Forward-thinking artists, through their creative process and stories, illuminate our sense of the world, and of ourselves, instilling within us ideas, thoughts and perhaps persuasion to walk on a new path and venture into something dramatic.
Tamara Qaddoumi, born in Paris, raised in Kuwait, boasts and celebrates diversity being a Kuwaiti National with Lebanese, Palestinian and Scottish roots. Prior to obtaining her BA in Dramatic Literature from Kingston University, London, she attended Central Saint Martins College, where she studied and achieved an intensive foundation degree in Dramatic Arts. Tamara continued to gain an education in Live Events and Television at London College of Communication (LCC), and went on to study music at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music, Boston.
Your music career and how it led up to your upcoming album. It all started when I met my good friend and producer, WiIma Archer from Domino Recording Co., in 2012. We began working together whilst attending LCC, and he had already been making music. He asked me to sing on his EP, and that’s where the song “Bruised” emerged and became my first featured release on a label. From there, he encouraged me to build on my career, and it’s been a continuous collaboration with him since then.
At what age did singing become more than just a hobby to you? I loved to sing, that I had known since very early on, but it wasn’t until the age of 9 when I discovered that storytelling through music was something I found comfort and happiness in. I was attending LFK (Lycee Francais du Koweit)
and during a music class, the teacher gave me my first solo piece to perform on stage: Charles Aznavour’s Formidable. That performance was the pivotal moment where I knew that singing and performing was something I genuinely loved to do.
What will we be expecting from the album and who is your target? Dust Bathing is an EP that illustrates the essence of growth within Kuwait. A place that’s sleepy and seemingly quiet, yet within barren desert lies countless stories and possibilities. Its content is stemmed from episodes of my life, and each song is reflective of trying to grasp the sense of home. I really think that most people can relate to that. The first single release went live on the 5th of March.
The EP will be made available by mid March on every digital platform such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Anghami. Stay tuned!
Describe each of your business ventures. Each thing I do is driven by passion, with my heart and soul poured into it. I found balance within myself when I applied to The Institute of Integrated Nutrition to venture into the path of holistic healing, which led me to becoming a certified health coach. This is what started The Talking Birdy, a little health blog I manage where I’m able to nurture my body and mind through a creative flow of wellness tips and tricks that I share with my readers. I’m also a foodie, and it allows me to explore my creativity in the kitchen.
I’m also a freelancer in casting and production for feature Arabic films in Lebanon. Whenever I’m in Beirut for a long period of time, I work with different production companies behind the scenes. It’s been a great way for me to explore all different angles of film and theater, and I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience through it. (I was even a stunt woman once!)
Describe your relationship with your mother. My mother is my rock-solid foundation, my best friend and she’s supported me through every decision I’ve decided to take. From day one she’s been by my side, and I couldn’t imagine where I’d be without her today.
What was the funniest mother-daughter moment you ever had? If I told you, my mother would kill me! But I’ll tell you this, never take anything too seriously!
What was the best advice your mother ever gave you? “Sleep on it” – I’m very impulsive by nature, and my mother encourages me to take a moment before making a big decision. Sleeping on it has literally saved me many a times. Advice for young girls being held back due to cultural reasons.
Going against the stream is hard in the beginning, but if you’re passionate enough about going after your ambitions, you’ll learn that you can do so without compromising your values. It may seem rebellious at first, but I promise you there’s a way to find balance between who you truly are, and what your family expects from you. Once you find that, the rest will follow.
Hairstyle by Tony & Guy Salon
Photographer Djinane AlSuwayeh