Danny Dymond kicks off Pride Month in Toronto with his debut album launch party
On the eve of Sunday, June 3rd, at the stroke of Pride Month, independent recording artist and performer Danny Dymond geared up for the launch of his debut album, Nightlife, Love & Liberty. Inside the Hideout live music venue on College Street West, Danny’s fabulous 8-song set portrayed each noun in the album title effortlessly, combining the power of nightlife and live performances with the love and liberty of queer culture; it was a gay ol’ time! Pun intended.
Coming off of a powerful performance at Norfolk Haldimand Pride – where “protesters” blocked half of the outdoor stage with hateful signs condemning homosexuality – Danny Dymond took to the stage anyway, raising his fists in the air, waving a pride flag, and celebrating love in the face of intolerance. Footage of the performance circulated online and he made the front page of his hometown newspaper. A proud and impactful moment just weeks before launching his debut album at The Hideout in Toronto.
The Hideout and the attached NEST venue are not typically known for LGBTQ+ inspired or focused events, but a cool Sunday night atmosphere in a swanky Torontonian music tavern was the perfect setting for a predominately queer crowd ready for a fantastically queer show. Commencing promptly, Danny Dymond invited three other Canadian LGBTQ+ artists to open up for him, including genderfluid and melodic singer/songwriter Justyn Jolie, local drag performer Scarlett Bobo, and influential trans/two-spirited performance artist Quanah Style – who also features on Dymond’s new album on a song titled Turn It Up (You’re My Bish). Barbie Jo Bontemps, a popular comedic host and drag performer in Toronto’s LGBTQ+ Village, was the event’s MC. Follow all four artists to see where they will be performing throughout the city during Pride Month!
Danny Dymond greeted me before and after his show. At first, he seemed a bit nervous, but throughout the night (and especially on stage) any stress he may have felt melted away in front of an eclectic, loving, and free audience, who cheered and danced along to every song with glee. The title of Danny Dymond’s debut album, Nightlife, Love & Liberty, became an actual physical experience with high-energy dance sequences, black lighting, and glow-in-the-dark props.
When did you decide to release a full album?
Danny Dymond: I started working on the album last October, coming up with concepts, track ideas, and the direction and genre I wanted to take the album and writing. I also had a few tracks that were either enhanced or remastered and re-released on the album because they fit the vibe and message I wanted to portray.
Which leads me to my next question, what is the meaning of your album title?
Danny Dymond: Well, the title of my album is “Nightlife, Love & Liberty.” Nightlife, because it’s what brings people together, and it often brings the community together to support the arts. Nightlife is where friendships in our community are made and connections are fused which make us have the ability to collaborate. Love is self-explanatory and is a symbol or acceptance. And Liberty is being free to be the person you want to be. Being liberated in the skin you feel most comfortable in.
This is your first album, what was the process like for you?
Danny Dymond: The process was a lot of back and forth between my producer, Kyle Ryan and I. He’s incredible and his ability to turn my ideas into marketable assets amazes me. We recorded the whole album in about 30 hours over a period of 5 months, and the previous 2 tracks that were added the previous year in 10 hours. It was a discovery of my vocal range ability every time I hit the studio, pushing myself more and more every time. Between rehearsals, research, and working full time to support my independent artist status, the release has been a learning experience with a final product that I am proud of.
There are a few features on your album, what was it like working with these other artists?
Danny Dymond: I have had the pleasure of working with Justyn Jolie in the past, too. We met at a job we both worked at a few years back and I always love to invite him along to perform at my shows. His sound is amazing, and I am a big fan of his work. Quanah Style and I have a track together on the album called Turn it Up (I’m Your Bish) and I couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with her. I met her during the filming of a reality show a few years back where we bonded and we’ve been meaning to release something, and its finally here! It’s a pleasure to perform all the tracks on my album alongside my producer and back-up dancers from Badass Babes Toronto, as well.
You’re releasing your album at the beginning of Pride Month, is that on purpose?
Danny Dymond: Yes, I am releasing the album during Pride Month because I believe the album is geared towards the LGBTQ community.
Now that you’ve debuted your album, where else can people catch you performing this summer?
Danny Dymond: You can catch me performing at Georgian Pride, Niagara Pride and Hamilton Pride to promote the album! Come out and say hi!
Check out Danny Dymond’s music video for Disco Mannequin:
Nightlife, Love & Liberty is available now for purchase on all major online platforms as well as select Sunrise Records stores in the GTA this June.
About the Author
Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.