there’s a sultry low end musicality in Destiny’s voice, dancing, and lyrical content that the earlier interlude (about mothers) lacks. “Orange Blossom” explores the valences of childhood and adulthood, old media and new, past and present.
The result is a video and track (streaming above) in dialogue with her other work. While Destiny’s voice is instantly recognizable (hence, perhaps, her choice to delay it here), “Orange Blossom”’s sweet funk guitar lines, full, harmonic synth work, and chiming percussive accents are a break from earlier output that was backed by hectic, drum-’n’-bass shuffling—she’s now more Blood Orange than MIA. The video itself is a similar conceptual break; Destiny’s seductive, bubbly dancing for Milah Libin’s camera looks more like a traditional music video than her earlier, higher-concept work as Princess Nokia (which nevertheless also played with throwback culture). Destiny moves between the two worlds easily; the funk band and the DJ often alternate deployments in the same space. With “Orange Blossom,” Destiny previews the ways in which her new moniker will expand her practice. She also parties with friends in a joyful three and a half minutes of funk.