A daughter of Clarendon, Jamaica, Tamara Alecia Hylton was born on August 14, 1982. From a very tender age, she remembers attending church rallies/concerts across her small community at different churches singing songs like “Rainbow, rainbow, God put a rainbow in my window” and “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet”. It was the words of these songs that formed an indelible impression upon her young mind as she journeyed along life’s pathway.
She grew up in a remote community called White Marl in the parish of Clarendon. She is the second to last child for her father (deceased) and mother George and Marion Hylton.
During her early years, Tamara attended the Longsville Church of God of Prophecy with her mother and other siblings. At the tender age of nine, however, she accepted the call to give her life to the Lord through the influence of her brother Pastor George Hylton (Junior). She got baptised and became a member of the Birds Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Tamara’s early childhood education begun at the Birds Hill Preparatory School and continued at the Chandler’s Pen All-Age. She was an exceptional student who was always on top of her class. So much so that she skipped Grade Four and was placed in the Common Entrance Class where she sat the examination at the age of nine and obtained a place at the Garvey Maceo High School where she was a student from 1993 to 1998.
Tamara reflects on her years in high school as one of many challenges and successes. She remembers the many days when she had to walk approximately five miles from White Marl to Palmers Cross to get a taxi to May Pen and then to Garvey Maceo. She also recounts the days when her parents could only provide the bus fare and so she would sit under the cellar of the school and read a book with her friend Taneisha Thompson who would most times share her lunch with her. Inspite of all these obstacles, Tamara did not give up. Her guiding philosophy from then was that “Education was the only escape from poverty”.
From there, she matriculated to the Shortwood Teachers College where she successfully completed and obtained a Diploma in Secondary Education in the area of Home Economics. Not satisfied with a just a diploma, she further pursued a Bachelor of Science In Human Ecology – majoring in Family and Consumer Science at the University of the West Indies. She graduated
with first class honours in 2007. Tamara in 2018 completed a Master of Science in Management and Educational Leadership at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus.
From an early age, Tamara’s love and gift of music was realized. She often sang at her home church during Divine Hour worship and Adventist Youth programmes. She also sang on the bus many times when travelling from May Pen to Kingston with her brother who was then an evangelist, now a pastor. As Tamara blossomed into a beautiful and talented young woman, her musical gift of singing was developed. She sang with an accapella group while in high school and was also a member of a church group called Friends that comprised of a group of young people from her home church – Micheal Campbell, Elijah West, Suzette Green and Dwayne Royes and brother Jerome Hylton.
Tamara was known for her deep rich, smooth and mellow alto voice. Her friends often jokingly tell her that she did not need a microphone or as always her microphone had to be on the lowest volume. Her singing was greatly influenced by the Gaither Vocal Band, Babbie Mason and Lynda Randelle. Tamara would sing at many funerals, weddings, school and church events, concerts and special events. Her ministry has taken her to many churches in Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, New York and Connecticut.
She was popularly known for singing songs such as “I bowed on my my knees”, “Love Grew”, “God on the Mountain” among many other popular southern Gospel Songs.
Tamara also won many awards and medals – Gold, Silver and Bronze through entering the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Music Festivals. One year she had three songs going to the National Competition with three gold medals. In 2011, she entered the JCDC Original Gospel Song Competition where she made it to the semi-finals round with the song Jesus Sees that was written by George Gordon, during which time she was pregnant with her dearly beloved son Amiel.
In 2012, Tamara organized a music Ministry with a group of young people from the East Portland area – My Song My Testimony Ministry and also organized her first gospel concert. Though there was no proceeds from this concert due to expenses, the impact on the community of Port Antonio had a lasting effect and many people constantly asked when will the next concert be. She later hosted a second concert in December 2014.
In 2013 Tamara started working with Stylz FM Radio Jamaica, a popular radio station based in Portland, Jamaica. Her initial programme was the Lord’s Hour, a thirty minutes programme aired from 5:30am to 6am. Her popularity on the air grew when she later became the host for the “Road To Glory programme that was aired on Sunday mornings 9 – 12 noon. She was known for her beautiful and unique voice and the inspiration that she brought to her listeners through motivational thoughts and songs. After one year at Stylz FM, she organized and promoted one of the greatest gospel concerts held in Portland, in collaboration with the dynamic and effervescent international Radio Host Bro Gary Smith – Hallelujah Anyhow. The show featured popular Jamaica gospel artistes such as D J Nicholas, Randell Positive, the Great Sis Scully, Sis. Pat. Kukudoo, Second Chance among others.
In 2014, Tamara was given the opportunity to live and work in the beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands, Grand Turk as a teacher at the H.J. Robinson High School. Being in a new environment she did not hide her talent. She volunteered to lead worship and devotional exercises at school and also worked closely with the music teacher Mr. Parry to reorganize the school choir. Unfortunately there was a fire at the school in 2015 – the very same day a group of students were travelling to Providenciales to perform a song that was written by Tamara and Mr. Baptiste for the Tourism Competition. With the strong belief that out of every bad situation, good can come, Ms. Hylton made a proposal to the principal, Mr. R. Lewis to host an Evening of Excellence where the students would display their musical talent. The event was extremely successful and was on the lips of all who attended.
Tamara continues to give of herself and her talent in her current place of worship – Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church, serving as Music Coordinator, Youth Leader and Worship Leader.
Tamara has remained humble in spite of her many achievements. Her main aim as a singer is to minister to the hearts of people and to motivate others through her singing and testimony.
The recording project was done in Nashville, Tennessee at the Day Wind Recording Studio produced by Marty Funderburk. (the Gaither Vocal Band records and produce their songs at the same studio)
Tamara has had the privilege of sharing the stage with international artiste such as Israel Haughton, and popular Jamaican Gospel Artiste such as Minister Jabez, Sister Patt, D J Nicholas, Rondell Positive, Sis. Scully, Kukudoo, Lt. Stitchie, George Nooks, Kesha Peart, Comedian Ity Ellis, Radio Personality, Brother Gary Smith, among many others.
Tamara currently resides in the Turks and Caicos Islands where she is employed as a Teacher. She has one son, Amiel, who means the world to her. She has been actively involved in youth and music ministry in her church and has been called by many the “The Song Bird”.
She gives all the praise and glory the Most High God for all His blessings on her life. She lives each day in God’s purpose and seeks to be a positive motivation to those who come in contact with her.
My Story, My Song- A Journey Of Grace was released 2019
To get your copy then please contact Tamara Hylton.