Why Alt Band Ibeyi Should Be Your New Music Obsession
There's one thing that Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, the 20-year-old sisters of the band Ibeyi (pronounced "ee-BAY-ee"), can agree on: Working with your twin isn't easy. "Never," says Lisa-Kaindé, shaking her crown of rowdy curls. "Oooh, no," says Naomi, rolling her eyes dramatically. "But at the same time, it's ... " Lisa-Kaindé begins. "... magical," Naomi finishes. They look at each other, smile, and in thick French accents repeat: "Maa-zhee-cull."
As daughters of the late Miguel "Angá" Díaz, the Buena Vista Social Club's percussionist, the sisters grew up in Paris among a wide range of cultures. Their self-titled début album, released in February to high praise—NME called it "innovative and comforting"—reflects this mix with its singular fusion of soul, jazz, electronica, and traditional Yoruba spirituals (ibeyi is Yoruba for "twins"). But a few years ago, they were just bored teenagers.
As Lisa-Kaindé explains, "One night, I said to my mother, 'I did my homework for the next two weeks, I cleaned my room, and I saw two movies and one TV series. What can I do?' She said, 'You should compose.' And Naomi said, 'Not without me.'" Et voilà, Ibeyi.
Though they launch their second U.S. tour this month, they're still growing into fame—they dream of having closets full of designer clothes (Jean Paul Gaultier dresses for Lisa-Kaindé and Rick Owens jackets for Naomi), but for now Levi's will do. "We're babies," says Lisa-Kaindé, laughing. Naomi, slightly more serious, chimes in, "Except when we're onstage."