Now you can read us on your iPhone and iPad! Check out the BTRtoday app.
Meet Sean Tillman, AKA Har Mar Superstar—he may not be up to par with the media’s standard for a “sexy guy,” but his music begs to differ. Har Mar is oozing with sex appeal and his stage presence and sultry vocals are the proof in the pudding!
Since 1999 Tillman has been creating jams as Har Mar Superstar that’ll get you touching your body while you sway along. His vocals are a sultry slap to the face; the second he opens his mouth you become mesmerized. His melodies creep up on you ever so gently, and the catchy beats and emotional lyrics combined with his sensual dance moves are an arrow straight to the heart.
The name Har Mar came from somewhere you would have never guessed: An exceptionally shitty mall in Minnesota. Tillman would go to the movies there all the time in his teen years and just always loved the name, so he adapted it to be his own. Now he is the spectacular Har Mar Superstar!
Originally from Minneapolis, he’s since been enveloped in the New York nightlife, L.A. club scene, and the Brit-pop craze. He spent a combined 12 years living in L.A. and NYC, and those cities have special places in his heart, but he has since returned to his hometown. “New York is awesome, but I found no need for me to be there and I found that I was hating on it for sport,” Tillman tells BTRtoday.
Courtesy of Rickett & Sones
He not only creates musical masterpieces for his solo project as Har Mar Superstar, but he has also written songs for tons of others successful artists, such as The Cheetah Girls, Jennifer Lopez, and Kelly Osbourne. Along with being talented in music, he is also an actor. He’s made appearances in features such as Whip It!, Starsky and Hutch, Pitch Perfect and the shows Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Broad City. That’s not all–he also has a podcast entitled Nocturnal Emotions, where he talks to musicians, artists, and actors and it’ll really crack you up!
You know what also just adds to Tillman’s awesome life? Minneapolis mayor, R.T. Rybak declared Sept. 20th as Har Mar Superstar Day to commemorate all his achievements.
Tillman grew up listening and becoming obsessed with musicians like Michael Jackson, Prince, George Michael, Elton John, and Tina Turner. “I just wanted to be them,” he confesses. “By the time I was in fourth or fifth grade I really wanted to branch out and write songs.”
Like many younger siblings, he looked up to his older sister and once she started taking piano lessons, he begged for them as well. He was around five or six years old when he started playing, then he started writing songs (secretly), and then eventually got a paper route to save up to purchase all kinds of other instruments to learn how to play and to start his very own band.
“I was always writing down little songs that I’d record on any blank cassette tape I could find, just hidden away so my brother an sister couldn’t make fun of me eternally,” he laughs. “I bought my own electric guitars and drum sets and basses and started bands by the time I was in sixth grade.”
Though deep down he always knew he’d take on the vibe of a sultry pop and R&B style, he wasn’t able to skip past a metal or punk phase—in fact, he confesses that he never really got over those phases. “I was always varied because I was listening to like Quiet Riot at the same time that I had my hair metal phase,” Tillman explains. “Like, I had my punk phase at the same time I had my top 40 pop phase, which both kind of never ended.”
His style definitely reflects the many styles of music he embraces. He has a knack to not pigeonhole himself into any certain genre, which keeps his fans on their toes. “At this point it can be anything,” he describes. “I don’t think it’s very off-putting to people at this point, because they know I’m kind of just exploring whatever I feel like.”
Courtesy of Rickett & Sones
His most recent album, Best Summer Ever, was released this past spring on Cult Records and has not disappointed. The tracks take you on a much-needed emotional roller coaster. One track will take you up, while another will throw you around, and then there are tracks like “Haircut” (featuring Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) with its tragic melodies and soothing vocals and “Youth Without Love” (produced by The Strokes and Cult Records Julian Casablancas) with lyrics that toy with the heart, and will have you debating between crying in a corner or dancing ’till you drop (or both)!
Tillman also has some side projects he’s working on—he tends to dips his fingers in many different pots. One of those projects is a spinoff of a past band he was in called Gayngs, that released a soft rock album several years back. Now, him and some of the 22 have gotten together with a new project that’s supposed to be more of a boy band pop eccentricity vibe. He also dreams of creating a new Gayngs album, but you can imagine it’s difficult to get 22 people into one place at one time.
Catch him and all his glory at Bowery Ballroom October 23rd or at any point during his Best Summer Ever tour. His live shows usually include nudity, profanity, and, of course, lots of sensual/sweaty dancing.