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IBEYI

Ibeyi

Ash

    French-Cuban twins Ibeyi are back with their second album ‘Ash’, a record that tackles subjects as diverse as womanhood, spirituality, activism and racism, all conveyed in Ibeyi’s own unique blend of modern pop, hip-hop and electronic influenced music that incorporates the traditional sounds of Yorùbá. ‘Ash’ is the follow-up to the twin’s 2015 critically acclaimed, eponymous debut album that made Ibeyi a globally recognized name.

    While Ibeyi’s first album grappled with the past—the sister’s relationship, origins, loss, and roots. It earned them fans and collaborators in some of the most iconic and crucial artists of today, Beyoncé and Alvin Ailey included. By contrast, Ash is a more visceral and potent political statement, and while firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history, finds itself entirely concerned with Ibeyi’s present: Who Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi are, what’s important to them, and how they live today, especially given that the spheres, both personally and politically, are entirely different from when Ibeyi was recorded.

    ‘Ash’ was recorded in November 2016 in London with producer Richard Russell at his studio The Copper House. The album features twelve new tracks, including ‘Away Away’ which was released in June, and includes appearances from Kamasi Washington, Mala Rodriguez, Chilly Gonzales, Meshell Ndegeocello.

    ‘Deathless,’ the second track to be debuted from ‘Ash’, features the incomparable Kamasi Washington on saxophone, and was written in the wake of an experience that Lisa-Kaindé had when she was sixteen that involved her being wrongly arrested by French police. She went home and wrote the emotive ‘Deathless,’ in which she describes her experience: “I was writing ‘Deathless’ as an anthem for everybody!” Lisa-Kaindé says. “For every minority. For everybody that feels that they are nothing, that feels small, that feels not cared about and I want them to listen to our song and for three minutes feel large, powerful, deathless. I have a huge amount of respect for people who fought for, what I think, are my rights today and if we all sing together ‘we are deathless, ’they will be living through us into a better world”.

    Step out of the gloom and into Ibeyi’s world, a place of optimism, openness and acceptance. The modern world never looked so beautiful as it does through Ibeyi’s lens

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Martin says: The French-Cuban twins return with their sophomore release ‘Ash’, fusing a unique blend of hip-hop, jazz, modern electronic pop and the traditional sounds of Yorùbá.

    Ibeyi

    Ibeyi

      Ibeyi (pronounced “ee-bey-ee”) is Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz, daughters of the late Cuban percussionist 'Anga' Diaz of Buena Vista Social fame. Naomi plays percussive instruments, the Cajon and the Batas, while Lisa plays piano. Together the twins have learned the songs of their father’s culture, Yoruba. Their love of Yorùbá choirs was inspired by their mother.

      Yoruba travelled from West Africa to Cuba with slavery in the 1700s. The Yoruba people have the highest twinning rate in the World and twins occupy an important position within Yoruba culture.

      Ibeyi sing in English and Yoruba and they have created a minimalist sound that merges elements of their heritage with their natural love of modern music as teenagers brought up in Paris. This self-titled debut album, produced by XL’s Richard Russell, is an inventive collision of the old and the new - stark electronic atmospherics, heartfelt soulful vocals and melodies inspired by slave chants to produce what Ibeyi themselves have dubbed “contemporary negro spirituals”.

      For fans of James Blake, Bjork etc.



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