SXSW Sound Style: South Korean street style from Cifika

South Korean artist Cifika performed in Austin at the South by Southwest Korea spotlight on March 16. She’s been making waves in her home country, but she’s no manufactured K-Pop princess cranking out radio-ready pop songs. Instead she crafts moody compositions that layer haunting melodies over ominous electronics.

Cifika. Photo by Erika Rich for American-Statesman

Though K-Pop dominates the Korean music industry, there’s a small, but vibrant indie music underground developing in the country, she told us when we caught up with her the day before her showcase.

“I’m trying to push the boundaries,” she said.

We shot her in the green space outside the Four Seasons in Downtown Austin and while we were taking photos, we quizzed her about her striking look.

MORE PHOTOS: Sound Style with Cifika

Cifika at SXSW. Erika Rich for American-Statesman


Austin360: How would you describe your personal style? 

Cifika: I would say a little bit of future but at the same time I don’t like to follow trends because it’s too temporary. I want my style to be classic.

Who are your style icons? 

My personal stylist Son Yabi. We started working together three months ago and that’s when my whole style got changed. Although he’s a stylist, he has a deep understanding of my music. So we work together. We talk a lot about fashion and how I want to be perceived by others, so I think it really helps.

MORE SOUND STYLE AT SXSW: Noah Cyrus | Oshun | Mallrat

Cifika at SXSW 2018. Erika Rich for American-Statesman

How do you think of your image as it relates to your music?

It visualizes my music. I hope people can catch what I’m trying to say with fashion. My music is kind of future, psychedelic, electronic. It’s a little bit of everything together that I get inspired from.

Does that play into your look too? Do you pull from a lot of different influences?

We actually research a lot of collections from back in the day like 2000, 1990. So we kind of bring the past to the future, so like transforming the future and the past. That’s what I do with my lyrics too

MORE SXSW: Photos, reviews, videos and scene reports

Cifika at SXSW 2018. Erika Rich for American-Statesman


Author: Deborah Sengupta Stith

Deborah Sengupta Stith has been hanging out in dimly lit corners of the city soaking in the music scene for almost 20 years. Twitter: @deborific

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