‘Bahrain Barbie’, a British singer and songwriter living in the Kingdom, has launched her new album with an electrifying performance.

For such a tiny island, the Kingdom sure has produced its fair share of celebrities. From Bahrain-born Jacqueline Fernandez taking Bollywood by storm to 2012 X Factor winner and international music artist James Arthur who moved here when he was just nine. Add to this growing list, Tamar Leek. Locally known as ‘Bahrain Barbie’ because of her colourful and vibrant stage persona, she launched Change in the Retrograde with an energetic event where she performed songs from the album along with a live band of session musicians that replaced her original band – Reveries from Los Angeles – members for the evening.

The original album was recorded at 4th Street Recording, Santa Monica. Tamar, the singer and song writer, drew her inspiration from a heartbreak. She credits her very good friend Kathleen Wirt – the owner of the studio – and Kathleen’s partner Sejo Navajas, with whom she wrote the album, for having been with her throughout this emotional and musical journey.

Tamar said: “The sound of my album is essentially alternative rock. It has some pop and indie elements and some dreamy and ethereal elements too. The album plays with tempos and dynamics and there is a strong sense of light and dark. The vocals are very raw and emotive. I wrote them when I was going through some difficult times in my life, and the album is very personal for that reason. It’s like a poetic diary that I have left open for people to read. Each song tells a story. There is heartbreak in there, and deep emotions. In some songs there is a ‘cry’ sound to my vocals on the high notes, and I can tell you now, it was a genuine one.”

Speaking of the Kingdom’s “friendly and supportive” musician community, she said: “I admire people that write their own original music, so I’d have to say two of my favourite artists are Ali Malik, and Mo Zowayed. Bands I like are Jack Rabbit Slims, Rooftop band and The Legendz.”

Tamar regularly performs in Bahrain and has exciting events lined up. You can listen to her new album on streaming platforms including Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and Anghami and on YouTube. ✤