Reflecting on her Saudi background, LA-based singer-songwriter Tamtam focuses on bridging the cultural divide between East and West and championing issues of identity, gender equality, freedom, and empowerment.
2018 saw the Los Angeles premiere of her single and video “Rise” directed by acclaimed Saudi-born actor and director Meshal Al Jaser, as an exploration of arranged marriage. This new artistic collaboration came ontheheels of the single and video "Drive", a meditation on women’s liberation and gender equality, which was released to coincide with the passing of new laws allowing women to drive for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
Tamtam performed alongside Grammy award-winning, British soul singer Joss Stone at Kuwait Rising, a festival of emerging music from the Arab world and beyond, produced by Kuwaiti multimedia artist and social entrepreneur Zahed Sultan.
Inspired by music icons like Michael Jackson, Tamtam began exploring her voice when she was eleven years-old. At age fifteen Tamtam launched her music career with her first single “Little Girl” produced by Sultan. In light of the reservations of her Saudi friends and family, who warned Tamtam against showing her face online, she agreed to blur her face in the accompanying video when it premiered on YouTube in December 2012. This experience inspired the singer to adopt her moniker, Tamtam—a nickname referencing an African drum.
The release of Tamtam’s single “Gender Game” in December of 2014, spurred Geena Davis to invite Tamtam to perform at three symposiums—in NewYork, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles—for the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the Oscar-winning actor’s non-profit organization promoting gender-equality in media. In quick succession, on International Women’s Day of March 2015, the blog Upworthy wrote about the song and its video, which revealed Tamtam’s face for the first time and garnered 100,000 views in a single day.
In April 2017, Tamtam released her second EP, “Identify Myself”, and a year later she dropped her hit single “Blue”, a song about a dissolved romantic relationship that reaffirmed her dedication to promoting positive messages while sharing her own experiences through her art
Tamtam is a Global Change Ambassador for RoundTable Global. She performed at the organization’s first Los Angeles Global Youth Awards. In her ambassadorial role, she joins a dynamic group of leaders, policymakers, entrepreneurs, educators, activists, artists and young people passionate about changing the way we exist on this planet.
She collaborates with progressive house and electro producer Accidental Muse.They released a few singles this year including “Chill Vibes”, “The Way We Move”, and “Light & Dark”.
Tamtam has been featured in the media on ABC News, CNN, CNN’s Great BigStory, Upworthy, and in Arab News, AMFM Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Flaunt.com,Gulf News Substream Magazine, Vogue Arabia, and Wear Your Voice Magazine, among other outlets.
“I see my music and myself as that bridge between the Middle East and the West. Music is the only language everyone can speak.”
See Jane is an organization founded by Geena Davis to support gender equality in media. Tamtam was invited to perform her song Gender Game at 3 See Jane symposiums in 2014 and 2015 in NYC, DC, and Los Angeles.
Alf Khair (for their ‘10KSA Project’) is an organization founded by Princess Reema Bint Bandar of Saudi Arabia. In 2015, she started a movement called 10KSA, to encourage Saudi women to learn more about their bodies in order to detect breast cancer early. For the movement, her goal was to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest human breast cancer ribbon. Tamtam wrote a song ‘We’ve Got Wings’ about breast cancer, and it was the soundtrack of the movement. While the women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia broke the Guinness world record for the largest human ribbon, ‘We’ve Got Wings’ was blazing through the speakers.
AlFanar works to strengthen sustainable, grassroots organizations that generate financial and social returns while transforming lives in deprived communities in the Arab world.
In 2016, Tamtam was invited to perform at their charity event in London.
Bridges of Understanding is an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between east and west. In 2014, Tamtam was invited to perform at their annual award dinner at the Lincoln center in NYC, honoring designer Reem Acra.
RoundTable Global is an organization that supports youth who are making a positive difference in their communities. Tamtam is one of the Global Change Ambassadors for RoundTable Global.