Oceans , Sorry Man, & Beast

August 20, 2019
Oliver, Yanin, and I had a two day adventure filming the 6 videos of the RAE EP. I wanted to tell you about three of the most memorable ones:

Oceans BTS

Oceans

Originally this video was going to be filmed both in the forest and by the beach. I did not even know which forest we were going to go to, especially since we were in Los Angeles, and we had to go to Palm Springs the same day to film Second Guess Me. So, I did what any millennial would do; I let google maps lead the way. 

We found ourselves at a place that looked more like a hike than a forest, and it took us a while to find a spot in the forest that looked like it was deep enough with lots of trees. Eventually we found it and we got the shots we needed. Across the street there was a beautiful hill, and Oliver, the director, asked me if I would not mind climbing it. So I went up and up and up, with silver booties! It was much more steep than it looked from afar. But I got to the top, and Oliver was filming from below. He decided he wanted to get closer shots, so he hiked up as well. By the time he got to the top he was out of breath, and we were both a little worried about how we were going to get down. Yanin, the wisest of us all, stayed at the bottom of the hill and took some snaps of us. 

After we got our shots, we found our way back down. As soon as I got to the road, my feet were itching so much, and when I removed the boots, I saw that my socks had so many little thorns from climbing the hill. Oliver had them too. We removed as many as we could. I definitely had to throw those socks away afterward. Even the washing machine couldn’t get all the thorns out.

Lesson learned: adventures are totally worth it, but make sure you are wearing the right shoes.

Watch the Oceans music video:


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The Making of FREEZE

July 31, 2019

The making of the song: 

Behind the Scenes filming the Freeze music video


I wrote Freeze with Andrew Cole and Siren almost two years ago. We all had such a magical chemistry and wrote some of my favorite songs: Blue, Freeze, & Oceans


(Let me know which one of these is your favorite, by commenting on the video on Youtube.)

We recorded all the songs at Andrew’s home studio. That is one of my favorite things about making music in Los Angeles, it is very rare for me to book a session at a studio, because most of the sessions I have with writers and producers are in their home studios, which makes the songwriting process much more comfortable with no pressure on time. 

I am working on getting my own home studio together, because it makes such a difference! Although it is going to take time, effort and some money, I do believe it is worth it, and hope to have one soon so I can write more songs much faster and release more music for you!


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The making of Second Guess Me

July 23, 2019
Still from the music video

The Making of the Song

My song Second Guess Me  is all about accepting yourself in all your stages, and not needing any sort of validation from anybody else.
I wrote this song around two years ago with an incredible musician, writer, and performer Chris Ayer.
He was playing the guitar and we started to hum different melodies, while coming up with the words at the same time. 
I always love the songwriting process because each time it is different. In some writing sessions, I just have the melodies figured out, and I write the words later, in others it happens at the same time, and sometimes I know what I want to say but I don’t know the flow or the music that is going to be behind the words. 

The Making of the Track


We went into the studio with Ryan Gilligan, who produced and mixed the song.
He was just laying out some ideas and then I recorded over the track.
It was a really simple track because it was meant to just be the foundation of the song, and he was going to add more to the production.

The “rough” version of the song was sitting on my computer for around one year, before I listened to it again in the car on my way to Palm Springs. I realized how much I loved the song, and the simple production.
I went back to see Ryan in his studio, we re-recorded the vocals, and I told him to leave the production as is. He added a couple of things to tie the whole song together, but he kept the simple vibe of the track, and I am so happy to be able to share it with you all today.


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Rough Around the Edges

July 19, 2019
I decided to release “Rough Around the Edges”, my EP dedicated to independent artists everywhere. There are songs on this EP that were meant to be demos, there are songs that I mastered on a basic internet program because I didn’t have the budget for someone to mix and master the songs, and I wasn’t going to use that as an excuse to hide my music.
This EP is about embracing your imperfections and following your intuition. Music is an art form. Do not let anybody’s opinion of your craft affect you. It is good to get advice, but it is important to also understand that music industry folks are looking for what the people want. They care about what is buzzing. Even if you want to be signed to a label one day, then take advantage of your independence today and let the world hear your voice.
In short, be vulnerable and be confident even when you are a little rough around the edges.
LISTEN HERE
BTS from filming Second Guess Me, one of the songs on the EP
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Together We Are ONE EARTH

May 10, 2019
One Earth cover art by Roy the Rat

I’m so happy to share my song ONE EARTH with you today!

I wrote this song for the Saudi Team who is participating at the Global Goals World Cup on May 14. There are 24 countries involved, each with a specific cause to help the environment and each with either a song or dance they will present. Saudi is focusing on using less plastic bags, specifically in supermarkets, and I’m blessed and excited to have One Earth be the tune the Saudi team will present as their song.
I’ve always known that music can be used as a powerful tool to make a positive difference in the world, and to have my voice be a part of that is such a dream come true for me.
This is the first time an all female team from Saudi will be competing at an international level, and that makes me proud beyond words can describe. Follow them on instagram here, and send them your encouraging messages!
Here's a photo of the team via their instagram, follow them!

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Are we all trying to be Great?

April 30, 2019
Tamtam with Yanin and Chris in the Drive music video
Me and these beauties on the set of my Drive music video: Yanin Gonzalez & Chris Name, proud to call these two great ladies my friends and supporters!

Have you ever sat down and wrote something because you were feeling super inspired?

Then you came back to it a few days later and could not really remember how you wrote it? Or why that certain topic was in your mind in the first place?

Almost like somebody else, or some other force found its way to you, to deliver a certain message.

This is how I feel a lot of times with my music.

I often write about things that I reflect upon later and realize how much they mean, or how much I really should listen to my own advice; or rather this other force’s advice.

A part of me believes that it’s my subconscious, almost like I’ll daydream about something one day, and then think about something else while my subconscious is still cooking away at the daydream I was having.

Then when it’s ready, I sit at the piano and it all just comes out.

Tamtam performing with Luke Walton
Luke Walton on guitar at the Rise premier at Neuehouse Hollywood, proud to call Luke, the greatest guitar player of all time, my friend and fellow musician I will go with on tour one day soon!
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"Hiding" Who You Are Behind Your Social Media Mask

April 24, 2019
Picture of Tamtam that symbolizes Hiding behind the Social media smokescreen
Promo images for Tamtam's single Hiding

“Hiding” on Social Media

A couple of years ago when I moved to Los Angeles, many of my friends became obsessed with getting more followers on social media.

Some of them “needed” more followers for their businesses to grow, while others just wanted to “be cool” and “be followed”.

And just the other way around, I remember a time when it was not cool to follow others. So people were grinding away on their Instagram accounts unfollowing people.

Sound familiar?

Fast forward three years and...

...things have not really changed

I have to admit that I am guilty of the above. Simply because I am in an industry where people will take you more seriously when they see you with a bigger following. Producers will want to work with you, labels will talk to you, venues will invite you to perform. etc.

Although I know the pressures related to social media are unhealthy, I do understand where people, who go to extremes in order to get followers, are coming from.

It can be really frustrating knowing that if you had more followers you would be able to get a certain meeting or work with a certain someone.

Something else that really shocked me about social media, is how everything looks so much fun in photos, and everyone looks so happy. They are showing the most positive aspects of their lives in front of the world, which makes sense, nobody wants to be a downer.

It was not until I went to a party in LA and compared the reality of that party to the social media reality of it.

I realized how fake social media really is!

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Being an Independent Artist and the “Hollywood No”

April 16, 2019
Tamtam playing guitar
Tamtam in front of the Hollywood sign

The independent artist:  

I moved to LA four years ago to pursue my passion of becoming a singer and songwriter. I am so grateful to have been able to come here and meet so many incredible musicians, producers, and entrepreneurs in music and beyond.

Los Angeles is a special place because it is the hub of the music industry. Before I moved here, I told myself I had to be here. This is where everybody in music is! At least in my mind, it was.

I was right. This is where a lot of people are.

But when there is that kind of traffic in any industry, then you know there will be a lot of other people to sift through, before getting to the legitimate people. When I say ‘other' people, I mean people who say they are managers or producers, yet they do not have the passion or time for it.

If you move to LA not knowing anyone in the music industry as I did, then you will definitely meet some shady people before meeting the real deals. And I spent time meeting those kinds of people, from photographers to music video directors, even movie producers (don’t know how I got on that boat, but you live and you learn!).

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Rise Above the Noise and Live Your Life!

April 9, 2019

Live your life. Follow your gut

RISE album cover artwork
Rise Cover Art

My song Rise is about rising above the noise of society. The noise inside your head. And most importantly, following your gut to live the life you deserve!

It is about rising above the challenges we face and never giving up.

I collaborated with Meshal Al jaser on the music video - one of the most talented directors I have ever met. I am so lucky to have worked with him on this video. I did not want to tell him my concept behind the song, because I wanted to see his vision when he heard it.

The story he tells through the video addresses the topic of arranged marriage. Although it is not exactly the story that inspired me to write the song, the conclusion is the same:

If you know what you want in life and you find what inspires you, follow that path!

It is your life and you have got to live it!


The man I marry in the video is a mannequin - a metaphor for not really knowing the other person in the relationship of an arranged marriage.

We all interpret stories differently and that is why I am not going to explain my idea behind the ending of the music video.

I want you to come up with your own conclusions to the ending and what it means to you.


It was such a great experience writing this song, I wrote it with Grandson, who is a super talented singer and songwriter himself.

He helped me tell my story in the most concise way and fit it into a song.


When I was eleven years old I decided that I wanted to pursue music.

I knew it was my calling. I knew it was what I wanted to do.

But at the same time, I also felt that I would not be able to do it. I felt ashamed for wanting something so badly, something that felt so bad for me to want.

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Coexistence and Your Unique Individuality

April 3, 2019

Coexistence

tamtam at the LA womens march 2017
Tamtam at the LA Womens March

We all grow up with rules that shape our ideas. These rules can be as simple as “don’t steal” or “don’t lie”. These rules are to make us better human beings so we can live in a more peaceful world.

The idea of coexisting within our communities is important, and that is why we have traditions such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, the New Year and more. These customs help us become closer and they make us feel like we belong to a community.

But what if we are not part of the same community?

What if we have different traditions?

I grew up in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Although I went to a pretty strict all-girls school in Saudi, outside of school I was surrounded by people from all kinds of backgrounds.

One of my best friends, Nadia, is half-American. I would always have Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at her home with her family. So, I knew that there was a world outside of Saudi Arabia where people practiced all sorts of traditions depending on how they grow up and where they are from.

However, most of my interactions were with my girlfriends at school. A lot of them did not understand why I would celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

After all, I am Muslim and I am Saudi.

But to me, it was more than that.

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