Best of CityPlace

Z103.5’s DJ Danny D taking song requests at this year’s Cityfest

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Cityfest arrives at CityPlace on Sat. Aug. 19 and one of the main draws will be the music.

Known as “The People’s DJ,” DJ Danny D has been DJing for 20 years and is bringing the music to Cityfest this year. 416 Mag sat down with him for a Q&A.

Why and how did you get involved with Cityfest?

I think it’s a great event for the City of Toronto. Also, summer is too short, so I’m not turning down an opportunity to play at a summer festival! I’ve worked for Z103.5 for 15 years, and they are one of the main sponsors of the event.

Why is it important to you?

It is important for me to connect with my fans all over the GTA. I don’t restrict my appearances to one area, and I only have a certain amount of appearances a year Downtown Toronto and Cityfest is a highlight for me. It gets bigger every year!

How are you preparing for it?

I am promoting it on air and social media, letting my fans know it is a “can’t miss event!”

How do you prepare for a set?

I don’t. I go with the flow. I am known as “The People’s DJ” so I play for the crowd in front of me.

What can we expect at Cityfest? What kind of vibe and music?

I will definitely feel the crowd, but I am thinking open format right now. I like to surprise people! Oh, and I always take requests.

What does the Cityplace community mean to you?

The community means a lot to me as I get to see the diversity of Toronto. The area is dominated by young professionals; however, Cityfest attracts everyone. I see families coming out, and people of all ages and ethnicities. It’s really amazing to see everyone come together and have fun!

What role does community in Toronto play in your life, if anything?

I grew up in the east end of Toronto, so community was all I knew growing up. I feel with the advancements in technology people don’t socialize the way we used to, and it’s sad. I like to see people out and socializing and having a good time. It reminds me of the good old days.

Who were your early passions? How about now?

I’ve always loved dance music. I was a fan of the dance craze in the mid-90s, then I slowly started to get into DJing, and that was all we used to play. Dance music all night. Then it evolved into house and electronic dance music.

To be honest, I am passionate about all types of music now, and this has been key to my success, especially now since open format is the most popular these days.

What has been a defining moment in your career?

Being nominated for a Juno Award in 2007. It solidified the next step in my career not just as a DJ, but as a producer as well. The multiple Reader’s Choice Awards I have received as well have been incredible. I thank my fans so much for their support!

How did you start at Z103.5? What’s your favourite part of your job there?

I started as a producer and a DJ at events. Then we started a mix show (the first in Toronto radio), and it has been #1 for the last 15 years! My favourite part of my job is making people happy. I love when people tell me my music has turned their bad day into a great day! I hate that they are having a bad day, but I am happy that I can change it for them.

What’s an interesting thing about you people may not know?

People think I’m the biggest party animal, but I’m actually a quiet guy when I’m not working. I love spending time with my son Joseph and playing with my dogs. I love nature!

What do you want to be doing in five years?

I love what I do, so I hope I am doing what I am doing now. As always though, I love to evolve and do big events! I am DJing at the ACC for the Nicky Jam Concert on Sept. 2, and I think that’s a good start.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Come to Cityfest! I wanna see you there!!

Connect with Danny D

Diana Pereira

Diana Pereira is a journalist, a university journalism teacher, a world traveller, a fair-weather kayaker, and a frequent bruncher. She's working on her mermaid status, travelling to as many countries as she can that include a body of water and when she's home in Toronto, you can find her in a kayak on Lake Ontario.