EXCLUSIVE: Saudi singer-songwriter Tamtam releases music video ahead of historic end to driving ban

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LA-based singer Tamtam takes the wheel of a Ford Mustang convertible for her “Drive” video. (Photo by Taylor Lacayo, courtesy of Tamtam.)
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LA-based singer Tamtam takes the wheel of a Ford Mustang convertible for her “Drive” video. (Photo by Taylor Lacayo, courtesy of Tamtam.)
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LA-based singer Tamtam takes the wheel of a Ford Mustang convertible for her “Drive” video. (Photo by Taylor Lacayo, courtesy of Tamtam.)
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Tamtam and her friends. (Photo by Taylor Lacayo, courtesy of Tamtam.)
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Tamtam and her friends. (Photo by Taylor Lacayo, courtesy of Tamtam.)
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Tamtam. (Courtesy of Tamtam)
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Tamtam. (Courtesy of Tamtam)
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Updated 22 June 2018
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EXCLUSIVE: Saudi singer-songwriter Tamtam releases music video ahead of historic end to driving ban

  • Singer-songwriter Tamtam has released a music video to coincide with the day her fellow countrywomen make history
  • In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the LA-based musician said she hopes the song inspires women to see that with patience and perseverance anything can happen. 

JEDDAH: With the long-awaited day when Saudi women can finally drive drawing near, a Saudi singer-songwriter based in Los Angeles has written a song to mark the historic occasion.

Called simply “Drive,” Tamtam’s take on the breakthrough reform covers a range of emotions: Happiness, pride and even surprise.

Millions around the world shared the news that Saudi women would be allowed to drive when it was announced last fall, and with all the preparations taking place, the singer wanted to take part in the best way she could. So she wrote the lyrics to a song that mirrored the exciting events ahead.

Tamtam’s release focuses on the themes of freedom, equality and empowerment that she has explored in her music since the start of her career in 2012.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, the LA-based musician said she hopes the song inspires women to see that with patience and perseverance anything can happen. 

“If I had to use one word to describe the feeling, it would be hope. Women in Saudi are ready to have a bigger voice and become more independent.

“This is a huge step forward for all of us. The country is showing us that they know we are ready, and they are here to support us and help launch us forward,” said Tamtam. 

Her song’s lyrics include the words: “We know what we want, we know it’s our time, let go of past perceptions, tomorrow is mine, we got drive” — suggesting that it’s time to look forward and stop looking back at what once was.

The verse mirrors the narrative many Saudis are sharing with the world, empowered by the dramatic changes Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is accomplishing with Vision 2030 and beyond. 

Tamtam, inspired by the late Michael Jackson, started singing aged 15. She wrote her first single, “Little Girl,” while attending high school in California after her family moved to the US from Riyadh. Her singing and songwriting have been influenced by events around her, always related to current issues with a twist of optimism. 

Whether it’s her strong vocals or hauntingly beautiful voice, Tamtam’s music transcends expectations. This young Saudi is singing and making a name for herself in the City of Angels, and her positive energy is reflected in her music.

As Saudis embrace a host of reforms, Tamtam believes many Westerners are shocked by the news. Yet people forget that Saudi is a relatively young country and more good changes will come, she said. 

“With hope comes more aspirations, dreams, new achievements and positive energy.”

The “Drive” video is uplifting, with playful, artistic imagery, and soulful and empowering vocals. The singer and her friends wear white, representing peace and femininity, and drive a yellow Ford Mustang convertible (Tamtam’s dream car). 

“Whenever I’m in a car, especially if there is traffic or it’s a long drive, I always turn on music to put me in a better mood. Driving is so much more enjoyable with music,” said Tamtam. “I hope that this song will be blasting through car speakers everywhere.” 

So the question is: Will Tamtam get her Saudi license, too?

“Yes, I can’t wait,” is the answer, obviously.

 



Saudi Arabian Tourism and Heritage Authority registers 43 archaeological sites

Updated 56 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi Arabian Tourism and Heritage Authority registers 43 archaeological sites

  • Saudi Arabia’s General Tourism and Heritage Authority has registered 43 archaeological sites across the Kingdom
  • Among the registered sites are 26 locations in the holy city of Makkah

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Tourism and Heritage Authority has registered 43 archaeological sites across the Kingdom during the section quarter of this year.
Among the registered sites are 26 locations in the holy city of Makkah, including Al-Hafaira in the governorate of Al-Taif, and two archaeological sites in the governorate of Al-Jamoom,
It also includes nine in the region of Assir, including a site in the city of Bel Qarn, in south Saudi Arabia, and a location at the Shefa Saad site and several others in Wadi Ne’am in the governorate of Tathleeth.
The Kingdom has announced the registration of 32 archaeological sites during the first quarter of 2018.
The authority has also launched established the national electronic register for the documentation of archaeological and historical sites in the Kingdom.
It allows recording their details electronically so that they can be protected and developed. Through this important national project, the Authority has managed to register 8268 archaeological sites so far in the various regions of the Kingdom.