You may not have heard of Har Mar Superstar yet, but if the other prince of Minnesota-bred funk has his way, you will soon. Har Mar — the artist formerly known as Sean Na Na (and born Sean Tillman) — is preparing a media blitz that he predicts will take him from little-known fringe celebrity to, um, mainstream fringe celebrity.
Har Mar — an unassuming vocalist built like a cross between "Seinfeld" co-star Jason Alexander and porn star Ron Jeremy, but possessed of a funky falsetto worthy of Jackson 5-era Michael Jackson — says he's been on a roll lately. He claims to have written songs for Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, JC Chasez and INXS and is working on a cartoon he hopes will join the "Adult Swim" block on Cartoon Network. He's slated to appear in an upcoming VH1 pilot, as well.
"This has all been building up over the years, and the more people I meet, the easier it becomes for me to do whatever I f---ing want to," said Har Mar, 27. "I will take the U.S. over by storm in the fall."
Much of the heat Har Mar is experiencing is a result of the relentlessly funky, danceable songs on last year's The Handler album, which sounds like a mix of Rick James, Michael Jackson, Prince and Peaches, slathered with the kind of double-entendre that would make Tenacious D blush.
Har Mar's stage show typically finds the portly singer writhing on the stage in his underwear, breakdancing and twirling the thick patch of hair on the small of his back.
In the past, Har Mar has written for pal Kelly Osbourne — she thanked him in the liner notes to Shut Up but did not use his contribution — and appeared in the video for Ben Lee's "Catch My Disease."
Har Mar said he wrote a song called "Tall Boys" for Paris Hilton's debut album, but it came in too late to make the cut. Now — according to Har Mar, at least — the song has made its way to Britney Spears' people.
"I guess Britney's way into it," Superstar said of the track, which he described as "super funky." (Spears' spokesperson did not return calls for comment, and even Har Mar's management said the Brit connection was news to them.)
The ever-confident Har Mar said it's his versatility and humor that are attracting big names. "My songs could work for any pop star. Artists like working with me in the studio because I can help take the serious edge off."
Har Mar's mojo must be working, as he's already managed to lure boy-band survivor JC Chasez.
"I was just in the studio with JC and some members of the Black Eyed Peas' band working on some songs," Har Mar said. "We were supposed to do one, but it went so well we did three songs together." Among the tracks is "Cover Girl," which he described as "an R&B, Prince-y, awesome, kinda dirty dance jam."
Har Mar said he's also written a song for the next Kylie Minogue album, penned the track "Get Off My Girl" for former British boy-band member Ben Adams (A1), and was recently in the studio with members of INXS, writing three songs for the album they plan to cut with the singer who wins their upcoming reality show.
In addition to all that, Har Mar wrote the theme song for the new BBC fake mind-reader show "Ghost Man" and is currently writing the theme for the pilot of "Minoriteam," a short created for the Cartoon Network's late-night "Adult Swim" block.
What he's most excited about right now is a show he's developing for "Adult Swim" called "Jasperwood," which sounds like it will fit right in with "Robot Chicken" and the like.
"It's a cartoon with some puppets from the guys from 'Crank Yankers' that's about a drug mule named Jasper who moved to L.A. from Tijuana and hangs out in the rock scene and solves a lot of mysteries," Har Mar explained. He said he plans to supply the voice of Jasper and start writing the script once the show is given the green light. (A Cartoon Network spokesperson said the network has not yet signed a production deal for the show.)
The multi-tasking Har Mar filmed a slot for a VH1 reality-show pilot called "America's Most Extraordinary Dancer," in which judges seek out the most unique dancers in the country.
As if that weren't enough, Har Mar said he's already written a full album's worth of songs for his follow-up to The Handler. When he finishes his tour with Ben Lee on Friday, he's going to try to find some time to record those tracks as well. "I'm awesome," he said. "What can I say?"