From Being On The Front Page of Apple Middle East To Releasing Her Debut EP, The Musician TAMTAM Has A Lot To Share!
Tamtam was raised between the Middle East and the West, striving to serve as a musical bridge between these two regions
Her profound lyrics and strong messages stand out in today’s sea of music artists, where she presents to music lovers around the world a message of empowerment that encourages all people to use their voice to create positive change
Tamtam is the first Saudi artist to debut a single exclusively with iTunes/Apple Middle East and the first Saudi artist to generate support on key radio stations worldwide including U.S., Australia, Europe, South America, Asia, Australasia and Africa
“Old Soul” is a song about not letting time dictate how we feel about ourselves or what we can do with our lives, because it’s never too late
Tamtam was asked to perform two songs at the 2016 Kevin Hart Oscar after-party!
Follow Tamtam on her social media here:
Learn more about Tamtam in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are well into the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for you and your music?
My pleasure! I’ve learned so many important lessons this year, the most important one I would have to say is to always be patient.
One of the biggest highlights for me this year was definitely getting featured on the front page of Apple Middle East and being added on their playlist of new music. It’s really an amazing feeling to have support from my region and I’m very grateful for that.
Another highlight is that I’m doing more live shows again now that I’ve recorded my EP and I’m getting ready to release it. I love performing live and I’m really happy with the band-they’re incredible musicians and I’m so lucky to share the stage with so much talent!
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
I remember really wanting to be a musician when I was eleven years old, before that I loved music of course, but I wasn’t really thinking about it as a possible career choice.
My earliest musical memory would probably have to do with the spice girls. I’m a huge spice girls fan! I had all the spice girls’ barbies and I would watch the movie and sing their songs all the time! I even had a Spice Girls themed birthday party! (Laughter)
How do you think being raised between the Middle East and the West influenced your music and really you as an artist?
Being raised between two different cultures really taught me a lot about the world and about human nature. For example, my song Gender Game is about gender inequality in the world, because living between two very different cultures has showed me that Gender bias exists everywhere in the world, not just Saudi Arabia.
A lot of my music has to do with human nature, for example my song Greatness, which you will hear soon in my new EP questions whether we all want to be great, and what that means, I was inspired to write the song because of the supremacy of some rulers who existed and who still exist in the world, and it made me think about what “greatness” can do to people.
Is it hard to believe that you are the first Saudi musician to debut a single with iTunes/Apple Middle East and then to generate radio plays in so many continents around the world?
It is hard to believe in a way because there is so much talent in Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East as a whole! So many incredible musicians and singers and artists are coming from the Middle East and it really makes me so proud! It’s such an honor and it makes me so happy to see that Old Soul is being played all over the world for so many people to hear, and I can’t wait for more people from my region to also have these kinds of opportunities for their music and their craft.
Let’s talk about your recently released single, “Old Soul.” Where did the inspiration for it come from? How long did it take to put together?
I wrote Old Soul after taking a walk one day; I saw an older man crossing the street with a cane, and I automatically felt pity for him. And then we crossed each other’s paths, I looked into his eyes and I didn’t see an old man at all; I saw someone full of spirit and full of youth.
It made me think about why I felt bad for him, because he was older? Because he couldn’t walk as fast as he used to? But when I looked into his eyes, I saw a young man with an Old soul.
After I wrote the song, I worked with Karnig Manoukian who is a musician and a producer in LA, and then I also worked with Greg Barbone and Ryan Gilligan who did additional production on the track- so it took a couple of months to finish the track completely.
What was it like performing at the 2016 Kevin Hart Oscar after-party? Did you ever think that you would get a cool opportunity like that?
It was really cool! And so much fun! I got to meet so many talented musicians there. I was pleasantly surprised to get that opportunity but I guess I was at the right place at the right time
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
The music industry is interesting because the internet has made the world a smaller place and so one might think that it’s easy to share music with the whole world, but it’s almost more difficult in a way because there is so much content out there. I would say the biggest challenge, which is also the solution to how your music can be heard, is to keep pushing, and persevering no matter what-and most importantly, be Patient, that is key.
Writing songs comes naturally to me, I love it, I enjoy it, it’s therapeutic and it never ever feels like work; that’s how I know I’m pursuing the right career.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
Some of my favorites are definitely: Michael Jackson, Fairuz, the Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pharrell, Daft Punk, Coldplay…
I would LOVE to work with Pharrell, Daft Punk, Mark Ronson, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Rick Nowels is also one of my favorite producers and songwriters..and it would be a dream to work with Kanye West too!!…the list goes on because there is so much talent and so many people I look up to and admire.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
I love going to concerts because they do help me unwind and I also feel so inspired! I also love going on rollercoasters and getting an adrenaline rush. To really relax I go to the beach and to meditate, I go hiking.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope that my music can give people a better, wider, more open minded understanding of the world and humanity. There is so much prejudice around us, and it’s very ironic to be in the age of social media, which should bring people together, but we still fight over our differences in culture, ideas, or religion. I know that we can all learn to respect one another, because that will reveal how similar we all are underneath it all, and fighting is not going to solve anything.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
I’m doing live shows almost every month in LA! Follow me on Instagram to keep up to date on my shows @tamtamsound. Thank you all for your support! It means the world to me. Big love, Tamtam.