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White Prism
white light, white heat
by: Dean Van Nguyen - December 2, 2013


Having arrived in New York as an aspiring audio engineer, Johanna Cranitch instead made a name for herself in the city’s broad indie pop scene under the guise Johanna and the Dusty Floor. Having recently repackaged herself as White Prism, the Australian is now investigating a long-standing interest in more electronic-based instrumentation, and has already cut has a cut one of the most accomplished releases within the genre to come out of NYC in recent memory with the project’s smooth, soulful self-titled debut EP.

Why did you decide to uproot to NYC? What was the city's appeal?

At the time, I was interested in becoming an audio engineer. My boyfriend at the time was an audio engineer, and obsessed with it, and if you wanted to date him, you had to date the studio essentially. So I was around it all the time and thought, ‘Gee, that would be something I could be good at’. We were talking one night about where I would learn to engineer and I said, ‘I’ve already lived in London been there, done that. What’s the next best thing? NYC’. And that was that.

You come from quite a musical background. Can you tell me about experiences growing up and how they’ve impacted your musical output as an adult?

I was, as my grandfather put it, ‘born out of the womb into song’. He was a jazz pianist in Hungary and encouraged my mother to enroll me in Kodály classes at an early age. It just snowballed from there. My earliest memory of feeling admiration was through him. I used to be fascinated by the movement in his long fingers when he played the notes. The way that made me feel was unlike anything else. I have been fortunate to have a lot of people in my life who have believed in me, nurtured me. My failed piano lessons eventually turned into singing lessons and music ‘hangs’ with my mentor Hugh Stouffer from the time I was 7 until I was 20. My ensemble teacher Jeremy Sawkins at University introduced me to Joni Mitchell, my Jazz harmony teacher Guy Strazzulo introduced me to new possibilities and thought patterns the list goes on and I am so lucky it does. All of these people helped shape my musical taste and ability. Without them, I wouldn’t have what I have.

“Lover's Dream” has quite a striking video. Where did the idea come from and was it tough to execute?

It was myself and the director just bouncing ideas off one another. I had no budget, so I was the one literally pouring the liquid on myself. That's why in most of the shots, you don't actually see me arms. It was really uncomfortable to do, but super fun.

Why do you feel you gravitated towards your electro-pop sound?

It was just a natural progression. I got really into Depeche Mode and other eighties bands like The Gist and it stemmed from there.

How did the EP come together? Did you enjoy the process?

The EP is part of a collection of 11 songs that I wrote while I was in Iceland for a week, on a break from touring with The Cranberries. It was magic. It all just poured out of me. It’s that country it does that to people.

What have you planned for the rest of the year?

I'm working on my catalogue, doing shows (including The Deli CMJ show), co-writes, and gearing up for a full-length record. I have a remix coming out this fall for my new single “Fool” which was remixed by a high profile producer/musician, and a new video for "Song 52" that I’m incredibly excited for everyone to see. 

" My boyfriend at the time was an audio engineer, and obsessed with it, and if you wanted to date him, you had to date the studio essentially. '

White Prism
"self-titled EP"

what it is

Sophisticated electro arrangements with soulful vocal deliveries, for those who like: Jessie Ware, Portishead, Papertwin.