JIHAE is a renowned singer/composer/multi-media artist/philanthropist who traversed the world in her youth from Korea, Nigeria, Sweden, UK to New York City. She has released 4 full-length studio albums, written music for both films and theater, and collaborated with Lenny Kravitz and Leonard Cohen. Read on for an interview with the amazingly talented JIHAE!
How was your experience working with Free People?
Wonderful.. everyone on the team were super sweet, very cool and on my wavelength. Not like an ordinary production team but a group of friends having fun.
How would you describe your personal style? What is your go-to outfit?
I’m usually in a pair of black jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket. I also love the feminine side and like to mix up punk with gypsy to express both the masculine and feminine side of me.
Did you have a favorite Free People piece from the shoot?
The FP New Romantics Moon Shine Embroidered Tunic was beautiful.
If your music were a place, where would it be?
Berlin, where the creative energy exudes effortlessly like NY in the 80’s.
What can we expect from your album that is coming out this fall?
I’ll be collaborating with artists and filmmakers on a series of short film/videos exploring the theme of Illusions (title of the album, Illusion of You) and curating a group art exhibit based on the same concept. The first single coming out this summer is ‘Leaving NYC’, a tune that’s inspired by NYC that broke me and nurtured me into the artist that I am today.
I grew up in Asia, Africa and Europe, then went to boarding school and college in the US. I never knew where my home was per say until I arrived in NY. I always have the itch to leave but can’t seem to get away from here.
‘It Just Feels’ will also be a single on the album which I co wrote with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics and Leonard Cohen.
If you live in LA you can catch JIHAE live at the Viper room on May 7th at 7:30PM featuring special guest Dave Stewart.
When you are traveling, what essential items do you always like to have with you?
Sunglasses, hat, t-shirt, jeans, long gypsy skirt and rockin’ boots!
Who are some of your personal favorite musicians?
Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Dave Stewart, The Knife, Jake Bugg, Die Antwood, and Jack White.
What inspired you to start your leather line?
Like music, clothing is a similar extension where we define our identity and personality. Making fashion designs is just another extension of my expression as a recording artist. What I express in words, melody and sounds is this time also expressed in a form of clothing. Leather jackets have always had the undertone of rebellion. The concept transpired from pioneering, strong, independent, envelope-pushing kind of women that inspire me, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Malala Yousafzai, Jacqueline Novogratz, Marina Abromovic to women in the entertainment world like Kathryn Bigelow, Anja Rubik and Lena Dunham.
Describe Free People in three words.
Hippie punk girl.
Fun fact: After visiting the volcanoes and the deep underwater world, I’m looking forward to the aurora borealis in Iceland and creating an original composition based on the experience.
See the full shoot by Garance Dore on our website!