SOUL­FUL SIS­TERS

Elle (Canada) - - Radar - CHAKA V. REID

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

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