Crystal Dorval, who also goes by the name White Poppy while sharing her musical talents, spent the earlier half of this year in Berlin. Crystal’s ambient based sound therapy is something and leaks down into your soul, carving out a space to feel at ease with yourself. She also dabbles in a few different outlets, which we’ll get to later. We made an appointment to meet her at her temporary studio – a special spot tucked away behind the Kiehlufer in Neukölln. We mean that literally – she explained that it was in the cellar, and then casually mentioned that you have a shout into a glass-covered vent to be granted access to the building. As we arrived it seemed like a totally normal building, and indeed, underneath a glass cut out in the wall there was a vent and Crystal came upstairs to let us in. This was surprisingly effective, and functional. After showing us her space, we went to a park where we met several dogs and talked about her current projects…

F:If you were a cat, what of cat would you be?

WP: I feel like I would be one of those Persian ones. The really fluffy ones. I would to be one of those for sure, a total princess but a bitch too.

F: What brought you to Berlin?

WP: I’ve wanted to check out Berlin for a while and was doing a tour in March and decided I would go and check out Berlin after the tour and just stay and visit for a bit and see how I liked it.


F: How do compare the German music scene to the Canadian one?

WP: I’ve been purposefully trying to take a break from going to shows while I’m here actually. I only ended up going to one show – Homeshake. On tour I played a few German cities – I feel like it’s so easy to generalise things when you have such a brief encounter with them. I think because of globalisation a lot of audiences end up being pretty similar. I guess it depends on the show. I don’t see very many differences, more similarities. Everyone looks the same, everyone dresses the same.. the counter culture is kind of just replicated all over the world.

F: Do you like being  under the radar or do you want to be more well known?

WP: I was thinking about that and I think I’m conflicted about it. I think that’s the message I send to the universe too is that  I’m not sure about it. I think I’d like to be more well known solely so I can do more of the things I’m wishing to do like go on another or other interesting projects. Maybe I don’t need it, maybe I’m just being stubborn at this point and I’m holding on to something that doesn’t resonate with me anymore. I don’t know – I’m getting on and don’t want to be sleeping on floors anymore. It’s the cliche.


F: So you’re working on an album?

WP: A concept album. While I was recording the album that I’m working on, during moments of feeling sort of worn out while over working the recordings, I ended up in this other direction. I started working on this potential collection of sounds that I’m quite exited about, that feel quite different.

F: What other outlets do you have?

WP: Talking? Using my voice to speak – spoken word? I actually started making comedy vids. Comedy has always been a big part of my life. In my music as well I think I try to express it just in my presence but I realise that I’m not mostly. People probably think that I’m weird and not funny. It’s pretty weird. It’s quite dark and obscure. That’s the kind of humour I like, I think it’s a pretty small niche that really specific. It’s a character. It’s almost animated looking because of the effects I put on it. I deal with real concerns of mine but  make it funny. I’m really inspired by Maria Bamford’s stuff, dealing with heavier things and talking about the darkness, but making it funny.

F: How do you cope?

WP: Definitely humour. I have a plethora of different mechanisms for different ailments. I need to know which strategy are you after?


F: Sadness? Anxiety?

WP: Well let’s start with sadness. It’s one of the trickier ones but comedy, looking at cute pictures of animals. Llamas, llamas are good, Look at some photos of llamas. I’ve been journaling a lot lately which seems to help a lot with getting stuff out without having to always bother your friends.

F: What’s your biggest weakness?

WP: Perfectionism.

 F: What else have you been working on?

 WP: My friend and I are working on a video, we’re going to shoot it at Peacock Island. My friend and I started this punk band,  the two of us, and we started recording our songs before I left. We’re going to do a tape. It’s called Privacy, I play drums and she plays bass and we both sing.

For more White Poppy, check out her Facebook here.