Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu are identical twin sisters from Nigeria. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s they performed and recorded as The Lijadu Sisters, fusing Western R&B, soul, reggae and funk, creating honest, politically-charged songs with a matriarchal bent. Aside from being megastars in Nigeria (some liken them to being the West African equivalent of The Pointer Sisters), they toured with King Sunny Ade, Art Blakey, Ginger Baker and other legends before Kehinde was injured while on tour in US. Recently, Knitting Factory Records discovered The Lijadu Sisters were living in New York, and sought to re-release a handful of their best albums, including the 1976 album, Danger (download the title track, below).
Today, the sisters—both Yoruba priestesses—live together in a small, exuberantly decorated apartment in a vertiginous apartment complex in Harlem. The small space is festooned with ancestral shrines and silky golden tapestries that spread out across the ceiling in a blanket of light, every inch of real estate imbued with symbols from their life and philosophy. We stopped by their home and were treated to some synchronous talk about the importance of peace, love and family, while sipping sweet wine and eating a traditional Nigerian fish stew with pounded yams. Hallelujha, Sunshine!
Download: The Lijadu Sisters, “Danger”