Lion Babe: In Hot Pursuit

New York-based neo-soul tandem LION BABE is on a quest to be heard and will not rest until they’re reigning the airwaves in mammoth proportions.

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Lion Babe had a long night in the UK, according to their songstress, Jillian Hervey, who’s a dead ringer of her mother, actress and singer Vanessa Williams. It wasn’t because she and Lion Babe’s other half Lucas Goodman (a.k.a. Astro Raw) were out and about, roaming the streets of London; they were busy preparing in the studio for their then UK tour. This is Lion Babe’s way of conquering the world with their soul-filled and heady tunes—one continent at a time. The idiom “strike while the iron is hot” is something that they’ve obviously been practicing and taking in by heart. “It’s been moving pretty fast for us. When we released our first song ‘Treat Me Like Fire,’ we signed a record deal six months later. That really pushed us to develop our sound and make more good songs,” shares Lucas. The duo have already worked with titans of the music industry such as Mark Ronson, Pharrell Williams, and Childish Gambino, and with their debut album coming around September, they’ve been doing more collaborations—trying to infuse new flavors and sounds to their present gamut and song-producing formula.

If there’s anything, Lion Babe wants consistency and growth with how they create their music; it’s also vital that it’s their own voice, flow, and grind that represents them and not anybody else’s. “We definitely want a body of work to sit out there as a continuation of whatever happened to ‘Treat Me Like Fire,’ just that kind of feel,” says Lucas. “We want to make sure that was the first thing we pull out, that kind of represents us and then now, there’s room for this next level that we’re working on.”

We caught up with the duo while hustling in an unfamiliar territory that they won over by their special blend of soul, talent, and charisma.

You’re currently on tour in the UK for your self-titled debut EP. How is the reception of your audience there so far?

Lucas: It’s been great! We just put out our most recent single called “Wonder Woman,” which we collaborated on with Pharrell Williams, and it’s been doing really well. We just found out yesterday that the single got included on the B-List of BBC Radio 1, that’s amazing. Getting that push and everyone digging the track like that, it’s really nice over here.

How do you make sure that your audience is having fun in your show?

Jillian: Performing on stage is personally our kind of escape. The only way we can guarantee that other people are having fun is if we’re having fun. I just usually let it go and do what I feel is natural and make sure that the band is connected with everyone. I think that kind of energy is what people pick up from. It’s just being open to have the audience interact, and whenever they smile, I smile back.


“Performing on stage is personally our kind of escape. The only way we can guarantee that other people are having fun is if we’re having fun.”

What has been the most surreal thing to happen to you guys due to this newfound success?

J: When I look back this past year alone, one of the biggest experiences for us would be opening for The Roots in a series of tours. That was really exciting.

Outside of your life as the duo Lion Babe, what’s your life like? Do you still find time to do other things that aren’t music related?

J: Right now, not really, but it’s totally fine. We understand. We’re hardworking people, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we’re making. But that being said, it’s summer, and yes, I wish I can be chilling at a BBQ with my friends in Brooklyn, but we gotta work. If I’m not being Lion Babe, most likely I’d be making some tea, sitting outside with my dog, or trying to see my family. I love art, I like going to museums, and I love going to performances to see my other friends perform. I definitely miss that because scheduling has been tough, but I think it’s also important that you have to keep feeding your brain with what other people are making. Luckily, there’s internet for that, but a lot of times, it doesn’t satisfy you as much as actually seeing and watching a performance. Whenever we have the moment, it’s really good to have some R n’ R and take some time off.


Besides touring, what’s next for Lion Babe?

J: We’re currently preparing for our tour here in the UK, that’s super exciting. We’ll be releasing more music, just really trying to grow musically. People have singles and EPs to live with, but I think that they would love more music and more content, so that they can really be more excited. It’s fun to make something and we really want to share it to everybody. It’s just really doing that and growing as a band, and I’m sure we’ll be traveling more.

By Denise Mallabo
Published in STATUS Magazine, June 2015

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