Beach Beats: Studio by the Sea

April 19, 2015 by Richard Olivarez

With music woven into the fabric of our coastal culture, it only makes sense that Destin & South Walton are emerging as THE beach scene for music in the Southeast. With easy access from Music City some serious players have been making some serious moves. Although our friends from the North are influencing what we are listening to, one local player has just upped the ante.

Destin natives Chris Taylor and his wife Gileah have just brought to life what was once only a dream, a brand new full-production music studio in South Walton that is already creating a buzz in the industry. No stranger to recording, the Taylors have both been immersed in the music world for 20 years. Chris was signed to EMI in 2008 and recorded an album with one of Nashville’s most dynamic songwriters, producers and mix engineers - Allen Salmon. Their collaboration grew into a lasting friendship, which ultimately lead to Salmon acting as a consultant in the creation of the studio.

Under Taylor and Salmon’s direction and backed by Ocean Reef, a local innovative vacation rental management and real estate company, the development of the studio began in late 2014. Their mission: create a place to record music and experiment with sound without leaving the beach.

The idea was especially attractive because it eliminated the need for travel to Nashville as they had in the past to achieve high-quality recordings. The arrangement with Ocean Reef was ideal since the well-established organization is always looking to expand their marketing presence in creative ways.


Completed in December, SoHo transplant and producer-extraordinaire Jeremy Griffith was the first to use the creative space. While the paint still dried, Brooklyn-based group Arc + Stones recorded their next EP. Their production was quickly followed by an up-and-coming act from just up the road in Panama City known as My Fever.

This premier studio destination will remain a private space solely dedicated to the production of invited artists/producers, writer’s workshops, and as a creative space for its parent company – Ocean Reef. Currently, Ocean Reef uses the studio to create property videos and commercials. Future plans include the release of a vacation podcast.

Chris and Gileah have just begun recording their new album at under their new band name, Bravery House.

When reflecting upon the studio, Gileah put it best, “this space is already beyond what we ever hoped for. We love the chance to be creative by day for Ocean Reef and creative by night for our own music.”

Read the full article and see photos in Souvenir Magazine or online at Pick up a copy of the spring issue at Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million stores throughout the Southeast or grab a copy from over 100 locations around South Walton.


Richard Olivarez's picture

Richard stays on top of South Walton and Destin as Editor in Chief of Souvenir Magazine and Marketing Director for Ocean Reef Resorts - a premier vacation rental company, offering a wide array of luxury properties from Destin to Panama City Beach.

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