Lion Babe approached LVRN’s 3rd annual RaurFest– with a cool confidence that has only grown since the debut of their hit song “Treat Me Like Fire” in 2012, continuing to make waves and attracting new fans to their eclectic sound. With their NYC tenacity, Lion Babe recently hit Vinyl at Center Stage to deliver an intimate performance fresh off of a RaurFest high- where they performed just hours earlier, alongside artists like Raury, Joey Bada$$, and Kilo Kish. A mixture of genres with an ample dose of nostalgic influences, Lion Babe is classified as neo-soul, but break the mold when you’re trying to decide where to categorize them on your playlist. If you didn’t know them before, you’ll be sure to spot the duo now considering Jillian Hervey’s signature golden mane (also known for being Vanessa William’s daughter) and Lucas Goodman on stage with an editorial edge coupled with a shy smile.
Lucas bobs to the live beat he’s crafting and the band falls in pocket while Jillian feeds off their vibrations as she sings, grins deviously, and drops it down low- hitting moves only someone with an extensive background in dance could do… or Beyoncé. The synchronicity and harmony takes over and you know they’re a pair at once, blended like your favorite almond butter and fused together by their creative process and love for music. They draw the crowd into this energy to sing along with the seductive, hypnotic lulls of “Jungle Lady.” It makes you stand there and wonder- ‘what rock have I been hiding under for Lion Babe to not be in regular rotation?’ Then you think back and realize their first debut EP in December 2015, so you’re still on your game.
Thankfully, Lion Babe sat down with us to discuss life, being single, and being good to your body amongst other things. Here’s what they had to say…
“Treat Me Like Fire” started off as a fun project, but once released it was so well received and took off. How did that change your life at that point?
It didn’t necessarily change much except the focus of what I was doing. I was doing so much dance, that I was like ‘ok, well “Treat Me Like Fire” is a way for me to incorporate dance and bring the music into it.’ I think we just realized this was something we could do everyday and that was really exciting and definitely changed day-to-day life; but it also felt like we were still just everywhere, grinding, figuring shit out, seeing our friends. It wasn’t until we really started to put our music out that it felt like a shift.
You just released “Sun Joint” what was your inspiration for that?
We just had a bunch of music- we just put “Begin“ out in February- but the other records, the ideas were really remixes and cover albums that we couldn’t really do on the project and we just really wanted to get it out before summertime…before we started this tour. Ya know, it just felt like we were just finishing it up and didn’t want to wait to have to put it out.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since you’ve started?
Well for one- like when it comes to shows- when I first started I didn’t realize how hard it was to sing and dance at the same time because I was like “ok I understand” then I would be on-stage and I would be so out of breath and not be able to hit a high note. So that’s the main thing, I’m so impressed with myself to be able to just get that going. Even from when I had to talk and introduce myself I’m like I don’t sound cool or anything like that and now I realize the best thing to do is be yourself and say what you want to say. Be real with people and if something happens that’s awkward, point it out or whatever. It’s nice because people see yourself and they see who you are, which was always the goal. You really just want to be seen as who you are.
What are 5 things you would tell your 20 year old self?
1. Of all the things you really want to do but you’re still frustrated about because you’re still grinding at it and you don’t really know what to do, if you just keep doing it, you can get there or somewhere pretty close at least- if you try real hard.
2. Don’t have a serious boyfriend.
3. Be adventurous. Go out and experience as much as you can.
4. Push yourself and Challenge yourself in all ways.
5. Take care of your body *laughs* get in a good habit of taking care of yourself early on so that when you get older it doesn’t feel weird.
Get the scoop on where around the world you’ll see Lion Babe next and listen to their most recent mixtape “SunJoint” here that includes features from Raury, DJ Dahi, Junglepussy, and Angel Haze. Get lost in the summertime grooves.