|Photo by Flavien Prioreau|
During every performance, Ibeyi light two small candles on stage--one for their late father and one for their late sister. It's a way for the duo, comprised of twin-sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, to honor their lost loved ones, and also a part of their Cuban traditions. Their father was conga master Miguel 'Angá' Díaz of Irakere and Buena Vista Social Club, and they grew up with Santería, the Afro-Cuban religion based on West African Yoruba culture. In their self-titled debut released in February on XL, they build on their Yoruba roots, mixing in elements of soul, jazz, electronica, and hip hop. Lisa-Kaindé sings lead vocals and plays piano, while Naomi sings and plays percussion--cajón, batá drums, and beats.
Ibeyi (Yoruba for "twins") have taken the music world by storm these past months, appearing everywhere from the New York Times to BBC 1, to Havana Cultura. Coming off their first South by Southwest, the sisters are now on a full U.S. tour. In advance of their March 30th show at the Cedar, Gimme Noise spoke with the twins via Skype during a photo shoot in Paris, where they spoke openly about cultural identity, religion, their love of film, and their music.