With inspiring songs under her belt the likes of arranged marriage anthem 'Rise', Saudi-born and LA-based singer-songwriter Tamtam is an empowering force to be reckoned with. She reveals the seven artists that most inspired her in her musical journey.


Fairuz: Her voice is so magical and light. Her lyrics are really deep and poetic. Her music really inspired me to write lyrics in English as poetically as they were written in Arabic in the sixties and seventies. One of my favourite songs by her is called "Biktob Ismak".

Michael Jackson: You don't even have to see Michael Jackson live to hear the energy in his voice. He believes every word he is singing. I also love the stories he tells in his music videos. They're not the typical stories that are told in music videos, they're more like mini movies, and I love that.

Fiona Apple: I find her sound and music so unique, which is hard to do in pop music. Her music inspires me not to be afraid of new sounds I discover within my writing. 

Billy Joel: The way he plays the piano inspires me to practice every day. My favourite song by him is Vienna; when I listen to that song I feel like he is talking to me, and telling me to slow down and live in the moment, sometimes I get in my head and start thinking about the future too much. I only recently discovered his music, so I am hoping my piano playing improves drastically this year!

Ed Sheeran: He is one of my favourite songwriters. I feel like the songs he writes can sound good with any production. It's my dream to work with him.

Childish Gambino: The way he changes his musical genre and is such an icon as a rapper and also as an indie/pop/funk artist really inspires me to stay authentic with every emotion I feel. A lot of people in the music business can try to put you in a box because that way your audience is clear and you're easier to sell; but having Childish Gambino as one of my muses, encourages me to rip that box apart and own how I feel when I feel it. 

Nina Simone: Her writing and her melodies are always inspiring to me. I love listening to her in the car, and as soon as I get home I can't help but get on the piano and start writing.