Listen to French-Cuban duo Ibeyi's session on NPR's World Cafe and DJ Don Cuco's remix of "Eleggua (Intro)," the opener from their debut LP.
Currently on tour behind their beautiful self-titled debut album, French-Cuban duo Ibeyi stopped by NPR's World Cafe program for a live performance and interview. In addition to playing songs from their Ibeyi LP and their version of Jay Electronica's "Better In Tune With The Infinite," sisters Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz spoke about the inspiration behind some of their compositions, their path to musical success, and the time spent with their father, the late Buena Vista Social Club percussionist Anga Diaz.
After performing the haunting "River," Lisa reveals that she wrote the track's chorus and then had an exchange with a Cuban man at a concert in France, later realizing that she wrote the song about someone even before meeting him. After playing "Mama Says," the twin sisters explain that the song was one of their first and that a video of them performing the song live was sent to XL Recordings owner (and Ibeyi producer) Richard Russell, sparking his interest in them. Before their cover of "Better in Tune with the Infinite," the duo elaborates on their relationship with their father, saying that he didn't push them into music and that they used to go to the beach with him. Closing with "Weatherman," the band mentions that it's for anyone who's helped you, even a stranger.
When he heard "Eleggua (Intro)," the opening track from Ibeyi, Minneapolis-based DJ Don Cuco was hooked right away. As he tells us, "The chanting right away just really struck me and they have such beautiful voices, and that track being mostly acapella really gave me a lot of room to create something with it." For his remix of the song, DJ Don Cuco keeps the sisters' soothing vocals yet surrounds them with ramshackle drums and high-pitched effects, adding a club feel to a more meditative song. Listen to Ibeyi's World Cafe session over at NPR, and stream DJ Don Cuco's remix of "Eleggua (Intro)" below.