"It is not merely enough to love literature if one wishes to spend one’s life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possiblity of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear."
Ibeyi, made up of Cuban-born, Paris-based twin sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, is an electronic doom soul duo who are forging a new spiritual sound with their debut EP Oya. The 19-year-old musicians are XL Recordings‘ newest signees, and their introductory singles “Oya” and “River” possess a hypnotic blend of hip-hop, electronica, and blues infused with Yoruba prayers and folk songs that will transport you to a higher realm upon first listen.
Singing in French, English, Spanish and Yoruba, Ibeyi count among their primary influences Nina Simone, Meshell Ndegeocello, James Blake and their late father, the celebrated Cuban jazz percussionist Miguel “Anga” Diaz. Ibeyi’s vocal range, which wavers from the raspy and wraith-like to the sonorous and divine, is ideal for their sonic palette which revels in the phantasmagorical groove of liturgical Yoruba songs. Besides singing in Yoruba–which was brought to Cuba by West African slaves–Ibeyi honor their father’s legacy and Afro-Cuban heritage through their percussive production and use of live instruments. Beatsmith Naomi plays both the cajón and the batá while Lisa-Kaindé remains more in tune with the musical mythos of Ibeyi’s sound by weaving Yoruba lore deeply into their lyrics. “River” is dedicated to the goddess Oshun (the mother of the Ibeyi, and their first single and EP are both named for Oya (the benevolent orisha who took the Ibeyi in after Oshun was accused of witchcraft for birthing twins and kicked them out).
How would you describe your fashion style? Please answer in the form of the first paragraph of an InStyle profile that, while not 100 percent accurate, embodies the things you strive for in your wardrobe and your beauty regimen. For example: "Lena Dunham sits down at a café table in the sixth arrondissement. She brushes her bangs aside, revealing reddened, teary eyes. 'I'm sorry -- I just passed Jim Morrison's grave and was overcome with emotion,' she says. She is 15 minutes late but too focused on her canvas satchel of antique books to care..."
"When Mindy Kaling arrived to the Chateau Marmont 30 minutes late, she apologized profusely and began dabbing ice water on a badly skinned knee. 'I thought I hit an old woman in the Loehmann's parking lot,' she said, a flush of perspiration on her cheeks and forehead. 'Turned out it was a sack of trash with a shawl draped on it. Got so mad at it that I kicked it, and this happened.' She gestured to her knee.
"Miss Kaling ushered in a scent that was a curious mix of cardamom, citrus, and Old Spice Pure Sport. Without looking at the menu, she ordered a Moscow Mule, the steak and fries with five mini bottles of Tabasco sauce. Her shirt was Ikat print, and her harem pants were tribal print. She had neon pink high tops she promptly took off. 'You don't mind, do you? It's a hell of a lot of shoe for a summer's day,' she purred. I did mind. I minded a lot."