Ibeyi perform in The Current studio

Ibeyi perform "Mama Says" from their self-titled debut live in the studios of 89.3 The Current. (MPR)
Play/Pause
Listen:
Ibeyi perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
Download MP3
| 00:19:27
  • Ibeyi perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 19:27
  • Ibeyi - Ghost (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:36
  • Ibeyi - Mama Says (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:55
  • Ibeyi - Weather Man (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:35

Ibeyi comprise a melange of cultures. Sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz perform music with African and Cuban influences. They take their name "Ibeyi" from a Yoruba word meaning "twins." They sing English lyrics with vocal stylings reminiscent of American or British soul music. Oh — and when they chat with one another, they do so in French, the natural language of Paris, the city where they were raised and where they reside to this day.

Now in the Twin Cities to play at Mill City Nights as part of their tour in support of their self-titled debut album, Ibeyi stopped at The Current for an in-studio session hosted by Bill DeVille.

Daughters of famed Cuban percussionist and member of the Buena Vista Social Club, Anga Diaz, it's often assumed the sisters had an early start in music. "It was not that obvious to play together," Lisa says. "A lot of people that think we started at three playing together, but not at all, we started really late."

Both sisters sing, and their voices blend in rich harmonies. Lisa plays piano and Naomi adds digital samples but she's primarily a one-woman rhythm section, her percussion consisting of a rhythmic blend of cajón hits, knee slaps, torso taps and finger snaps.

When a video of the sisters performing their song, "Mama Says," made its way to producer Richard Russell, he encouraged representatives from the XL Recordings label to see Ibeyi in concert. "They saw a show and two months later, we were recording," Lisa recalls. "So it was really quick. In a month, everything changed."

Their album, Ibeyi, was recorded at Russell's studio in Notting Hill in London. "It was a life-changing experience," both sisters agree.

Ibeyi will be on tour until August 2016, and in the meantime, they're writing a second album which Russell will also produce. Listen to the complete in-studio session to hear more from Ibeyi.

Songs Performed


"Ghost"
"Mama Says"
"Weather Man"
All songs off Ibeyi's self-titled debut album, out now on XL Recordings.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Tom Coughlin
Web feature by Luke Taylor

9 Photos

  • Ibeyi - 1
    Lisa-Kainde Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 2
    Ibeyi perform in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 3
    Lisa-Kainde Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 4
    Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 5
    Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 6
    Lisa-Kainde Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 7
    Naomi Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi - 8
    Lisa-Kainde Diaz of Ibeyi performs in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Ibeyi with Bill DeVille
    Host Bill DeVille poses with Naomi Diaz (L) and Lisa-Kainde Diaz (R) of Ibeyi. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)

comments powered by Disqus