Hot Like Fire with Lion Babe

Attention New York: There is a lioness on the loose

Happy Thursday! We have great news, but first go get a coffee. OK, done? Now put your headphones in and listen to this. This is LION BABE, the music project of Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman. It’s all great news isn’t it? Blessed with the body of a fully-realized diva and a fro to match, Jillian’s silky smooth voice climbs and falls ever-so-effortlessly over octaves—skills we know her mama gave her! We loved Jillian’s good energy so much that we had to feature her in our Good Times series. We followed her around town last week and here’s what went down…

Ah, Jillian! We love your sound. Can you describe it in three words: Present. Cosmic. New York

Chic. So who are you influenced by? Legends, lovers, my family, stories and strangers

What’s been one of your best gigs so far? Our first show at Leftfield on the Lower East Side. We might have been at a dive bar with bad sound and people packed on top of each other, but the feeling and energy was worth it all. All of our family and friends showed and everyone helped out in whatever way they could to make it feel magical. It was the beginning of my new life and I’ll never forget it.

And your worst gig ever? If there is ever anything bad about a show it usually has something to do with the sound, but I can’t say we’ve had a bad show. I always feel good after performing—it’s what I like most about LION BABE. However, we did play outside on the 4th of July and Lucas couldn’t see his MPD. It was definitely the most interesting version of “Treat Me Like Fire” that we ever played. But no one had even heard the song before yet, so we were in the clear.

Describe your writing process:
Astro Raw aka Lucas is constantly making new beats, so there is always an idea in the works. Some songs have come out as full melodic ideas in the shower, while others take longer to form. Usually, I will sing some melodies over a beat and then we will listen back and pick out the moments that feel right and go from there. Creating melodies comes much easier to me than words, because I am very particular in how I like to write things. We have a tendency to like whatever recent song we’ve just finished more because it feels fresher. I can’t say we’ve found the “perfect” formula to songs, songwriting, or anything, but I’m not worried—it’s all very new to me. I am constantly discovering new things about myself as a singer, and everyday we grow as a band.

What do you like to wear on stage?
For our last couple of shows, I wore the same black high-waisted pants with different tops. One was a black vintage corset from my great grandmother on my father’s side. I’ve always liked clothes that have a history to them; they help match the significance of whatever moment I am about to experience. The other top was a velvet burgundy crop top (from Pat Field’s 90s section in her store) and it was significant in that it was just really cute! I am always looking for new things to add to my collection, but for now, I am just working with my closet in New York. I function off of a few staple pieces and just always make sure I feel comfortable and able to dance.

And how do you usually pick your outfit?
I might attempt to plan my outfit for shows, go pick up something, or browse some vintage shops, but it always ends up coming together the day of the show. It all depends on how I am feeling that day really.

What do you usually listen to while getting ready to go out?
Most of the time it is either a beat Astro Raw is working on or making because we are always together. But just like my clothes, my tunes of choice usually coincide with whatever mood I am feeling at that moment. Some nights it’s Frank Sinatra and other nights it’s Flying Lotus.

And makeup? What’s your routine? 
I am always experimenting with make up and get most of my prized possessions from my Mom or sister. They keep me in check. I love mascara and use Maybelline. MAC has really good lipstick and I usually get black pencil and liquid eyeliner from CVS or Ricky’s NYC. I don’t like wearing a lot of make up regularly, but I will use Laura Mercier for base.I usually just make sure that my skin and hair is hydrated. Coconut oil is amazing.

When is your favorite night of the week to go out?
Friday and Saturday are always great to out but I also tend to have a really good time on a Monday night. It tends to be a little crazier because everyone is fighting to get back into the swing of things.

It’s 3 a.m. and you’re starving, where do you go to eat?
Veselka in the East Village. There is usually nothing else open and they have everything, but it’s also very possible I might cook for myself.

Describe your ultimate night out:
My ultimate night out would be a delicious meal, followed by a performance and then hours of dancing, laughing and talking. I know that sounds very vague but I pretty much always end up satisfied when I follow those steps.

We’re pretending winter is almost over so what are your plans for the spring? Keep hustling! We have been writing a lot over the past year and are looking forward to doing more shows, releasing more music and videos etc. All very exciting stuff!

We can’t wait! We’ll be listening! xx

Photography by Bailey Roberts

OK, your turn SS-ers: Describe your ultimate night out. Comment below or e-mail me, pippa@sousstyle.com