Over the past three or four years, I’ve written quite a bit about French-Cuban twin sibling act Ibeyi (proounbed ee-bey-ee), who have become JOVM mainstays and an internationally applauded act. And as you may recall, Lisa-Kainde and Naomi Diaz’s self-titled, full-length debut thematically focused on the past as it drew upon the loss of their legendary father Anga Diaz, their relationship with each other, their origins, and a connection to their roots– while sonically meshing elements of contemporary electro pop, hip-hop, jazz, the blues, Cuban folk music and Yoruba folk music in a way that brought Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective‘s Roots Before Branches to mind.
The duo’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort Ash was released today and the reportedly the album’s material finds the duo writing some of the most personal, visceral and politically charged material they’ve released to date — and while continuing to be firmly rooted in the Afro-Cuban culture that has influenced their personal and creative lives, the material thematically focuses on who the Diaz sisters are now, in a period in which the world has seemingly turned upside down, and issues of racial, gender and sexual identity continue to be at the core of society’s most vexing sociopolitical issues.
Ash’s fourth and latest single “I Wanna Be Like You” pairs the Diaz Sister’s gorgeous harmonies with a sparse and hyper modern production consisting of Afro-Cuban percussion emphasized with stuttering beats, whistling and shimmering synths and an effortlessly slick and soulful hook but much like it’s predecessors, the song continues a further exploration of the sisters identity within a world in which identity, and being true to it is desperately needed.
Directed by Remi Besse, the recently released video for “I Wanna Be Like You” continue a lengthy string of striking visuals that emphasize the Diaz Sisters unique role as twins and as separate individuals, with their distinct personalities and moods — and of course, throughout they also remind the listener and viewer that they have a profound intimacy.
The duo will be embarking on an extensive Western European and Stateside tour that includes a November 5, 2017 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out tour dates below.