TMU Exclusive: Interview with history making CIFIKA

Currently making history as she tours the US, Korean EDM singer/songwriter CIFIKA recently launched the largest US tour by any Korean artist ever in support of her EP PRISM, including stops at SXSW, NY, LA and Chicago. An ambitious undertaking, CIFIKA has been wowing audiences across America with her beaming performances and sheer sound. She’s taken time out of her busy schedule to chat with us exclusively about the EP and tour.

Can you explain to the Music Universe readers what the significance is of naming your EP and the tour you’re currently on PRISM?

I wanted to name my EP PRISM because I want listeners to discover new colors in music through me. I want to act as a PRISM like a transparent medium that reflects lights into so many shades. This process is what I want from my listeners.

Can you also talk about the first single “PIETA”. What do you mean that it was written during the saddest season of your life?

I was going through a hard time when my first EP, Intelligentsia, was released; everything was my first time. My record label Third Culture Kids, was releasing its very first EP album too, so we didn’t exactly know how to promote, how to let listeners find out about my music. Economically it was really hard to only focus on music too. I felt like my music wasn’t what the audience wanted. But I figured it was me who set the wrong goal. I first started music to enjoy myself, not to make money out of it. So, after some struggle, I decided to make the next album very honest with my emotions and situation. That is when I came up with “Pieta.” I started to accept my fate.

For our American audiences that may not be familiar with your work, can you tell us about the kind of music you produce and a little bit about your musical background?

In a bigger genre, I would say my music can be tied into Electronica, only because I use Ableton and other virtual instruments to create music. I basically produce my own music, and I write melodies and lyrics too. I have worked with Moodchula, co-producer of PRISM. I come from a graphic design and advertising design background- I have worked as an art director at an advertising agency in LA. I felt like I wasn’t having enough fun to take art director as my lifetime job, so I started learning basic music theories and singing in De Anza College for a year and a half. After uploading a few songs on Soundcloud, I decided to move back to Korea to pursue my career as a musician.

During your tour which just started, do you notice a difference between the way American audiences react to your music as oppose to the way Korean audiences react to your music?

I guess the main difference is age-range of the audience. In Korea, I only got to meet audience who is around my age, or younger. But here in the States, everyone from all different age comes out to enjoy music. Whether it is a bar, club, lounge or even a pub, people just come out and get along really easily without age barrier. I thought it was really cool!

Do you see it as a challenge to tour 20 different US cities, especially smaller cities, and what are the goals you set for yourself when this tour ends?

To plan something new based on my tour experience. I’m learning a lot of new things, and new inspiration comes from everywhere. I can use this experience to plan my 2018 and 2019! And write at least 4 sketches.

Do you promise to visit the US when you release a full album again, and do you have plans for a world tour in the future?

I would love to tour US again. Next time I want to tour Europe too. I want to title my next tour, “CIFIKA Earth Tour”!

Rob Perez
Rob Perez

Rob Perez is a freelance writer who has been with The Music Universe early on. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, you will find him writing reviews and live tweeting awards shows.