Cuban-born, Paris-raised twins Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, 19, are as different as sisters can be. “I am sensitive and impulsive,” admits Naomi, “and Lisa-Kaindé is reflective and calm, so sometimes there’s some electricity.”
“We don’t see things the same way,” agrees Lisa-Kaindé. But the stunning sisters do share a bond that goes beyond twindom: “We make music because it makes us feel good and alive.”
In fact, their childhood was imbued with melodies and myths. Their mother sang in Yorùbá—a West African language and religion imported to Cuba during slavery. Their father was Latin jazz great and Grammy-winning percussionist Angá Díaz (Buena Vista Social Club), who died suddenly when the sisters were 11. Naomi began playing the cajón drum the day after their father’s death, while pianist Lisa-Kaindé explored songwriting and her love of jazz. “Playing music is a way to communicate with him,” says LisaKaindé of their unique sound. And in 2013, the duo Ibeyi (Yorùbá for “twins”) was officially born.
Last summer, tracks from their forthcoming self-titled album were released via XL (the label behind Adele and M.I.A.). Music bloggers went crazy for their sound: ancient yet avant-garde, smouldering and spiritual. “There is prayer in this album,” say Naomi and LisaKaindé, who describe it as modern Negro spirituals. For music lovers, it is bound to be a game changer.
Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz of Ibeyi