When adversity & oppression keep trying to pull you down all you can do is “Rise”.
Saudi-born singer-songwriter Tamtam has released the music video for “Rise”, her third single in 2018. Wondering if you would feature the new track at 24ourmusic?
The “Rise” video was written and directed by Saudi-born, LA-based writer, actor and director Meshaal Al jaser, who translated this moody meditation about rising above the haters attempting to thwart her musical aspirations into an exploration of arranged marriages shot in the desert north of Los Angeles.
One of nine young filmmakers chosen to represent Saudi Arabia at the 71st Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Al jaser arrived at the concept as a response to his personal understanding of this centuries-old Saudi tradition. “There’s basically a female from Saudi struggling in this song,” says Al jaser, “So I wanted to connect that with something you don’t typically see in music videos.”
The merger of these two parallel visions is a noirish fever dream that begins with Tamtam in a demure floral dress being blessed by a motherly figure carrying a smoking mabkhara of incense at a “lawful sight” (the only place a man is allowed to see a woman when she’s not covered in a burqa). Coming when summoned, serving orange juice, Tamtam’s character begrudgingly accepts a dowry and ring from her anonymous mannequin husband whom she weds in a surrealist, tropical nuptial celebration. “When I go home I see mannequins in the stores wearing traditional Saudi clothes but it’s not like a Saudi-looking mannequin, it’s a Western version, and it just looks hilarious,” says Al jaser. “Marrying a person without meeting them is like marrying a mannequin.”
The video concludes in dramatic fashion with the mannequin husband set on fire. Tamtam, who wanted to work with Al jaser in part because he was a Saudi director who would understand the struggle of being a progressive Muslim woman in 2018, argues, “I know people might see it as aggressive, but it’s a metaphor.” And in reality, this conflagration would pale in comparison to the submissive existence these women find themselves in at a very young age—often for the remainder of their natural lives. “It’s not like this is happening to one or two women, this happens all the time to many women,” says Al jaser. Adds Tamtam, “I want to start a conversation and, sometimes, if you don’t shock people they just won’t pay attention.”
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.