Ibeyi: The Power of Twins
After watching this video, I was compelled to spread the undeniable talent of Ibeyi (ee-bey-ee): the musical duo consisting of the vocal and instrumental skills of twin sisters Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz.
Daughters of the famous Cuban Percussionist and member of the Buena Vista Social Club, Miguel “Anga” Diaz, they began playing his signature instrument, the cajon, and studying the Yoruba Folk songs at the age of 11 after their father’s passing. Now, at age 19, French/Cuban Soul and R&B sisters are completely blowing my mind with polyphonic storytelling, both melodically and visually making me upset that “River” and “Oya” are all I have to share.
I truly enjoyed not just the message of the song “River”, which included an amazing combination of sounds, not dissimilar from Jill Scott or Zapp Mama, but this video transcends simplicity and brings us into something tangible. Not to mention the pure skill of holding your breath between 15 and 45 seconds and remaining stoic in nature; giving us an amazing performance in multiple art forms. “Oya” takes us into a different, yet captivating world that feels like beautiful agony.
Ibeyi sings in a mixture of English and “Yoruba”, a West African language that made it to Cuba by way of slavery in the 18th century. Their 4 track self-titled EP “Ibeyi” ( which translates to “twin” in Yoruba) is now available on iTunes, however the second two tracks are only alternates of the first two, “River” and “Oya.”
Ibeyi was signed to XL Recordings last year. For those who don’t know, XL Recordings also brought us phenomenal artists like M.I.A., The White Stripes, Radiohead, Tyler the Creator and Adele. So please show your support of these talents, as well as those of Ibeyi in the hopes that we will be hearing more fantastic music from them soon.