From Singer to Entrepreneur: Shanice Michaels – Community Spotlight - Illustrado Magazine - Filipino Abroad

From Singer to Entrepreneur: Shanice Michaels – Community Spotlight

Overseas Filipinos have become a solid presence within modern society, working in every sector and mingling within every crowd. While the typical OF narrative revolved around working abroad to support family, a rising amount of Filipinos view working and living abroad as a sign of change, seeking to reinvent themselves away from the motherland. And for Singer and Entrepreneur Shanice Michaels, Dubai has become that place of evolution.

A former rising star in the Philippines, Shanice traveled the globe with her musical career. Settling down in Dubai since 2006, Shanice has rooted herself within the scene of performers and has recently begun her career as an entrepreneur.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve been a freelance singer in Dubai since 2006, and I come from a background from performing in events and 5-star hotels across the world. Being a Filipina musician has given me the chance to represent my country on another level. I also grew up with a passion for cooking and decided to begin my career as an entrepreneur by founding Shanice Gourmet in 2021.

Tell us about your work.

As a singer, I come from a background of performing as a solo vocalist and lead singer in 5-star hotels across the world (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Macau, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, LA, Las Vegas, Oslo & Cape Town).

Before coming here, I sang at the FCC Jazz Festival in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and I was also the lead singer for Maximum drive (a US band) during their New Year’s Eve celebrations from 2000 to 2005. In 2005, I won 1st Runner Up on ABS CBN’s Born Diva competition. I recorded several solo albums around this time and was nominated as for best new singer, songwriter, and best new single for the Philippine Music Awards. I was also acknowledged as one of Manila’s best lounge performers.

After moving to Dubai in 2006, I joined a Jazz band as the lead singer at Sax Bar at Le Royal Meridien Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Shortly after, I moved to Dubai, where I worked at two Jumeirah international hotels for 11 years and performed in front of multinational audiences.

In 2020, I took my love of cooking further and became an entrepreneur. I am now the managing director and executive chef of Shanice Gourmet, a label that seeks to make Filipino food more prevalent in the growing FMCG market. We make and redefine Filipino staples into gourmet items, from Tuyo to Dulong, Chili Oil, and Garlic confit. All are made from locally available ingredients.

What are some of the highlights of the business so far?

Over the course of our work, we’re proud to say that we’ve partnered up with Sandbox to showcase our products at Expo 2020’s Bangkota Pavilion. The feedback was phenomenal and the products were well received.

What were some of the lessons you’ve learned from being an entrepreneur?

Living abroad has taught me to be more independent, and that you must be your own driver if you want to get things done. Side hustles are important for sustaining yourself too.

The market is always volatile as we know, but we strongly believe in persisting and pushing the boundaries of our gourmet products further. Products like these will help Filipino food brands become more globally acknowledged, not just through providing good flavor, but through creating an aesthetic impact through premium branding.

What’s the goal as a singer and entrepreneur?

I hope to inspire more Filipinos to enrich their lives and finances through sharing my journey here. As a performer, I still perform regularly across Dubai, and I hope to continue adding to the quality of Filipino talents and even start a vocal coaching school soon.

At Shanice Gourmet, our purpose is to give the hardworking folks of the UAE what I call ‘convenience gourmet food’. With our packaged products, we can make their lives a little bit easier without compromising on the flavor experience of a great meal. We now sell products across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Al Ain, Sharjah and Fujairah, and even on amazon.ae.

I hope to inspire more Filipinos to enrich their lives and finances through sharing my journey as a performer and entrepreneur.

Your advice for fellow Filipinos across the world

When given the opportunity, grab it. There’s no room for contemplation. Always make and do everything with your heart & soul. For the cooks, your pure intention in making great quality food will always shine through.

Follow Shanice on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shanicemichaels/

Follow Shanice Gourmet: https://www.instagram.com/shanicegourmet/