Eight Questions About Sex With Har Mar Superstar

By: Adam Bunch

Eight Questions About Sex With Har Mar Superstar
Photo: courtesy of the artist
Har Mar Superstar

February 13, 2010

Few musicians spend more time thinking and singing about sex than the raunchy American R&B artist known as Har Mar Superstar. His songs range from "Body Request" (about having sex) to "Power Lunch" (about having sex at lunch), and his live shows are high-energy, half-naked affairs. SoundProof recently had the chance to speak with Har Mar Superstar  in support of our week-long, five-part feature, "Music & Sex" (which you can find here). What follows is full transcript of that conversation.

Do you think there's anything unique about the relationship between sex and music as opposed to, say, other art forms? Is visual art, or writing, or film just as sexually powerful as music?

I think all art-forms can be provocative in their own ways. Music has the advantage of making you want to physically move. The beat can swallow you up if it's constructed to do so. Also, I like the mechanics of lyrics. You can easily take a verse chorus verse chorus bridge structure to a place where double and triple entendres make perfect sense. That's sexy.

Is there something about that relationship that you think you're tapping into? And is that a conscious decision?

My music is pretty much always about sex in some form or another. It's a major motivator in my life. I'm fully conscious of that. I make songs with the end goal of being able to move an audience in a live setting face to face.

Are there other musicians or bands you think tap into the sexual power of music particularly well? And is there something you think they're doing—or especially good at—that allows them to do that?

I think Yeah Yeahs Yeahs, White Stripes, Peaches and Gossip perfect examples of bands/artists who play with gender boundaries. I don't think it's their sole purpose, but somewhere in the primal riffs, beats, and vocal melodies lie a sexual energy that is palpable. They all play around with role reversal of the sexes in some form or another. I love that. R. Kelly is another musical sexual innovator... for obvious reasons.

Do you think the power of that relationship is always a good thing? Or are their drawbacks, too?

It depends how you use it. Sometimes when an artist is too forward I get turned off. It feels like a marketing strategy at that point.

Do you think there's anything about that relationship that you understand from your experiences that other people—who, say, aren't musicians—might not realize?

Musicians get laid A LOT. Maybe that's the advantage. Also, life tends to imitate art, so you can create a world where you're a sexual talisman and the power of suggestion makes it true. Look at me. It's what I do.

Do you think people have a different sexual attitude toward musicians than they do to other people? And, without meaning to get too personal, do you think that includes you? And if so, do you have any idea why that is? (Or why not? If not.)

People often portray the musician to be as beautiful as the music. I'm not good looking in any classic sense, but the fact that I can sing and write a song that moves people make them want to open up to me. I'm always up for anything, and some people find that exciting.

It seems as if music draws people to it who are looking to be more open sexually than people generally are in the rest of mainstream culture—whether it's in gender roles, or just being open about sexuality in general, etc. It seems more accepting than a lot of the rest of mainstream culture. Do you have any idea why? Whether that's something that's special about music in your opinion?

I feel like that's a broad overstatement. I can't see the classical set getting worked up trying to rip the pianist's pants off or anything, but in rock 'n' roll you get a certain type that are ready for whatever. That's the whole allure. On the other hand, there is a lot of terrible music out there that makes me feel completely unsexy.

And, finally, is that something you're interested in and trying to consciously do in your own music and performances?

My whole show is about getting everyone in the audience to let go of their real lives and go wild for a night. I think people see me move with wild abandon and they feel like they should too. I'm more of a ringleader than anything at that point. I don't consciously go on stage thinking "I'm going to fuck this audience", but most of the time it just naturally happens. Like I said earlier, my music is tailored for grinding.

Find more from Sex Week here.

Video: "Power Lunch" by Har Mar Superstar (ft. Beth Ditto)

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