I think having wild, huge hair, is me being my own version of a lioness.— Jillian Hervey
The most unpopular Jillian Hervey quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain
I remember just looking at this lioness, she was staring at me, and we just had this weird connection.
I've always loved vintage and I never like to have something someone else has.
For the name Lion Babe, we are a little avant-garde, a little left.
And with bands like Blondie, Pink Floyd, or Jamiroquai, you don't know they're bands, you just kind of hear the name and you're like 'What is it?' so that was the kind of thing we wanted to do.
My main goal was to not tell my mom anything or anyone anything.
Even within our family, we like to do it ourselves, we like to be our own boss, and we don't like asking for help.
I had been with a guy for seven years and I was done with that.
I wanted to reinvent my whole life and change my hair - I'd had brown, straight extensions forever - and I just wanted to get rid of that, to shed skin, and really just be independent.
I prefer to do things by myself, but I always bring in people who inspire me.
I think also, obviously, having someone like Lucas [Goodman], and the people around me are very, not gender-driven or any of that, so when we come in as thing, that's what it is. You can work with us or not work with us and I think that has been helpful. I don't try to put myself in a vulnerable position in that way. I won't just sit quietly.
My mom is one, but there have been performers in my family since as long as we can trace them back, so I think it was kind of inevitable to be artistic and to have a force. We're leaders; we're a family of leaders, so I think it's just part of my genes.
Architects see the world a certain way, and cooks see and smell the world a certain way. [Dancing ] is always been my lens, what I use to see.
I grew up always wanting to be a dancer and when I went to New York, I fell in love with the idea of performing in all ways.
I was curious because I hadn't really known anyone to do just that, so I would stop in on his sessions with his rapper friends, and then one day, I told Astro Raw "I'm looking to sing. He told me to try it out and then we made 'Treat Me Like Fire' and everything started."
I've always been an animal lover my entire life.
I was shaped in college into a performance artist.
I never really thought of myself as being one singular thing. I think of myself as an artist and I feel no restrictions when it comes to how I want to portray what I want to portray.
Both of my mom's parents were music teachers, so I was hearing the fundamentals of playing the piano, what notes are, and all those things very early on.
Now, it's so sacred. It's how I see the world. I can't help but look at people, their physicality, and how they move. It's how I see everything.
I've always been kind of surrounded by music my whole life, so my earliest memories of it were just hearing it in the house.
I would feel weird having someone style me.
It would have to be a collaboration. I've had those experiences and every time it happens I don't feel good. What's the point of putting all this work into something and then when you present it, it's not you?
We created this journey [in the Begin], sonically, that people can really wrap their heads around and live with and get to know us a little bit more. The dark colors, the light colors, our up-tempos, and our down-dreamy stuff.
The freedom I experienced as a dance major in college gave me so much, but the reality of being in school is that you are still forced to work under restrictions.
As I got older, I started to do it more and more, and I wanted to learn all of the different types. I grew up doing modern, so I wanted to learn ballet, tap, jazz, and African - just everything.
In general, I think the best thing to do is to connect with other females.
I love meeting other female artists and feeling like we're all rooting for each other. I think that's shifted even more.
I think, more importantly, it's about who is your core team? Who are the people around you that are going to fight for you and make sure that's all protected?
Half of my family is in Los Angeles, so my cousin was the first person to play me, like, Snoop Dogg, and I would always feel like 'Omg I shouldn't be listening to this,' and my other cousin was the first to introduce me to Aaliyah, so every time I'd go to the West Coast, I'd get those West Coast vibes.
Sometimes words come easily and sometimes they don't. Most songs take me twenty minutes to write.
There's been so many, I think [Lucas Goodman and I] share this, but for us, Afropunk was a really big moment just because it was in New York.
I think when we were starting off, I picked a group of women to represent me.
The top tiers of everyone that I've worked with are women. It felt more comfortable because they can relate to me.
I love to feel that I'm not above anyone.
My mom has kind of been more of the emotional support system.
One time I was really feeling all out of it, just dealing with a lot of cooks in the kitchen and adjusting to what it means to be in the music industry, and I called her. One of the first things she said to me was 'You have to be thankful that these people even like you, no one liked me, at all, I was not really accepted for a very long time.'
I definitely listened to Lauryn Hill - her's was like the first album I bought myself. Brandy's Never Say Never and Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill were always in rotation for a couple of years.
I tend to write about love because I'm always thinking about it.
I think a lot though and struggle with overanalyzing. Way over. That's the thing, I feel like I do that a lot and then finally when I stop thinking, that's when it happens.
Lion Babe, on a work day, is definitely a process.
I obviously could do it by myself, but I definitely prefer not to. It's a lot of hair. I used to start with little pieces, and then it just got bigger, and bigger, and bigger.
People just try to put you in a box and I don't see myself in any particular box. I'm making my own box. There's no way I would be able to make the music I'm making without dancing.
I quit piano and violin because it felt too rigid.
It was just my thing, something I fell in love with from a very early age.
I think just being a '90s kid - I was not a Backstreet Boys girl, I was definitely into NSYNC.
[My mom] put me in dance class when I was really young just as a thing to do and I loved it. I remember being excited every time I went, no matter how tired I was - it was the one thing that I always liked doing.
I think the world tries to put people in a box, like this is the only appropriate way to be beautiful.
I was also just strong and quick - it wasn't hard for me to learn how to dance.
I was a natural at it.
More than anything, it's been a transition into embracing my destiny.
I have everything around me to be able to do this properly. Whether or not I was hiding from that early on, I think now it's great to feel that way. It's just the journey.
To be on stage, to be sharing a stage with Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, SZA, Kelis, and all these incredible women, I'm like 'When did this happen?'
That experience of being in the wild in a place where life initially began for all creatures gave me a overwhelming sense of connection.
Like Lucas [Goodman] has said, between the people we've met, and the experiences we've had, it's just our growth. It's just something that represents all of what Lion Babe started as and where we're going.
The greatest blessing is that, within all of this, I've still been challenged every day to question and show who I am.
South Africa was something that just kind of hit me.
Being in New York, and meeting really amazing, talented, eccentric, and bold people, and just feeling really excited about life, got me really revved up and I just felt like everything was at my fingertips - that I could try anything. I really felt invincible. It was such a shift.
As we're growing and stuff, it's been amazing to feel so embraced and have them be so excited. I definitely leaned into my dad a little more starting out because once we actually started to get those people knocking on our doors and emailing.
Of course the Disney movies, you know all the soundtracks, and anything Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were doing - Singing in the Rain was one of my favorite musicals I used to watch a lot because my mom came from a theatre background.
Obviously, this is our first album [Begin], so this is our first big body of work that's out there in the world and it really represents our journey, from where we started to now and all the music we created, our range, and all the things that we definitely shared, but weren't able to show our range on a full-scale until this album.
I'm totally into the emotional aspect of things.
It's so important to embrace what you have because if you don't, that can be the root of very self-destructive habits, which I think people waste a lot of energy on.