Spanish passions for food and football combine at Riyadh festival

RIYADH: Saudi singer Reem Al-Tamimi, better known by her stage name Tamtam, launched her latest Extended Play offering titled “Ismak” during an intimate session in the garden here recently, and also spoke about her journey in as an artist and the inspiration behind her work.

As part of their “Auditorium Session” series, Al-Mashtal Creative Incubator created a space for Al-Tamimi to connect with his hometown and perform his songs on the EP live in front of fans and friends. , accompanied by the sounds of Lambda and B-Element .

“One of my favorite songs from the EP is ‘Repetition’,” Tamtam said.

“I swear this song changed my life. After I wrote it, I woke up everyday and said, ‘I’m ready now…I’m so sick of people telling me, ‘You’re gonna be ready tomorrow, you’ll be ready in two years.’ I’m ready now.”

It’s definitely Tamtam’s time now, having recently released the Coca Cola 2022 World Cup anthem in collaboration with Egyptian rapper Felukah and Mexican singer Danna Paola, covering Queen’s 1986 hit “A Kind of Magic”.

She has also performed at the annual Noor Riyadh Light Festival and has an upcoming appearance at Saudi Arabia’s biggest music festival, MDLBEAST’s Soundstorm.

“When the community knows there’s going to be XP, a music conference, or Soundstorm, a music festival, they’re going to feel inspired and they’re going to have a goal in mind. Like, ‘oh, I can play there one day; I want to do this one thing,” Tamtam told Arab News.

The singer described getting “chills” when the opportunity arose to host a launch party in her home country. As the Kingdom seizes opportunities for cultural exchange and economic development, Tamtam urged greater emphasis on the importance of local music representation in the region.

“I think it’s so important not to see it outside of Saudi Arabia or the Middle East. It’s so beautiful that it’s in the country and (that these music platforms are performing) here,” she said.

Since the artist grew up in a multicultural environment, bringing these cultures together came naturally. She described listening to Western music as an escape she needed from her surroundings.

As her playlist branched out with Britney Spears, Spice Girls and Fairuz, her eclectic taste showed in her own sound, as her latest EP uniquely blends Arabic and English lyrics.

“I loved the lyrics and the beautiful language of Arabic music and I loved the… (I) don’t know if I should say the confidence or the stage presence on the western side, of the western artists.

“I wanted to combine the two because I’m influenced by both, so that’s what I’m doing with this EP,” she said.

Although becoming a musician in the Saudi music industry may still be somewhat “taboo”, Tamtam said she has received nothing but “support”. She welcomes collaborations with other artists and hopes to one day see local creatives on the global stage.

“It’s so beautiful to create together as a community.

“I know there aren’t many female musicians on the main stages now, but I see them, they’re working on their craft, they’re working on their music, and soon they’ll be there,” she said. declared. said.

She credits her positivity, which she certainly radiates, to her parents.

Deeply personal, his EP examines the themes of emerging from adversity, finding one’s voice and building self-confidence across five tracks – “Ismak”, “Run”, “Insak”, “Repetition” and “Liberation”. “.

“It’s a great time to be in Saudi Arabia and creating art and music and we should all be celebrating this moment together. So I’m really grateful to do this, something like this because it’s different than going on stage and putting on a big show. It’s more intimate and it’s great to celebrate intimately with the community,” she said.

After an insightful discussion of her creative process with Elham Ghanimah, Curator of Al-Mashtal’s Creative Laboratories, she performed the set of songs, ending with her favorite “Rehearsal,” which resonated with the assembled audience.

Inviting audience members to pull out their phones and write down something they wanted to achieve, the evening ended with Tamtam chanting in unison with them, “I’m ready now.”

Freeda S. Scott