Indie Mixtape 20: Cafuné (Literally) Saved Each Others’ Lives

Cafuné have been on a roll lately. The NYC-based duo of singer/songwriter Sedona Schat and writer/producer Noah Yoo have been making music together since their NYU days in the mid-2010s. But it wasn’t until they released their 2021 debut album Running that Cafuné found major success. Their moody and swooning track “Tek It” went viral on TikTok and has been used in over 200,000 videos and counting on the app. But that’s not Cafuné’s only recent win. They secured a record deal with acclaimed label Elektra and shortly thereafter kicked off a tour opening for CHVRCHES, growing their already sizeable following day-by-day.

While Running‘s “Tek It” is their most popular song by far, the album as a whole is overflowing with dreamy, mesmerizing bedroom pop. Songs like the vibey “High” and house-leaning “Empty Tracks” exude alt-pop dynamism that displays the duo’s tight-knit friendship and music-producing chops. To celebrate their success and take a break from their busy tour schedule, Schat sat down with Uproxx to talk legacy, Korean BBQ, and expertly pouring wine in our latest Q&A.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Tender, sincere, blue, imperfect.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

Noah may have a different take on this, but I personally am not somebody who focuses much on legacy or how things will be remembered, because I don’t feel like I really have much understanding of how people perceive our music, even in the present. The fact that people are genuinely connecting to the earnestness and emotional nature of the songs is what touches me and I hope that continues into the future.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?

So many cities we have yet to play! Our two most recent hometown shows were really wonderful, but we had some amazing shows in the South as well! We can’t wait to go to Brazil and South Korea.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Maybe jointly it’s somebody like Thom Yorke. I’m really inspired by him vocally and we both just really respect the songwriting and musical exploration that he’s done, as well as the longevity of his creative career. I think Ryuichi Sakamoto is a huge influence on Noah in particular as well.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life?

I’m sort of obsessed with food but we had a Korean BBQ feast with the band the night we got back from tour that was absolutely glorious.

What album do you know every word to?

Currents by Tame Impala, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix, or the Killers’ first album Hot Fuss.

What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?

I saw Paul McCartney at Outside Lands a couple years ago and was blown away that he still had so much energy. That or the Skepta show at Palisades in 2015 (RIP to that venue) or the King Krule gig at China Chalet (RIP to that place too).

What is the best outfit for performing and why?

Something that is comfortable and moveable but also makes me feel cute and sexy. I just got these matching shirt and pants from Hyein Seo that are perfect for that.

Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?

La Meme Young

What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?

We went through a LOT of different music in the van, but when we were getting ready to play we had “More Than a Woman” by the Bee Gee’s and “Right Here Right Now” by Fatboy Slim in the rotation.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

Calendula Flowers.

What album makes for the perfect gift?

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye — I feel like you’re not gonna find anyone that wouldn’t be happy to receive that album.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

We just went on our first tour and are honestly quite lucky to have been able to stay in pretty decent/nice hotels. However, we did stay in this hotel for a radio show in Annapolis where the dude at the front desk pretty explicitly was like, “Yeah this place is haunted, anyways have a nice night!” That was fun.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

My favorite tattoo is a pomegranate on my right leg. I’ve always just loved pomegranates — their connection to the Persephone story, the fact that they’re in season in the winter, associated with death. The process of eating and taking them apart is downright gory. They’re almost alien in their construction in this way that makes me feel connected to divine design. I’m just… really into them!

What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?

Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?

Noah did the Heimlich maneuver on me once when I was choking and saved my life, that was nice I guess.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t let that editor voice in your head prevent you from being open and creative! It’s okay if it isn’t good right away and not every song you write will be good.

What’s the last show you went to?

We got to see CHVRCHES’ set many times throughout our most recent tour.

What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?

Mean Girls.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

I’m pretty good at pouring liquid generally…. The direct result of pouring wine for a living for years.

Running is out now via Elektra/Aurelians Club. Get it here.

Cafuné is a Warner Music artists. .