Artists of the week: Ibeyi

Artists of the week on Musikki – Ebyi

Ibeyi is a French-Cuban musical duo consisting of Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. Though born in Cuba, the twin sisters were raised in Paris, where they currently reside. Their father was the famous Cuban percussionist, Anga Díaz, who was a member of Buena Vista Social Club. The duo sings in English and Yoruba, an ancient Nigerian language their ancestors spoke and the name of the band (pronounced ee-bey-ee) refers the divine spirit that exists between twins. Lisa is usually the lead voice and also plays piano, while Naomi plays traditional Cuban percussion instruments such as cajón and Batá drum.

Their recently released eponymous debut album is a beautifully produced collection of songs that fuses jazz, hip-hop beats, samples and electronica with traditional instruments in order to evoke elements of French, Afro-Cuban and Yoruba culture. Nevertheless, it all sounds both immediate and hypnotic, which makes their debut a surprising addition to a lineage of highly inventive and evocative records from composers such as Kate Bush and Björk.

João Pedro da Costa

João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.