I go by the name Tamtam.
I was born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before moving to California at 15 years old.
Tamtam is the moniker for my music; it is not my real name. Tamtam reminds me to get into another energy space. One that is pure and authentic. One that does not include any voices or outside noise.
When I am Tamtam, I am breath - in and out. Tamtam does not belong to any specific place in the world. She belongs to the whole world. She does not think ahead. She is here and now.
When I am Tamtam, I am energy. I am here to create a field of positive energy. A powerful one. And spread this field as far and wide to everyone I come in contact with. My favorite way to share is through sound and music.
Tamtam was always inside of me, but I did not always know it.
Listen to my first song "Little Girl"
My story starts when I wrote my song ‘Little Girl’. That was the first complete song I ever wrote. It was produced by Zahed Sultan, a producer from Kuwait.
I was about to release ‘Little Girl’ on Youtube when I got advice from friends and family not to show my face or use my real name in the video.
To some of you this may sound strange…
…but, they wanted me to be cautious.
Because in Saudi Arabia there had never been a female singer who publicly released a song in English before. Nobody knew what the consequences could be, so they advised me to play it safe.
This frustrated me. I felt as if I could not be my complete self and express my individuality. I felt as if I would have to keep looking over my shoulder if I walked down the road to be a singer-songwriter from Saudi Arabia.
I was not going to give up just because of this bump on the road. I decided to blur my face in the music video and use the name “Tamtam”.
I liked “Tamtam” because it was an easy name to pronounce and remember. Tamtam sounded universal to me; not belonging to one specific place in the world, which is the message I want to tell people in my music; that we are all one and we all belong to the same space, no matter how different we may look on the outside.
Also, the producer I worked with Zahed, called me Tam or Tamtam in the studio.
After the name Tamtam was born, I released another single and EP. It was about gender equality and I called it "Gender Game".
My music got to Madeline Di Nonno of See Jane - a nonprofit organization dedicated to gender equality in media, started by Geena Davis. Madeline showed "Gender Game" to Geena. Soon, I was invited to perform at three of their symposiums in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. It was an honor to perform Gender Game in front of so many people who understood the message in the song.
Two years later in 2017, I released two other singles and an EP titled ‘Identify Myself’. The message of 'Identify Myself' is about seeing ourselves as human-beings above all. No matter how different our backgrounds, traditions, or beliefs may be, we are all human and equal at the end of the day. We can learn to coexist by valuing diversity and individuality.
The other single from 'Identify Myself' is ‘Hollywood No’. It is about the struggles of being an independent artist in Hollywood.
I have released several new singles in 2018, here are some of them: