Jihae’s own Vintage dress Raquel Allegra Lace bandeau Jihae’s own Jewelry worn throughout

With her new album, Fire Burning Rain, South Korean born artist/musician/muse Jihae moves away from the more traditional, though no less compelling, musical concepts of her 2008 release, Elvis Is Still Alive, and embraces her surreal side.

“This is more heavy beat based,” the singer says, “less singer/songwriter.” Shades of trip-hop, and sparse open soundscapes, mix with Jihae’s breathy vocals to create a mood that can border on the melancholy, as evidenced in the throbbing “The Succubus” and “Eyes Open Wide.” The mood lightens elsewhere on the album, however, and by the closer, a lovely reimagining of the Kraftwerk classic “The Model,” all is right with the world.

White shirt Kiki de Montparnasse  Leather bra Raquel Allegra Leather bra 

As expected from this renaissance beauty, who seems to have fingers on the pulse of art and fashion, as much as music, Jihae is working on an event to promote the project that is much more than a typical gig. This fall she will collaborate on a performance piece at New York’s Le Poisson Rouge that includes album inspired artworks by numerous artists, including the renowned Michael De Feo (who did the album art) and a wondrous bit of technology she invented called an interactive mix engine.

“It’s a touch screen device that plays the music as a technological organism; the audience is invited to play with it and basically, by meshing the audio, destroys the composed pieces. The audience is part of the piece,” the singer explains.

While Jihae’s public persona may be, intentionally, hard to pin down, she reminds us that her focus is on the music. “I really want to get out there and tour this,” she says, “and I’ve been composing more on bass.” She laughs, “It’s much easier than guitar.” Whether it’s onstage, at an art opening or as a fashion muse, we’ll be happy for any interaction with this enigmatic personality.

Gown Vena Cava

-Adam Pollock
photography by Sergio Kurhajec