In 2012, Lion Babe first emerged with the single “Treat Me LIke Fire,” which eventually saw them score a deal with Interscope Records. Since then, the New York City duo have been putting out incredibly soulful music that's magnetic for lovers of contemporary R&B.
Taking the Coachella main stage with the Sunday midday time slot, Jillian Hervey and Lucas Goodman showcased exactly what they were capable of, bringing their eclectic, neo-soul energy with them.
L.A. Weekly: For those who don’t know, who are Lion Babe?
Jillian Hervey: We are now a big family but it's originally comprised of me, I'm a singer-songwriter, and Lucas Goodman, producer. Now we have more people: our manager, stylist, dancers, family, everything.
How would you describe your sound?
Lucas Goodman: It’s a soulful … just soul music.
Hervey: Definitely rooted in soul. We are from New York, so it's eclectic. There's kind of elements of funk, elements of jazz, elements of hip-hop, elements of alternative music. We’re just so influenced by a lot of different sounds. We can't really define it, but we definitely think it's soul.
How does being from New York inform your art?
Hervey: New York is such an intrusive city. You can't help it. It definitely makes you pay attention to its energy and how you respond to it. It kind of makes you a hustler. It makes you work hard. It makes you diligent. It makes you creative and be a risk taker as well. New York is really just a place where it tests you. So we try to push our own boundaries and what we do, and the city just kind of supports that energy. It's always about creating something new, adding a flip, doing something that hasn't been done before.
Talk about making an appearance during Disclosure’s set last year, and now making your full debut this year.
Hervey: That was just full circle for sure. Awesome opportunity for the first time to just be on a main stage, and to be back on a main stage with Lion Babe. Both of us, we were there just watching and amazed and excited for them. And to know that we've been able to accomplish the same with our own music journey. We're back in the same path. We are in the same festival, and we hope to come back again and play more and play later. And kill it.
What's the difference between weekend two and weekend one? How are you feeling this time around?
Goodman: It's hotter this weekend.
Hervey: It really is. We've been really rehearsing and just making this show a new stage and what we do. So it's great to feel that our team all can take a deep breath and know that we got through it. And we're excited for new festivals coming. It's really just an accomplished feeling. And we're tan! [laughs]
Aside from your performance, what has been the biggest highlight of Coachella?
Hervey: That's so hard. I mean, how do you not say Beyoncé? She killed it last night. As performers, we just love seeing people that are really into making their show something that's really unique and cool. So that was great. Honestly, it’s just been really fun. You walk around the grounds and you wind up running into people in the industry and people you haven't seen in a minute, just hanging out. It's nice to reconnect with producers and people we haven't seen in a social setting. And hopefully they checked out the set. I know a lot of people gave us love.
What is it you want fans to get from your story?
Goodman: Just do what you think is good to do. For us, our whole thing is making music and visuals and just creating things that we kind of wanted ourselves. And that's led us to a pretty awesome path.
What's the dynamic in the studio between you guys?
Hervey: Lucas is definitely always in the studio, very beat-driven. He's always churning out new stuff. And I kind of come in when I feel it's the right time to say something. Even the journey of Lion Babe started with us just really allowing each other to be ourselves and trust each other with how we create and how we make things. So it's a great space. It's really fun. I feel like he's a great producer. He always lays the soundscape that I love and I can write whenever I want to. Luckily, we've been able to have a really great partnership, and I think it's rooted in that. It's our friendship. It's our partnership that creates the whole thing.
Favorite song to perform during a set?
Goodman: There's this new song called “Sexy Please,” that we haven't even put out yet. It's going to be on our new project coming out soon.
Hervey: For me, I think “The Wave” with Leikeli47. We've spent these past two weekends with her. We had her on as a guest artist. She's the sweetest, so talented. This song just goes off, so it's just a really fun, funky moment to have and share. We've been working really hard.
What's your dream collab?
Hervey: There's so many.
Goodman: We've done some pretty fun ones.
Hervey: I don't know, I'd say I'd love to work with Frank Ocean.
Goodman: I would love to have a Madlib-produced track.
What has been your best encounter with a fan?
Hervey: There’s so many.
Goodman: I know. Our fans are really awesome and nice.
Hervey: First of all, they're all cool. They're all stylish. They're all making something or doing something. I don't know. I think even today, just looking out to see people wearing our merch. Just the Lion Babe signs, it was a nice little bonding. Even people were there, “Oh, they're coming in a couple songs in.” But they've got their Lion Babe shirts on. I'm like, “Oh the team is here supporting.” So yeah, people who are artistic and show us love in any way. They make art, send us stuff, send us videos … it's the best.
Is there anything else you want to let L.A. Weekly readers know?
Hervey: We've got a new project coming out this summer. We will be playing some festivals around the U.S. and we’re just excited for all the new music.
Goodman: Our new single, “The Wave” with Leikeli47, is out now. And we have some new stuff coming out, too. It's way funky.