Last month, Canadian electro-pop artist Danny Dymond released his club-hit “What Do You Want” in honor of Pride and the lifting of pandemic restrictions. Co-written by So Fierce Music founder and producer Velvet Code, the track garnered over 35,000 Spotify streams in only a few short weeks and continues to gain traction at lightning speed.
Now, Dymond is giving us an accompanying music video that can only be described as electrifying and vibrant. Directed by cinematographer Paul Maxwell and featuring a troupe of dancers choreographed by Christos Tsiantoulas, the video resembles a psychedelic dream sequence signifying the strange, catatonic state we have all been in over the last twelve months of quarantine.
Instinct had the opportunity to chat more with Dymond about the track, his artistry, and gave us an exclusive first look at the brand-new music video.
Hi, Danny! Thank you for taking some time to chat with me about your latest single, “What Do You Want,” and letting us premiere the music video. Can you begin by telling us more about the track’s concept and inspiration?
Basically, we wanted something that was going to be, like, the light at the end of the tunnel after a pandemic, that feeling of being free, and we just wanted an uplifting vibe to the track. We wanted the song to kind of replicate that in the video, as well. However, there were a lot of changes that happened. We had some different concepts, different ideas, different venues, different studios that we were going to use, and we just kind of had to roll with the cards and make some changes on the fly. At the end of the day, the concept is, I am in a battle with myself and with good and evil, and basically, I wake up at the end and it is all a dream.
How has “What Do You Want” been received by audiences?
It’s been good! It has been a crazy ride, but the song was definitely received well. It was probably the best recording session I had in terms of feeling comfortable and vocal delivery. The studio we used was The Orange Lounge, which is in downtown Toronto, and some great artists have recorded there in the past, like The Weekend, Nelly Furtado, and Justin Bieber. So, there was some magic in the air, and I felt like my vocals got to really shine on this track. We have hit over 35,000 streams, and it has some backing to it. We are getting there.
You said it was significant to release this track during Pride Month. How come?
We wanted to initially release during Pride because it is a celebratory time. I am a queer artist, I am on an all-inclusive label, and I felt like it would be a good time to kind of do that. Although, it is tough because it can be an oversaturated market during Pride. Everyone’s releasing, so that was something we were worried about. That is why we ended up pushing the video release to the middle of July. Just so we can do the promotion properly and get rid of some of that oversaturation of everyone’s content being released. That we can have some good visibility with the video.
What do you enjoy the most about creating music videos?
I love directing. I went to school for film and television. I graduated in 2013, so it has been a while, but I like to be able to get my feet wet, be able to direct, and still use those transferable skills that I did learn in school over the years. I always say this in my interviews, it’s like being pregnant with a baby and then having the baby. You have all these ideas that come to your mind, and I am jotting down all these concepts all the time. Ideas will pop into my head when I am either in shower, on a walk, or whatever. Just being able to bring that to life is probably the most satisfying part of being an artist. Obviously, financially, it is not always as easy, but I want to be able to make my productions hit that mark.
How meaningful has “What Do You Want” become to you personally?
Quite a bit, actually. It is one of the songs I am more proud of, and being able to have it heard internationally is a big step for me. I have released on all platforms before with previous releases, and streaming is okay, but it is more of a national level. This has hit internationally, and being able to share my music with that type of platform is a lot more rewarding for me just because my genre is more popular in other areas of the world than it is sometimes in my hometown, country, or area.
The lyrics behind it, I co-wrote it with Velvet Code, and they translated very well with the instrumentals that we came up with. We just kind of jumped back and forth to each other and they came into what it is today.
Will this track be on an upcoming EP or album?
I am not sure yet, but there is a tribal remix coming out very shortly.
Have you always had a passion for singing and songwriting?
Of course! When I was young, I was full of high energy and all over the place. I was in gymnastics, always dancing and doing little shows with my cousins, and my grandmother, she raised me for a while when I was very young, she always recorded me doing little puppet shows and theatrical things. So, that is where it all started. Then, I would spend hours and hours at home while my mom was at work dancing and doing concerts to, like, Britney Spears. That typical kind of thing. I started to develop that kind of artist vibe.
Going into school and being in the television and film program, my last year, they have a co-op placement that they put you in, and I got hired as the event coordinator for the Student Association. I got to work with all the acts that came in. Music acts, variety acts, and stuff like that. That is where I was like, I really want to do music because I was helping with all the bookings, hosting, getting on stage and introducing acts with the mic, striking the stage, and setting up DJ equipment. Once I got my feet wet in that kind of world, I realized this was the kind of artistry I wanted to do, opposed to film and television where you have to work on set all day and work outside for 17 hours a day in the cold and wet. So, that co-op placement at college is what segued me into music.
With writing, I have always written, but I did not really go at it until maybe eight years ago. I did not think I could do it. I was like, is there a structure? How did I do this? Then, I just put a pen to paper and started researching how to structure songs properly and figured out the chemistry of it all. I have a lot of unwritten songs on my phone [laughs].
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
I want them to feel uplifted, party, have fun, and just enjoy it. The track is a very uplifting, deep house track. There are some minor chords in there, but there are some major chords that have that euphoric-type uplifting feel. That is kind of what I felt when I first heard the instrumental from Velvet, and I was like, this is a perfect track for my debut single with So Fierce Music because it is not too deep and grimy, and it is not too pop. There is a mix of both. So, I hope that people can rejoice, have fun, party, and just blare it. Have a good time.
Can you talk a little bit more about your musical aesthetic?
I am all over the place in terms of genres. My first, debut album in 2018, Nightlife, Love & Liberty, was a mix of pop, electronic, deep house, and future house, so we were all over the place with that. We kind of just sampled, and that was my way of giving everything that I was building over the years and putting it into an album with some new content as well. I am still open to ideas. I am always evolving, and I am always trying to taste test the waters in different areas.
What more do you hope to accomplish with your musical platform?
Just being heard and being relevant. I am not looking to explode per se, but I want to be relevant. I want to be heard. I work very hard with my music, and I want to be able to touch people, let them hear it, and hope they enjoy it. Especially being in a pigeonholed community, sometimes with the queer community, this label has given me that opportunity to be able to be on a platform to be heard and reach the LGBTQ community, youth, and everyone abroad.