CRUSHING ON: IBEYI

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Did you grow up intrigued by every twin featured in the 1980’s Double-Mint Gum commercials? The classic advertisement always promised, twins bring twice the fun, twice the mystery and twice the talent.

And that may be why we’re currently crushing on Ibeyi, the hypnotic zygotic siblings set to release their debut album in February. There are many reasons for our obsession, but here are the top four:

1.  THEIR MUSIC VIDEO FOR THEIR SECOND SINGLE, “RIVER”
This haunting and sexy video will both terrify and satisfy you.  It’s as if the twins from The Shining grew up, got a Rosario-Dawson-beauty-school makeover and landed a record deal. When we first saw this music video, we couldn’t turn away from the spellbinding imagery (we will spare you the complex dreams it gave us later). This video blurs the lines between nightmare and fantasy in the most awesome way:

2.  MUSIC RUNS IN THE TWINS’ BLOODLINE
19-year-old twins Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz are the daughters of the late Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Anga Diaz. Unless you grew up in a cave, you would know the significant cultural impact of the famed club. It wasn’t just a casual spot. It was a movement that spawned a band, an album and a film, and brought international attention to Cuban music, which has influenced countless artists. When Anga died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2006, Naomi and Lisa-Kainde (then 11-years-old), honored their father by learning his signature instrument, the cajon.

The late and great Anga Diaz.

The late and great Anga Diaz.

3.  SADE, TRICKY, FKA TWIGS AND CELIA CRUZ WALK INTO A BAR….
With Naomi on the cajon & batas and Lisa on keys, the duo has created a mish-mash of musical styles, including Afro-Cuban, electronic and modern pop. If record stores still existed on a mass level, you would have a hard time finding their album. But they’ve developed their own category for their sound, which they’ve dubbed “Contemporary Negro Spirituals.” The sisters’ tunes are inspired by the Yoruba tradition, which are chants brought to Cuba from Nigeria and Benin on slave ships. And in case you’re wondering where they got the name Ibeyi, it’s Yorubian for “twins.”

4.  LIKE DC COMICS’ WONDER TWINS, THEY COMPLETE EACH OTHERS’ SENTENCES
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Yes thats right, these twins actually speak in unison, completing each other’s thoughts like DC’s The Wonder Twins and G.I. Joe’s Tomax and Xamot, better known as The Crimson Twins. You always hear about that anomly, but you never really actually witness it. Naomi and Lisa-Kainde take that phenomenon a step further—they actually bump into each other to find they’re both singing the same random song; even the same verse and line! “It is not strange to us for that to happen,” Lisa-Kainde told The Guardian. Ads Naomi, “with music, we just look into each other’s eyes, and we know.”

 

Christopher McDonald is a Senior Producer, Writer, Music Producer, Talent Booker and Photographer. He has produced and written for an array of programming including late-night television, cable news & editorial interviews. Having worked at CNN and PBS, Christopher is experienced in both live and taped formats and has 15 years continuous experience in the fast-paced ever-changing medium of television.Chris helped launch “Tavis Smiley” and “The Arsenio Hall Show” rebooting from the ground up. If you ever need to talk music and lyrical meaning with anyone, Christopher’s your guy. And whether he’s wearing loafers, Oxfords, clogs or sneakers, he’ll pull off the best moonwalk you will ever see.

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