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Ibeyi's Voices Rise Up

Ibeyi performs live in Paris for <em>World Cafe. </em>
Kimberly Junod
/
WXPN
Ibeyi performs live in Paris for World Cafe.

Lisa-Kaindé Díaz and Naomi Díaz are twin sisters who make music as Ibeyi. Growing up, the twin sisters split their time between Cuba and France. The music they make now delivers West-African and Afro-Cuban influence through an electronic filter you can feel deeply in your bones, and the blend between their voices is nothing short of spectacular. They sing mostly in the language Yoruba, which is also a system of beliefs and religion into which both sisters were initiated into when their mom was pregnant.

In this interview recorded live in Paris, the pair share how Yoruban traditions have shaped the people they become. They talk about the influence of their dad, who was a member of the famed Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club, and their cross-cultural childhood. And Ibeyi performs the moving song written for Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamildrop series, inspired by his smash hit Broadway musical Hamilton, called "Rise Up, Wise Up, Eyes Up."

Copyright 2021 XPN. To see more, visit XPN.

Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.