Posted Melissa Farinelli
Minimal electronic sensation CIFIKA premieres the single and video for “MOMOM," her collaboration with indie rockstar Hyuk Oh. “MOMOM” precedes CIFIKA’s upcoming February EP 'PRISM', which is to be supported by the largest ever North American tour for a Korean artist with stops in more than 20 cities, including Austin for SXSW. Additional dates for March and April will be announced soon. “MOMOM” shines the spotlight on the Producer/Singer/Songwriter’s first collaboration with a male artist.
Gifted with DIY production skills, and a majestic voice that’s textured as if sung from within a deep cave, CIFIKA composes music that evokes a futuristic dimension and otherworldly sound. Her unique blend of ethereal sonics and deep beats has propelled her from South Korea’s underground scene and sets her apart as one of the “new wave kids thriving outside of the K-Pop Machine” (VICE).
Signed by Third Culture Kids, CIFIKA deftly blends genres like R&B and low-fi with dark electronic soundscapes and combines lyrics in both English and Korean, creating her own genre often described by press as “entirely self-invented and undefined, a harmonious clashing of cultures."
For “MOMOM” both artists desired to create something different, experimental. As “MOMOM” demonstrates sonically, there were no musical boundaries between them. CIFIKA says on their collaboration, “We started off by thinking our minds and bodies are inseparable. Through this song, you can experience two different colors from two different artists within the harmony.” While ‘MOMOM’ is a mixture of electronic and alternative genres, CIFIKA points out "Genre really doesn’t mean anything. It’s me versus Hyuck.” She continues, “We also brought in elements from different concepts such as youth culture, mass media, trend, and that’s where our music video comes into play.”
Upon first viewing one might question, “Why is SpongeBob Squarepants being killed off at the end?” As CIFIKA explains, “Hyuck, Oui Kim (MV director) and I were sharing memes one day, and thought about executing our visuals utilizing the concept of meme. We thought, ‘Let’s create something fun to watch, rather than being serious and deep,” since the song’s lyrics reflect their philosophy & perspective about death. “Through our music video, we tried to show how we all want to be free from all the stereotypes that we have in our body and spirit, and by having a funeral of the memes, we set ourselves free from all forms media.”
The result on “MOMOM” is a dreamy fantasia blending ethereal melodies and expansive bilingual harmonies with deep head-nodding beats. Akin to Caribou, Flying Lotus, Four Tet, Giraffage, Tokimonsta, and Toro y Moi, CIFIKA recombines familiar genre motifs into new sounds that play with and against each other, yielding new sonic landscapes in the push and pull. The video similarly combines psychedelic aesthetics with hip-hop choreography for a meme-savvy surreal mashup of visuals and sounds that hints at a parallel universe.
Pushing the boundaries of pop and electronic music, CIFIKA is resolutely committed to musical experimentation as she gears up for her PRISM tour. The massive global tour will coincide with the EP’s release and marks the largest ever tour for a Korean artist in North America with over 20 cities confirmed so far including SXSW. Additional dates will be announced for March and April. An ambitious undertaking for CIFIKA, not only is she playing in major markets such as NY, LA, Chicago and Atlanta, but she is also taking her radiant diaphanous performances into secondary markets such as Kansas City, Columbia, Grand Rapids and Cincinnati.
Taking her name from the street PACIFIKA that she used to pass when she lived in Northern California for ten years before moving back to South Korea in 2016, CIFIKA's nickname may have started out as a joke amongst friends but in no time, she has quickly transformed it into a shorthand for what’s next on the global pop scene.
CIFIKA PRISM TOUR DATES
Sun, 3/4 Seattle, WA - Barboza
Mon, 3/5 Portland, OR - The Analog
Wed, 3/7 San Francisco, CA - Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Fri, 3/9 Los Angeles, CA - Moroccan Lounge
Tue, 3/13 El Paso, TX - Neon Rose
Fri, 3/16 Austin, TX (SXSW) - The Belmont
Mon, 3/19,Dallas, TX - RBC
Wed, 3/21 Kansas City, MO - miniBar
Thu, 3/22 Columbia, MO - Cafe Berlin
Fri, 3/23 Chicago, IL - Virgin Hotel
Sun, 3/25 Grand Rapids, MI - Founders
Mon, 3/26 Cincinnati, OH - MOTR PUB
Fri, 3/30 Nashville, TN - Analog @ Hutton
Sat, 3/31 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
Wed, 4/4 Washington DC - Songbyrd
Thu, 4/5 Philadelphia, PA - Creep Records
Fri, 4/6 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
Sat, 4/7 Boston - Middle East Upstairs