Twin sisters follow their dad's Buena Vista Social Club roots into Afro-Caribbean music

The World
Updated on

Ibeyi means "twins" in the West African lanugage of Yoruba, and twinhood is revered and sacred among the Yoruba people. So it's no wonder that Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and her twin sister, Naomi, honored that tradition by calling their musical duo Ibeyi

The twins are connected to Yoruba culture, which made its way via slavery to the Caribbean, through their late father, Miguel Anga Diaz, a percussion player for the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.

Now the Diazes have released their debut album, also called "Ibeyi." And while you'll hear acoustic sounds typical of Yoruba chanting rituals, you'll also hear polyphonous harmonies from Eastern Europe. That's because Lisa-Kaindé says she and her sister have "an obsession with voices." And Yoruba music, they say, is exactly the same: "It's all about rhythm and voices." 

It sometimes gets a little scary and funny when the twins speak. Not only do they say the same words at the same time, but they'll say it in perfect harmony. It's not really intentional, it's just comes out that way. "It's always that way," they say with a laugh. 

UPDATE: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Lisa-Kaindé Diaz's name.

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