LION BABE ALIVENS THE SENSES WITH THEIR WORLDLY R&B SOUND

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Eclectic powerhouse Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman make up the duo that is the R&B dynamic of Lion Babe. The band’s name alone gives off the soft fierceness that whets the appetite of the casual music lover. Their sound is a lush appeal of the R&B world as we know it. They bring back a 70s disco Chaka Khan sleek vibe that touches on Hervey’s Erykah Badu-esque husky vocals.

The duo’s newest single, “Into Me”, off last year’s Cosmic Wind album, is just that: A 70s disco that meets the dance floor of 2020. Unfortunately, with ongoing circumstances of COVID-19, there are no dancefloors to be had, that is why Lion Babe is giving you an in-house virtual concert and dating experience. Yep, you read that right dating experience. “This situation is forcing us to create new ways to interact and produce, and no matter what is going on in the world, there is no doubt that people are always looking for their match or someone to experience life with,” Hervey explains.


Lion Babe recently talked to Ladygunn about how the duo met, their album Cosmic Wind, and Hervey’s stylistic approach to music.

How did you and Lucas meet each other?

We met through a mutual friend at a college party. We ended up reconnecting a few years later and casually got into making things while I was a senior in college. I needed a dance piece scored. After that went well, we started floating around the idea of making music together. “Treat Me Like Fire” was the first song we wrote.

Where did you get the inspiration for “Into Me”, lyrically and musically?

We actually had a very old song idea/concept before our album that we recorded one day with my best friend from college, Andre Singleton. He naturally spoke the words “intimacy, sexually, emotionally, financially,” etc over the beat, and when he ended it with “get into me,” we knew we had to hold onto it.

About a year later, we were out in LA doing sessions and working on the Cosmic Wind album and we started this new song with Jameel Bruneer (formally from The Internet). He played the keys and we all just played off of each other and made this funky classic sounding song/idea. Once we got back to our studio in NY, we started working on the song more and realized that the “get into me” bit from the other demo would work great for the chorus.

Jillian, a YouTube comment said you look like “Beyonce Badu”. Do you take style inspiration from them, if not who?

Beyonce Badu definitely sounds like a force to be reckoned with. I take it as a compliment. They are both amazing artists, performers and innovators. They both have careers that continue to transform and they are always ahead of the times. I love how effortlessly authentic Erykah is and how dynamic Beyonce is on stage. The both rock big hair like it ain’t no thing as well! I have a soft spot for the 90s songstresses I grew up watching and listening to, but also love the women of the 70s – Chaka Khan, Grace Jones, and Debbie Harry to name a few.

Can you tell me more about the Virtual Global Tour and Dating Experience? Who and how did you come up with this amazing idea?

We are embarking new territory virtually as a response to what is happening globally right now. We had planned to tour this summer and after the pandemic started, we want to find a way to still play and connect people. Our music is for lovers, so it felt like another interesting approach to watching a live stream. This situation is forcing us to create new ways to interact and produce, and no matter what is going on in the world, there is no doubt that people are always looking for their match or someone to experience life with. We have to thank our manager for spearheading the concept! We are excited that we can join forces with venues and hopefully play matchmaker.

Ideally, if you can play at any NYC venue right now, where would it be and why?

Ideally, if we could choose any place to play in NYC safely, we would aim high and play a huge show at Central Park. That way everyone could finally be outside for some fresh air and we could all dance and spread out!

Tell me more about the album Cosmic Wind and if you could also use one word to describe it, what would it be?

Cosmic Wind is our first independent album, so we are very proud of accomplishing it on all levels. It was made the way we always thought we would make an album when we first started the band, in our own studio in New York with amazing collaborations and embracing all the influences that we always knew we wanted to explore. In one word it is our touchstone.

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‘CAN’T GET ENOUGH’

photos / Dana Trippe

story / Robert Frezza

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