He's been hailed as Singapore's very own version of Ed Sheeran, and he writes amazingly soulful music that has attracted a cult following of true-blue fans. It's almost hard to imagine he is all of 22, and will be staging his first concert in about two months' time. Tickets for the first of two shows have already been snapped up, so if you haven't gotten round to buying yours, now's the time! We caught up with him for a sneak peek of what to expect.
It’s been 2 years since your EP – why the long wait for a solo concert?
I'm not sure, haha! But my team and I have been working tirelessly on the new record... we want to have something to show at the concerts.
What’s in store ?
Like you said, the EP is 2 years old, so there'll be plenty of nostalgia. Also, plenty more dancing with the new stuff. I don't think I will be able to fully comprehend the evening until it gets here, two nights at the Esplanade is absolutely surreal and we already sold out the first. It's going to be incredible.
Are you happy to bring so much to the local music scene?
I am honoured to be in the position I am in and all I want to do is to keep pushing that "local" ceiling upward so that the next generation can abolish it altogether.
How do you measure musical success?
I guess I'd be thoroughly satisfied if I could hold a concert of similar scale in any other country outside of Singapore. It's a stretch but thank God for the internet!
What inspires your best song writing?
Everything really... matters of the heart still inspire me to write the most but over the years, I've grown more certain of my opinions toward other aspects of life. And I’ve been trying to reflect that more in my writing and music.
The first ever song that I put out was Until We Die and I was studying for my GCE "A" Levels at that time. My friends and I weren't too keen on the idea of academic excellence and nights spent away from home, loitering on streets really gave birth to my musical journey. I still consider it one of my best songs.
You’ve toured schools to bring your music to the youth. What reactions have you enjoyed?
It's been incredible! The Scape Invasion team have done a brilliant job in giving local acts the platform to educate the younger generation on the plethora of music that our country has. I was a huge fan of several local acts during my time in secondary school and junior college but none of these platforms were ever present. If they had been, it would have done so much more for the bands that I loved.
Which of your tracks mean the most to you?
All my tracks document a time in my life and every one of those tracks have made me the artist I am today. I'd say my favourite one would always be my latest release, and for now it is Sixty Five. I want to inspire the youth the same way that my favorite local acts during my teenage years inspired me, and Sixty Five is the anthem for my aspiration.
You’re no stranger to accolades – you’re on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asian list, and you’re the first local artist to do two shows at the Esplanade Concert Hall...
I just want to take Gentle Bones as far as I possibly can, in the hopes that someone else in the future can take our music scene even further. Artists are nothing without the audience and it is from the audience that new artists emerge.
Catch the added show Gentle Bones Live in Concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 11 June. Tickets at $25 to $45 are still available at Sistic.
Photos: grizzlegrind.com, popspoken.com