Tamtam speaks about acceptance, new single "Identify Myself" with Ethos Live

Tamtam is a positive, young woman from Los Angeles, California who's using her voice to spread a message of acceptance and celebration of diversity at a time our country needs to hear it. She follows up her dance single "Hiding" with the moving "Identify Myself" of her newest EP Identify Myself. The music video can be found today on YouTube. Directed by Tamtam and Yanin Gonzales, the images in the video are as peaceful and colorful as the song is sonically. Reminiscent of Alessia Cara, Adele, and Michael Jackson, this song drives home the moment of peace and positivity it is created from. Identify Myself is available for pre-order on iTunes.

Ethos Live: When Mike and I are swapping our new musical discoveries with each other, we like to play a game. It doesn’t have a name but we pick 3 artists to ascribe the artists sound- one contemporary, one local or underground, and one classic. Which three would you choose for someone discovering Tamtam for the first time?

Tamtam: These artists have definitely inspired some of my sound or writing: Contemporary: Lana Del Rey, Underground: Billie Eilish, Classic: Michael Jackson

Ethos Live: Tamtam, your new single “Identify Myself” speaks about standing up for humanity and appreciating our differences. You speak about not being born here- which is pretty brave to stand up and say with the current political climate although it very obviously shouldn’t be! Do you think that people behaving in a way that is not appreciative of different cultures are racism or just ignorance?

Tamtam: I definitely believe that it's ignorance. I'm lucky enough to have experienced living in two completely different cultures, and adapting from one to the other is not easy in the beginning. But we have to understand that the world is made up of so many people and so many opinions, and it is our duty as human beings to make an effort with one another. Make an effort to speak to someone from another country, and another religion, and just listen to them. Knowledge is power, and learning about other people's views on life is so important for our own growth.

Identify myself
Do I really belong from one place ?
Do I represent just one race ?
Should I feel accustomed to this one space?

Ethos Live: For our readers, let’s say they hear something that is perhaps ignorant or racist. What are some things they can say to correct that sort of behavior to either defend themselves or others?

Tamtam: The best thing to do is to set the example. If someone has an opinion, even if they are being offensive, listen to what they have to say. Give them the opportunity to speak their mind, and then you can speak your own mind. The key is to be patient and to learn how communicate with other people. It's easy to talk to people who have the same opinion as you, but we need to learn how to communicate with those that don't, without starting a fight.

Ethos Live: What are some other bands preaching a similar message of love, acceptance, and celebration of the unity of other cultures that you would point to as inspiration for yourself?

Tamtam: I love Alessia Cara's message to girls. She is so positive and encouraging, and that's really inspiring. Beyonce also has a very powerful message to women, I always love watching her videos. Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros are one of my favorite bands to watch live, and their music has this peace and love vibe. Every time I go to their show I feel really positive and happy

We have to understand that the world is made up of so many people and so many opinions, and it is our duty as human beings to make an effort with one another.

Ethos Live: The music video for “Identify Myself” seems to take place at a protest. Can you tell us more about the creation and your hand in directing the music video? Did you get to meet and speak with the people in the video?

Tamtam: Yes, it takes place at the protest against the Muslim ban in LAX. My friend Yanin and I both directed the video, we went to the protest with our friend Fouad who's a great cinematographer and wanted to help with the project. We just told him to film everything he saw, and whenever we liked a poster, we asked him to film it. We spoke to some of the people who held their signs in front of the camera; so many people wanted to be filmed to spread their own positive message. 

What was so amazing about the protest was that it was peaceful and I really felt a positive energy between everyone there. For post production, I made sure to tell the editor not to include any negative posters in the music video, because that doesn't align with my message or my beliefs. The point I'm trying to make is that we don't have to all have the same opinion, (and how boring would life be if we all did?) but we need to learn to listen and communicate with one another so that we can understand each others' points of view. 

Ethos Live: What was your favorite poster used by protesters in the music video? 

Tamtam: "We are all immigrants", and "I Identify Myself as Human" 

Ethos Live: What’s your favorite lyric you sing in “Identify Myself?”

Tamtam: "Do we really belong from one place? Do we represent just one race? Should we feel accustomed to this one space?" 

Ethos Live: What is coming up next after the release of this single to continue to promote your message of love and acceptance? 

Tamtam: My EP will be released at the same time! It's also called Identify Myself. One of my favorite songs on there is called "Greatness," and I wrote it because I wanted to explore the idea that as human beings, we can change in a negative way sometimes when we get to a certain position or level of "greatness" in life; and what is the reason for our longing to be something bigger than ourselves?

Photo Feb 19, 6 28 36 AM.jpg

Ethos Live: Lastly, the word ethos describes the basic morals that form one’s customs in creating their culture. Describe your work ethic as an artist- what makes up your cultural input?

Tamtam: Positivity, Patience, and Believing in myself

Follow Tamtam Spotify// YouTube