Crystal St. John and the Hidden Gems Light up the Music Scene with Their Debut Alt-Pop Single

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The music scene is ablaze with the debut alt-pop single from The Hidden Gems, featuring Crystal St. John. Titled “My Favorite Stranger,” the single is now available on all music streaming platforms, and its poignant message has already touched the hearts of many listeners.

Inspired by the selfless responsibility and unconditional love a parent has for their baby, “My Favorite Stranger” delves into the mind of a first-time parent. Despite neither member of The Hidden Gems having children of their own, Robert Murphy and Crystal St. John felt compelled to write a candid song that explores the internal dialogue of a new parent as they realize their baby is a stranger who will grow into an independent person with their own thoughts and opinions.

The lyrics of “My Favorite Stranger” are both insightful and heartwarming. “We see in colors that we never knew existed,” says actress Marci Miller, who inspired one of the song’s most moving lines. “If only we all knew what to do, but these colors are so new,” sings Crystal St. John. The song’s message is clear: there is no playbook for being a parent, and the only way to truly grow is to fly blind with your baby and learn as you go.

The story behind the creation of “My Favorite Stranger” is as enthralling as the song itself. Murphy put out an open-call audition in search of a vocalist for the demo he had created. When he received Crystal’s submission, he knew he had found the perfect collaborator. They communicated back and forth for weeks before coming up with the catchy melodies and illustrative lyrics that make up the final product.

The duo decided to produce “My Favorite Stranger” as an alternative pop song with hints of ‘90s Brit rock and Motown. They brought in top music industry instrumentalists to play on the track, including drummer Dan Konopka from rock band OK Go, bassist Sean Hurley who has played with John Mayer, Lana Del Rey, and Stevie Nicks, renowned pianist Michael Arrom, guitarist Leo Abrahams who produced and played guitar on Regina Spektor’s album Remember Us to Life, Matt DeMerritt as the entire horn section, and pro synth player Beau Golden. With such an impressive lineup, The Hidden Gems were able to create their own sound.

After recording the song, the duo brought in professional mix engineer Ghian Wright, who has worked with the likes of Duran Duran, Nine Inch Nails, and John Legend, to mix the track and meld the instruments together. The result is a stunning blend of hard-hitting rock drums, funk-inspired basslines, delicate yet powerful vocals, experimental guitars, and ‘80s-inspired synth tracks.

Alt-pop duo The Hidden Gems was formed remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they look forward to not only sharing new music but also a music video for their debut single, “My Favorite Stranger,” in early 2023. On the other hand, Crystal St. John has been on her musical journey since she was just eight years old. With her classically trained vocals, she has released several singles, including her recent single and music video “Sometimes You Gotta Let Go.” In addition to music, Crystal recently starred in the feature film Little Town and has written a book on self-empowerment called How to Be the Main Character: A Workbook for Becoming the Star of Your Own Story.

“My Favorite Stranger” is an impressive debut from The Hidden Gems and a powerful showcase of Crystal St. John’s vocal talents. With its relatable lyrics, catchy melody, and unique sound, the song is sure to resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. It’s exciting to see what the future holds for this talented young duo.

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