Losing yourself in music can sometimes save you…..

Meet the twin sisters of Ibeyi. Their band name, pronounced ee-bay-ee, means twins in Yorouban language (a Nigerian language that went to Cuba via slavery in the 1700’s). They are Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz.

Ibeyi - XL Recordings, London, 22/09/14 | Photo by Wunmi Onibudo

Born to a famous Cuban percussionist of the Buena Vista Social Club, Anga Diaz, may explain the shared source of their lovely talent. They claim they were too young for it to be a direct influence, because they lost their father when they were only 11 years old. The sisters did learn to play his signature instrument, the cajón. It is a box, crate, or drawer with usually six sides and is used as a percussion instrument. When they lost their older sister, tragically just a few years ago, Lisa claims,

 “Singing saved me. I realised I could lose everyone, spend my life crying, but at least I could survive.” told to Rhik Samadder of The Guardian.

There is a distinctive mysterious beauty to their soft chants and alluring voices. Each sister brings their own personality to their music. Lisa, who plays the piano and writes the music and lyrics is seriously soulful, while her sister Naomi, tends to lean deeper into electronica and pounding beats. The combination of the two is powerful and intoxicating. Signed to the hip record label XL, their lives are changing dramatically from the self-professed idea of Lisa being a quiet music teacher, and Naomi a never-ending fun, party girl. Thankfully, they are now traveling the world and sharing their unique, exotic music.

Their debut album, of the same name Ibeyi, is out now. This wowing track, “Ghosts”,  is a favorite of mine. Be sure to listen all the way through because just when you think they have settled into a sound, it changes and switches beautifully and captures you with the perfect ending.


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