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“River”, a compelling music video by Ibeyi, French-Cuban twins of Yoruba descent

The video for Ibeyi’s song “River” is breath-taking. Ibeyi, a French-Cuban musical duo consisting of twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz.

Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, the twin sisters who have named their group Ibeyi
Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz, the twin sisters who have named their group Ibeyi

The sisters sing both in English and Yoruba, a Nigerian language their ancestors spoke before being brought to Cuba by the Spanish to be made slaves in the 1700s.

Lisa and Naomi have a strong link with their African ancestors which is reflected on the choice of their band’s name Ibeyi (Ìbejì), a Yoruba word for “twins”.

Both the track and the video are simply fantastic. It is striking to see the girls immersed in water for large parts of the song, only surfacing at various points to sing expressionlessly their lines.

The song is so beautiful that you’ll be watching it non-stop as you join the twins in singing the chorus:

“Come to your river
I will come to your river
I will come to your river
Come to your river
(Wash my soul)
I will come to your river
(Wash my soul)
I will come to your river
Wash my soul again”

After watching the video, here’s what Seni Joshua commented on YouTube: “As a Yoruba dude, this struck me. I had to go check if they were Nigerian. Their moniker’s also Yoruba. When I started listening to it, it had a distinct tone that Yoruba ballads always had. I mean even their accents were spot on. Then found out that their traced their ancestry to the Yoruba tribe within Nigeria and they studied Yoruba folk music. Impressed to say the least. Very alternative style. Seeing this video just makes me wonder how it must have felt to hold your breath underwater for that long.”

Enjoy this wonderful hit “River” by Ibeyi

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