Lion Babe: ‘Pharrell’s Always There For Advice’

Introducing disco-funk diva Jillian Hervey, 26 – fronting 2016’s breakthrough act of the year, LION BABE, with her friend Lucas Goodman, 27. This lady is *everything*…

Hi Jillian! Congrats on your debut album Begin – it must have been amazing working with Pharrell…

He’s such a legend. We were lucky to get him at a pivotal time – right before he’d put out any records with Daft Punk and Happy. He’s so humble and if I ever need advice he’s always there.

How did you come up with the name for your band?  

A lion is a great spirit animal to carry with you. My sister’s 15-years old now and I want her to feel empowered and be a role model for her. Although I don’t think I’m as sassy in real life as on stage…people are always like, ‘oh, you’re nice!’ [laughs].

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We’re into your 1970s vibe too…

I love that era – that whole look is so dreamy. My dad used to go to Studio 54, and I always wanted to have gold hair when I was younger but my mum [Ugly Betty actress, Vanessa Williams, who played Wilhelmina Slater] wouldn’t let me. Sometimes I steal her clothes now, though!

Did you ever watch Ugly Betty growing up?  

Obviously when you’re younger you’re like ‘oh man, what my parents do is so embarrassing.’ Then I went to college to study dance and watched it non-stop. I was like ‘Mum, this show is so good!’ Her character was actually inspired by my grandmother.

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Do you want to move into acting?

When I was 19 I had a meeting with an agent and she mentioned a role in Gossip Girl, but music made way more sense to me – I could explore my own voice.

LION BABE’s new single Where Do We Go is out now and their debut album Begin is out February 5th.  The band will be headlining at KOKO in London on June 1st. Twitter: @lionbabe

By Emma Firth