“I feel like there’s this cosmic wolfpack of powerful artists, and when they howl it resonates in me and I want to howl along with them. I want to sing songs about how it feels to live in this lonely world and see who howls along with me.”
Since childhood, Kim has embraced the connective powers of the arts. Her musical aesthetic was first developed by her father’s love of the Golden Age of Motown and funk and her mother’s fondness for classic singer-songwriter and Top 40 hits. Kim spent her early years listening to performers like The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Bill Withers, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald. These diverse and powerful influences ring out clearly in Tillman’s songs: her multifaceted musical portfolio offers relatable yet rawly personal work exploring the spaces between defense and embrace, safety and exhilaration, honesty and entertainment.
For every way in which her voice and instruments have sheltered her, they have also catalyzed collaborations with artistic communities throughout California. Now, Kim Tillman and her friends in the Tragic Gadget Universe have released a catchy, surf rock muse "Overboard." A culmination of Tillman's years spent developing her craft, her newest single “Overboard” juxtaposes a catchy melody and polished production with razor-sharp lyrics.
As she has traveled across California and beyond, guitar in hand, Kim has built a community of talented, hardworking artists and contributed to creative collaborations. She began her music career in the San Francisco Bay Area through Perceptions Open Mic at Dominican University of CA, Absolutely Kosher Records in Emeryville, and Berkeley’s Havocado Productions. In 2011, Kim moved to L.A. and began to bring all of the elements of her musical expertise to the highest possible altitude. In 2012, Tillman’s work with fellow Perceptions performer Chris Lorentz led to their collaboration in the anxiety-pop band Tragic Gadget, which culminated in the release of the Crane Song EP in the spring of 2014. Lorentz and Tillman also co-founded Life Egg Records in 2014.
Today, she actively cultivates community in the L.A. music scene as host of the Meet & Meet, a musical potluck barbecue and networking party in LA., and a co-host of the Box Scene Project’s Spotlight on Diversity event. In 2015, Kim hit the road as a solo musician with songwriter and burlesque performer Vixen Noir and Twin Cities rapper Kaoz for Blackesque: The Queerotic Music Tour, a queer black music and burlesque tour that performed for major cities along the US West Coast. In January 2018, she toured with rappers SB the Moor (Deathbomb Arc, Ruby Yacht, True Neutral Crew) and Pink Navel (Ruby Yacht). In the summer of 2018, Kim joined the fourth cohort of Rafael Casal & Daveed Diggs' (Hamilton, Clipping) immersive theater-in-verse #BARS Workshop at the Public Theater in New York.
After all this time spent creating a culture and set of values around her work, Tillman is prepared to release music that truly reflects her unique voice and vision. In releasing “Overboard,” Kim is beginning to offer her audiences a more intimate glance of herself as a serious and capable artist. Whether it be through an inspired collaboration or solo, Kim channels through her honey-velvet voice and fierce vulnerability a diverse array of influences and relationships. “Music has always been like that,” Tillman says. “A way for me to bridge the gap between me and everybody else.”