Artist You Should Know: LION BABE

The funky-cool electronic duo from New York City share a special chemistry that is their music. The vocalist of the group Jillian Hervey, is beautiful, feisty and most importantly, incredibly talented. Hervey met the skilled and humble producer Lucas Goodman at a party in college. Five years later they re-connected and produced their first single ‘Treat Me Like Fire.’ This track essentially put these two on the map, and landed them a record deal with Interscope records. The duo makes music “organically,” both bringing crucial elements that are entirely different from one another.

Hervey has all of the herbs and spices in her voice, often sounding like vintage artists from the 1960s and 70s. Her powerful voice does have several vintage influences, as she recalled growing up listening to Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday, Chaka Khan, and several other soulful singers in an interview with YouKnowIGotSoul.com. Jillian’s mother is the famous actress and singer Vanessa Williams; and her father is musician manager Ramon Hervey II. The soulful artist had plans to pursue a dance career and dreamed of joining the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Her life took an unexpected turn when she first sang on the newly produced ‘Treat Me Like Fire’ in 2015. She utterly surprised herself with the talent she exerted, and the natural flow of her voice against the impressive sample. This was Goodman and Hervey’s opportunity to create something special—Lion Babe.

Similarly, Goodman recalled growing up listening to vintage artists like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles--courtesy of his parents. Goodman recalled his producing influences growing up, naming artists such as J Dilla, Wu Tang, Flying Lotus and DJ Premier in Lion Babe’s interview with YouKnowIGotSoul.com. He began beat-making in his college dorm, when he could be alone and really hone in on the music. From there, the New York based producer has continued to make music and practice his craft.   

Initially, the group was signed with Outsiders Music in the UK with a woman named Amanda Ghost. After their release of ‘Treat Me Like Fire,’ people took a real liking to the genre-less duo. In 2013, renowned producer Pharrell Williams received a text from a friend in the music industry leading him to the group Lion Babe’s music video shoot of their first single. Pharrell was instantly intrigued by the duo, and flew the singer and producer to his Miami recording studio to work on music samples.

With their continuous growth in popularity, the group was then able to go to London and start recording their only EP release in 2016 titled Begin. With the release of Begin, the two artists have been steadily cultivating a huge fan base over a variety of music lovers; from old-school jazz enthusiasts, to edm heads and classic R&B admirers—there are no limits to what this group is capable of accomplishing.

Rockets: Their most recent release, ‘Rockets,’ is groovy and playful, while remaining sophisticated. Goodman integrates sounds so smoothly, allowing his creativity to really radiate with each track he touches. Jill Hervey’s voice is seductive, and she comes in strategically—using crescendo to her advantage. Moe Moks adds a tasteful Rastafari sound to the relaxing track, making this the perfect R&B, funk, jazz, and hip-hop track. “I just want y’all to chill to this right quick/sip to this/hit a splif to this/take some rips to this,” Moks couldn’t have said it any better.

Got Body: Running around NYC, the two stylish artists show parts of their lives; making music, hanging out with friends, riding the subway. Hervey is confident and strong in this track, sending an incredibly meaningful message—she’s got body no matter what she wears, and that should be celebrated not looked down upon. “When I was young I couldn’t understand what I was meant to be.” Hervey sings honest and important lyrics throughout the entire song emphasizing the value of self discovery, and being comfortable in your own skin. This is one of my favorite tracks of Lucas Goodman’s. He has quite the ability to incorporate older sounds and instruments, and develop these sounds into contemporary masterpieces. 

Wonder Woman: This is a truly abstract and colorful music video to pair with the unique track. The artists are placed in what appears as alternative universes and outer space. Similar to ‘Got Body,’ Hervey illustrates the significance of never accepting less than you deserve. The 70s disco chick character recites lyrics asserting her strength and independence as a wonder woman, “I ain’t gonna break for that/I’m a wonder woman.” The background Goodman produces is different from most of his tracks, majorly mixing and including techno and edm synths.  

Where Do We Go: The lioness babe Jillian Hervey sings over a pump-up pop-edm beat with a 70s disco spin to it. The production Goodman employs for this track also has trappy habits, proving how many genres this DJ can demonstrate in just three minutes.  

Jump Hi: This cutting-edge R&B-electronic track has a perfect music video to emulate the free spirited nature of the song. Hervey shows off her graceful and edgy style in her dancing and overall presence. Childish Gambino gives us a strong old school ‘Bino verse in the vibey track. ‘Jump Hi’ also features a lovely sample of Nina Simone. Gambino’s strong verse combined with Jillian Hervey’s stunning vocals and Goodman’s musical intuition – there is no loosing.

Treat Me Like Fire: Goodman’s beat in this track is really impressive. The producer’s beats are never overstated and always clean. Hervey literally embodies a lion to introduce their first released, unbelievable song ‘Treat Me Like Fire.’ The music video strikes me as improvisational, which I really appreciate. This duo is effortlessly talented, and effortlessly creative.