“Southeast Asian music still defines itself”
Marking his signature sound with numerous hit singles around the world, Gentle Bones from Singapore has become a well-known artist confirmed by his achievements.
Born and raised in sunny Singapore, Joel Tan, who goes by his stage name Gentle Bones, is one of the city-state’s top English artists who has made waves across Asia. Since his self-titled debut number one EP Gentle Bones in 2014, the 27-year-old now has three albums to his name and has brought his music to fans across Asia with live performances, sold-out solo concerts and concerts. festivals across South Korea. , London, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Today, with the pandemic dragging on, Joel has embarked on a virtual regional “tour” of Asia, releasing collaborative tracks with regional artists Clara Benin from the Philippines, Karencici from Taiwan, Gamaliél from Indonesia , as well as Tay Kewei and Benjamin Kheng from Singapore. Crowned as a new “Collab King”, the tracks have racked up over 15.5 million streams to date.
Joel just released his debut album last month – it’s called Gentle Bones, the same title as his debut EP. Accompanied by the voices of other Asian collaborators, Joel presents another side of himself with a new mark of positivity. The self-titled bilingual album features five new tracks, the first two titled “Help!” and “What Do We Do (feat. Lewloh).”
Elaborating on the decision to work with artists from so many different countries, Joel explained, “I think Southeast Asian music is still defining itself. We’re very separate, and naturally because of all the different languages we have. Yet it’s time for everyone to come together and sing in a common language. When we do that, we define the sound of Southeast Asian pop music; I’m just happy to be part of this story and to be able to work with people who I think have had a huge impact in this eastern part of the world.”
Co-written with Singaporean artist Jasmine Sokko, lead track “Help!” describes the vulnerability to admit when we can’t help ourselves and to follow our emotions to fall in love. The song is an uptempo dance track and is stylistically slightly different from his previously released music. About this change, Joel explained: “I’ve always wanted to create my own version of dance music. It’s not the easiest thing to do because my sound has always had a softer approach. I think that with “Help!”, we managed to mix these elements well.”