It’s National Siblings Day and, along with corresponding congratulations and shout outs, today is also an excellent opportunity to reflect on the uniquely tumultuous yet rewarding relationships only siblings can build. Whether you’ve experienced the joy of a lifelong ally, shared a home with a comic book-level arch nemesis, or are an only child who’s developed similarly profound bonds with chosen family; your sibling can be both a partner in crime and the biggest test to your patience.
These days, my own sister and I could teach a masterclass on sibling love and feuding: I as the constantly exasperated older brother and she as the baby of the house who constantly got away with murder. But behind all the teasing and complaints to mom about not being able to play with my toys, we’ve grown to have each other’s back even when finding common ground has proven difficult. Being a sibling is a constant exercise in compromise, cushioned by the fact that yours is an unbreakable connection.
In celebration of National Sibling’s Day, we’ve put together a list of musical families who’ve harnessed the intimate language of siblinghood and transformed it into wildly successful careers. Enjoy the music, embrace the holiday and if they’re within arm’s reach, give your sibling a noogie. You know, for old time’s sake.
The first of several twins to make the list, Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz have made a pop culture splash over the better part of a decade by embedding their Cuban heritage, Yoruba spirituality and unshakeable sisterly bond into the bedrock of their art. The video for Ibeyi‘s 2014 breakout “River” featured the pair underwater in a bathtub, contrasting themes of death and trust against striking imagery of home baptisms. In the powerful clip for 2017’s “Deathless,” the sisters gave birth to each other in a marvelous, cinematic statement about resistance and resilience; finding innovative new ways of illustrating the psychic link they’ve shared since the womb.
The legendary queens of the party, Nina Sky, have solidified their place in the reggaeton canon with some of the genre’s most recognizable hooks. Instant classics like “Move Ya Body” and the undeniably catchy “Boricua, morena, dominicano, colombiano” chant on N.O.R.E.’s “Oye Mi Canto” made Nina Sky a household name in every corner of the globe. But at the center of it all are twin sisters Natalie and Nicole Albino, who’ve been hustling on the scene since the early 2000s, building their massive career on collaboration and mutual support, especially as touring mothers with young children and hectic schedules.
Selena y Los Dinos
The legend of the Queen of Tejano has been told a million times through books, film, serialized television and countless oral histories. But before Selena was a deified superstar, the early makings of her sound and legacy were crafted with family; mainly her siblings Suzette and A. B. Quintanilla who were the rhythmic backbone of Los Dinos. Deep dive into archival 80s footage of the band for a refreshing walk down memory lane filled with organic chemistry, satin outfits and wild hairdos.
Los Hermanos Rosario
Truly the definition of a family affair, merengue icons Los Hermanos Rosarios broke out in the late 70s with a lineup comprised of siblings Rafa, Tony, Luis, Pepe, Francis, Rossy and Toño. Over the decades the band has experienced numerous line up changes and today only three original members remain; but don’t sleep on Toño Rosario, who in his solo career has become one of the all-time merengue greats.
Jesse & Joy
Over the past 15 years, incandescent pop duo Jesse & Joy have unleashed a plethora of chart topping hits that cemented the pair as some of the most prolific songwriters and recording artists working in Mexico’s gargantuan music industry. But it’s the brother and sister chemistry that truly clicked for fans; always there as each other’s support system, whether snatching trophies at the Grammy’s or during Joy’s emotional coming out announcement in 2019. Their momentum shows no signs of slowing, releasing a steady stream of music all throughout the pandemic.
Mula: Cristabel Acevedo & Anabel Acevedo
Before we became fully obsessed with the banger-crafting factory that is Mula, we fell in love with twin sisters Cristabel and Anabel Acevedo thanks to the twee charm of their minimalist folk project, Las Acevedo. Between sweet harmonies and their intuitive telepathy, songs about summer romances, coming of age, and nostalgic musings on the passing of time echoed in our ears in perfect unison. While their sound has been completely revolutionized since producer Rachel Rojas joined the fray, this new chapter has only amplified the synchronicity between sisters.
Pimpinela: Lucía & Joaquín Galán
Breaking out in the early 1980s, Argentine duo Pimpinela confounded many of their fans when it was revealed Lucía and Joaquín Galán were real life brother and sister, especially since some of their biggest hits are duets that play out like quarrels between lovers. Their signature call and response singing style gave classics like “Olvídame y Pega La Vuelta” and “A Esa” a theatrical flair that made their arguments seem even more realistic and deliciously salacious.
Sotomayor: Raul & Paulina Sotomayor
Since their 2015 debut album Salvaje, Raul and Paulina Sotomayor have become darlings of the Mexico City indie scene with their eclectic cocktail of jungle sounds, Caribbean roots music and elements of cumbia and techno. The siblings are a perfect example of a collaborative one-two punch facilitated by family dynamics, with Raul largely taking on production duties while Paulina assumed the role of front woman and lead songwriter. Sotomayor will always be a winning combination together, but that hasn’t stopped the pair from exploring individual endeavors. Raul has produced numerous remixes as well as Carolina Camacho‘s acclaimed debut album, while Paulina recently released her buzzy solo debut under a new stage name, Pahua.
Julieta & Yvonne Venegas
Julieta Venegas has been a beacon of Mexican rock for over two decades, frequently canvasing themes of romance, heartbreak and independence. But independent doesn’t mean alone, especially for Julieta who’s always counted on the support of her twin sister Yvonne; a critically acclaimed photographer and a fixture of the international arts stage. Despite their diverging creative paths, the Tijuana natives cross paths constantly, never too far away from heart or home.
Mecano: Jose María & Nacho Cano
The iconic status of Spanish avant-pop band Mecano cannot be understated, but while singer Ana Torroja generally receives the majority of accolades, brothers Jose María and Nacho Cano laid the sonic foundation for the group while co-writing the majority of their hits. From the punkish synthpop of early classics like “Me Colé en una Fiesta” and “Maquillaje,” to the nuanced experimentalism of later albums like Descanso Dominical, the musically voracious brothers were very much at the helm of the band’s sonic identity. A rift between the Cano Brothers tore Mecano apart in the mid 90s, and while reunion rumors have swirled for ages, Jose María has mostly stepped away from music finding his footing instead as a painter and visual artist.