An examination of contemporary music reveals two clear and exciting patterns for pop music fans: commercial pop has increasingly turned to the 1980s as a reference for its creative choices, and the retro ‘80s style of the synthwave genre has begun unapologetically incorporating modern mainstream pop into its DNA. At the confluence of those vibrant creative efforts lies one particularly luminous creative pair: PRIZM.
Embracing the melodic songwriting sensibility of ‘80s pop, wrapping it up in the retro synth stylings of synthwave, and polishing the result with a rich, fully modern production touch, PRIZM is the type of artist that looks to be in exactly the right place at the right time.
After all, synthwave has been bubbling beneath the surface of mainstream consciousness for years; from David Hasselhoff’s singing contribution and the accompanying viral video for Kung Fury‘s “True Survivor” to Magic Sword’s appearance on the soundtrack for Thor: Ragnarok, synthwave has been reaching pop culture audiences for some time now — whether most people who heard it recognized it as part of a jumbo-sized revival genre or not.
Yet across these isolated instances, there has yet to be a single artist who fully smashed through the ceiling of synthwave’s underground realm into the bright lights.
PRIZM appears to be changing that.
Since releasing their first songs at the start of 2019, PRIZM has encountered one new success after another. The first came when they signed with synthwave record label FiXT Neon, which inked a multi-album deal with the duo on the strength of pop-perfect tracks like “All Night” and “You Know That You Love Me.” With Neon’s significant promotional and marketing tools at their disposal, PRIZM quickly transformed from an underground newcomer to a professional outfit prepared to embrace all opportunities.
Those opportunities took the form of prominent playlist placements, including the pole position of my very own Synthwave / Retro Electro playlist. The enthusiastic response from popwave fans and the rapid series of playlist placements triggered a snowball effect in PRIZM’s monthly listeners, which in turn caught the attention of Spotify and landed them in Spotify’s Fresh Finds playlist with over 680,000 followers.
The confectionary musical delicacy known as “All Night” is currently in the midst of exponential streaming growth, and the rocket-like ascension of the song shows no signs of slowing down.
Fortunately for PRIZM’s rapidly expanding fanbase, it won’t be long before the world is able to enjoy great new tracks from the pair. The duo has promised a series of singles in the near future leading up to their next album, with fresh music landing later this year. If the act’s short but explosive career to date is any indication, we’ll be hearing much more about PRIZM in the coming months.
PRIZM is a Dallas-based popwave duo consisting of Danni James and Krisluv. Listeners who recognize the natural synergy between the two on PRIZM’s self-titled debut won’t be surprised to learn they are close friends and creative partners. In fact, the two have collaborated on music projects for over seven years and currently work together as full-time musicians.
In addition to their efforts as PRIZM, they travel, perform, and record music in an acoustic rock act with a Southern twist. They are also the frontwomen in a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.
Their personal influences are every bit as diverse as the music they make, though for their PRIZM project they specifically cite classic ‘80s artists like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, and Depeche Mode alongside current popwave acts The Midnight, FM-84, and Gunship as key pieces of inspiration.
The versatility of the pair as singer-songwriters and their interest in diverse genres reflect their status as consummate musicians and performers, which once again will surprise no one who hears their highly polished creations.
Regardless of which genre they turn their attention to, PRIZM has more than enough talent to keep them on the radar of curators, influencers, and fans alike. Keep an eye out for new music, visual content, and possibly even live performances from PRIZM later in 2019.
Enjoy PRIZM and other great pop synthwave artists in Iron Skullet’s Popwave / Dreamwave playlist.