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Constantly embracing polarity, mixing and matching sounds and visuals to create something new and unique – LION BABE are the New York duo formed of singer/songwriter and performance artist Jillian Hervey and instrumentalist and producer Lucas Goodman.
The pair met at the end of their college experiences. Jillian was in the beginnings of her professional dance career while Lucas was focused on producing artists/bands and his own personal project under the name Astro Raw. Their decision to collaborate on music was purely based on curiosity and chance. After the organic creation of the sultry, electronic soul track ‘Treat Me Like Fire’, they decided to give the song a home and create LION BABE.
LION BABE draw on an eclectic mix of influences for their sonic and stunning visuals, which mirror the rich melting pot of cultures that New York offers. Citing the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Sergeant Pepper-era Beatles as having a major impact on them both in their formative years, they identify with a generation brought up on the internet, with references from film and music of all genres, places and eras being just a click away.
Their debut LION BABE EP, is led by their single ‘Jump Hi’ which includes a mesmerising Nina Simone sample, written by Jillian, produced by Lucas and featuring hip-hop artist Childish Gambino. The EP is a sublime collection of tracks which showcase the band’s ethos for fearlessly reworking and reinventing the familiar, combining it with their love of fantasy and the surreal, to make their own unique pieces of art; a new kind of soul. Also featuring ‘Treat Me Like Fire’, the EP is set for a December 15th release on Outsiders Recorded Music (Universal Music).
Taking the same approach to their collaborations, the band have worked with the likes of childhood hero and Grammy Award winning artist and producer Pharrell Williams, and prolific producers/musicians Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Wyatt and Al Shux – aiming to inspire their generation to take risks and not follow moulds, promoting individuality, uniqueness and change.
Pop music can be divided into a before and an after.
An artist introduces herself to the world and in an instant everything that came before sounds old, as if the future has arrived and with it the future of music.
Seinabo Sey is such an artist.
At the age of twenty four Seinabo Sey is in a position where the only possible direction is forward. Listening to her music is like hearing contemporary pop music skip a notch and jump straight up to the next level. As a singer and live performer she has few rivals in the world in 2014.
Seinabo Sey grew up in Sweden and Gambia surrounded by music. At home reggae and Sufi music was the music of choice and her father, legendary West African musician Maudo Sey, introduced her to traditional Senegalese and Gambian music from an early age. As a teenager Seinabo Sey found her singing voice listening to records by Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and Beyonce.
“My father was very important for my musical development. It was not that he taught me how to sing, but music was always present at our house when I grew up and without him I’m not sure I would do what I do today.”
Her debut single »Younger« catapulted Seinabo Sey to the very frontlines of contemporary pop music and attracted considerable attention both in her native Sweden as well as internationally at the time of its release. »For Madeleine« (named after and dedicated to Sey’s mother) is the continuation, an EP of five songs produced by Magnus Lidehäll where Seinabo Sey has worked with some of Sweden’s and the world’s most talked-about songwriters at the moment, besides Lidehäll, Vincent Pontare, Salem Al Fakir and Oskar Linnros.
‘Younger’ and ‘Hard Time’ already sound like classics. ‘Pistols At Dawn’ and ‘You’ are hypnotic pop songs where Seinabo Sey triumphs as a singer in the lower registers. ‘River’ is an intense portrayal of love and break-up backed by fiery gospel choirs. It sounds like everything and nothing, often both at the same time. As an artist Seinabo Sey has a unique tone of voice that makes her music instantly recognizable. Her music cannot be compared to anything other than Seinabo Sey.
“Growing up in two different cultures made me aware of the complexity of life and susceptible to impressions and perspectives. It’s a skill that comes in handy when I’m writing lyrics. I have always tried to see both sides of every issue, in search of the very root of the problem. What we say rarely tells the whole story. There is always something lurking underneath the surface. That’s what I’m trying to access when I’m making music.”
The live performance adds additional dimensions to Seinabo Sey’s music. Without much ado she manages to convey more as a live performer than artists with far more experience manage to convey during a career.
“On stage you are allowed to use your body and face in order to convey another story than on a record. You are given time to create a world and build a relationship with the audience that is personal and unique and that only exists at the very moment when you are on stage. I’m really looking forward to recording more music so that I will get the opportunity to develop that relationship.”
Less than a year has passed since ‘Younger’ was released, but Seinabo Sey has already become hungry for more. ‘For Madeleine’ presents an artist with the world as her work place and contemporary pop music in the palm of her hand.
“Starting out my only goal was simply to keep on making music for as long as possible. Now I have realized that it is indeed possible to have even greater ambitions than that. It is possible to make music and maintain your integrity while at the same time gaining a large audience. It takes hard work and a lot of discipline, but it is possible if you want it and believe in what you do.”