Darlini Singh Kaul and Joy Tyson were raised by musical families. Darlini was born in London, with Indian French roots. She went to a French conservatoire, later on, she studied theatre and dance in the UK. Joy, whose family comes from Eastern Europe, grew up in Clearwater, Florida. When she was 17, she moved to the West Coast to study sustainable living in a community in California.
The two women were united by their shared love for African music. From their early beginnings in Goa, they were surrounded by an enthusiastic community of musicians who explored different music traditions, such as Indian classical, Turkish and Arabic maqam. Of course, they were inspired by Western jazzcats as well. When it came to naming their band, the duo drew inspiration from the West African Bambara term 'Farafina', meaning the 'land of the black skin.'
Feeling limited by English and French, Farafi use their own constructed language as a tool to compose purely on a phonetic aspect, resonating mostly with the phonetics of Zulu, Xhosa, Swahili and Yoruba. The heart of Farafi is a duo, with both women singing. Joy plays the cajon, Moroccan krakebs and frame drum, Darlini the West African ngoni, the kashaka and Indian ghungroos, but Farafi can extend to as much as a live eight-piece band.
Joy and Darlini have travelled the world. Now that they consider Berlin their new home, they teamed up with local label Piranha Records - Kreuzberg's outpost to send messages from the global underground. After two official bootlegs, the time is right to release Farafi's debut album 'Calico Soul'.