Ibeyi

Ibeyi

Back to bands

Twin sisters fuse African-Cuban sounds with digital technology

Biography

by Noémie Lecoq
5 April 2018

Twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz didn’t choose their band name at random: in the Yoruba language, Ibeyi means “twins”. Their West African ancestors, who were sent to Cuba in the 1700s to become slaves, spoke this language. Several centuries later, the two girls spent the first two years of their lives in Havana. Their father, Angá Díaz, was a famous Cuban percussionist who played with Buena Vista Social Club, amongst others. Then, they moved to Paris and have been living in the French capital ever since, frequently going to Cuba on holiday. All of these different cultures find their way through their music. On stage, main vocalist Lisa plays the piano and Naomi is in charge of the entrancing rhythms of the duo (Batá drums and cajón, both traditional instruments). Their chemistry and charisma cast a spell on the entire audience.

Signed on Richard Russell’s record label, XL Recordings, they released their debut album when they were 20, in early 2015. A mystical record with delightful vocal harmonies, venomous melodies and a stripped-down production with an electronic touch. Thanks to this self-titled album, they started becoming a part of music royalty. In 2016, Karl Lagerfeld asked them to perform at the Chanel Cruise collection fashion show in Havana. That same year, they also appeared in one of the short films for Beyoncé’s album Lemonade. And their career continues with the same strength: last September, they released Ash, an uplifting second album with digital special effects (including auto-tune) and political messages. A way to fight and defy with a smile on their face.

Video
Audio
Similar bands