JOBS & CAREERS: Tourism sector allows you to earn from your favourite pastime

October 20, 2016
The soulful Karen Smith

So you have received lots commendations about how beautiful your voice is. After years of honing your skills singing on your church choir or representing your school on the Television Jamaica TV programme - All Together Singyou are dreading the thought of having to give up crooning to a group of people.

The tourism sector is the perfect platform for you to enjoy your favourite past-time while earning.

Singers like Karen Smith and Kevin Clarke have been making a decent living, providing an avenue to showcase our culture to tourists on Jamaica's north coast through singing.

Smith told THE STAR that to succeed in this field one must be able to connect to an audience.

"I believe separate and apart from talent, one's love for what they are doing is what going to appeal to the audience to be able to make that connection with them," Smith said.


our culture


Smith alluded to Miley Cyrus's appearance on the American Television series Voice.

"I have been watching Miley Cyrus in this year edition of the voice and I feel so connected to the little girl. My concept for her the artiste is so different now that hear her speaking and being real on the TV," Smith said.

"When we work as singers in the hotel industry, I look at us as being an extension of the tourism industry - a part, not an extension. So we are actually providing an outlet of our culture and enabled them (tourists) to have that Jamaican experience and to be welcoming," Smith said.

She further explained that one has to have at least a rudimentary understanding of the history of the country to be able to relay some information to his/her audience.

"One has to be able to have a dialogue with the audience and give them certain information about the country that will assist in them learning more about our culture," Smith said.

"We put welcoming remarks in our performance. So it is also important to have a good command of the English language."

Kevin Clarke, who has been in the hotel music industry for over ten years, said that to get started one just need to be bold enough to audition at one of the hotels.

"One just probably know someone who can organized an audition with one of the hotels and once you become comfortable and begin to perform well that then the gigs will come," Clarke said.

The salary range for a singer in the hotel ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 per performance.

"One can make a lot of money if they really push themselves. For the festivals that require an accompanying band one could make like $300,000 for an hour and half performance per night," Clarke said.

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