Lion Babe has been on a steady rise to fame ever since the 2014 release of their self titled EP.
Composed of vocalist Jillian Hervey and producer Lucas Goodman, the duo’s music is often compared to Erykah Badu and Pharrell in terms of vocals and production.
Jillian, the daughter of the legendary Vanessa Williams, has been making a name for herself within the group in addition to becoming an emerging style icon; from her voluminous curls to her collaboration with MAC Cosmetics, she’s always atop the best dressed lists.
Lucas has been getting some major credit as producer of the group’s sound, with legends such as Pharrell taking notice of his talent. Inspired by the likes of everyone from J Dilla to Jimi Hendrix, Lucas has been noted as one to watch.
The pair, who have been on fire since the 2012 upload of their first song “Treat Me Like Fire” to YouTube, have no intentions letting go of the magic that happens when they come together. We took some time to chat with the duo about their latest album, Begin and what we can expect from them for summer 2016.
How did you approach this new album differently than your last project?
Lucas: The new album is a continuation of the EP, and the EP was really bits and pieces of songs we had in our collection. Those songs were ideas that we came up within the first six months of creating the band. The album was further indulging of those ideas and sounds.
Jillian: We were very new to the process of creating an album, so it was great to work with people who had been killing the game for several years. In the beginning it was just us creating concepts, but with the album it was awesome to learn from some of the producers on the album like Pharrell and Hannibal and all of those guys. They talked to us about our strengths and what we wanted to work on and they kind of served as mentors for us as we made this album. We were so open to the suggestions of others for our music. It made certain songs different than if it were the two of us. Being in the industry, it’s great to make a network of people that care about you and that you can work with. It expanded us as producers and singers and songwriters.
What’s the musically chemistry like between you two?
Lucas: We came together very naturally as a duo, and we had a lot in common musically. Between the similar influences and people we liked, we had the same vibe going on. It’s always a really great thing when you can find a great partner that you can bounce ideas off. It’s awesome having another brain in the picture to help expand and see things differently. Being able to see someone’s reactions to your ideas and getting their genuine feedback is great. Jillian is such a hard worker and ethic inspires me.
Jillian: Everything we do is together. There’s been small instances where we worked with other people (like when I went on tour with Disclosure). We’ve grown into a groove of getting things done, and we’re partners and best friends. We have an unspoken language. I think the experience is fun having someone to work. In the studio and musically, but also having someone to share this whole experience with. Getting to travel the world, doing all these different festivals, concerts, shows, and things, it’s fun for me to have someone to share that whole experience with. Even to the behind the scenes stuff like being in meetings, photoshoots, presentations and press days, having someone to share the overall experience with is pretty cool.
What are the plans for the future?
Jillian: Obviously the music is going to continue to grow. It feels good to have all of the songs out in an album now, but we’ve definitely got new music in the works. We’ve been in the UK for the a while now, so this year we get to come home to the States and connect with fans here. We’re playing at Essence Fest which is exciting, and we have a couple more things in store. We can’t share all the details yet, but stay tuned for lots more live shows and festivals. I myself am doing some more dates with Disclosure.
Lucas: The process of putting an album together takes time and that was a learning process but now I’m excited to move on and make more and do the tour and expose more people in the US to our work. We’ve spent a lot of time abroad, so now I’m excited to be back in New York, and readjust here. I’m also looking forward to getting out, promoting Lion Babe a little more at home and getting people excited about our sound. I’m going to be working more on production and music so that’ll be fun. There’s so much we have to do!