By Jocelle Koh
An advocate for self-care and a low-key fan of Mandarin music; we’re learning loads about Singaporean artist Gentle Bones (aka Joel Tan) who is making his latest re-entrance into the music scene count with his latest single ‘Smile For Me’. With a serene dynamic sound and effortlessly heartfelt lyrics; the 25 year-old singer-songwriter has built his brand on creating music that comforts in the best way possible.
We chatted with the soft-spoken artist about his recent musical direction, and how his personal philosophy has informed the new single.
1. It’s been a while since you last released music! What have you been up to lately?
Gentle Bones(GB): Yes! I’ve been giving myself some time-off releasing music the past year and really wanted to find the next best sound and direction to move towards!
2. For your comeback single you’ve released the heart-warming and chill track ‘Smile For Me’. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind this song?
GB: I write this song for everyone in my life and for myself. I feel that in this day, we are taught as a society to be unfulfilled, to have the latest iPhone, to strive for a highly respected career, to have a balanced lifestyle with way too many good things to do. Looking externally for answers will only result in a lack of belief in the self and this song hopes to encourage everyone to start finding out about what self-love is to them.
3. ‘Smile For Me’ is an anthem for self-care. Why do you think it’s important to be kind to yourself? Do you have any self-care tips to share?
GB: Letting yourself change your mind is a good way to start. We are too quick to define ourselves through Instagram or a reality television based personality these days and truth is, life is going to throw a lot of things your way and it is best to always be ready for change and embrace uncertainty and doubt, that’s how the best version of yourself shines through. The negative connotation put on loneliness is misleading and I feel people should really see it as an opportunity to love and really be with themselves, you are all you have in this life and when you accept that, you love others with a lot more passion.
4. You’ve worked again with MYRNE on this track, with whom you released a full collaborative project ‘B4NGER PROJECT’ in 2018. How did you guys start working together, and do you see this as a long-term collaborative partnership?
GB: We always hang out and write even when we don’t intend to release something, there’s a constant back and forth of ideas and musical energy flowing between us at all times. We are simply great friends and our favourite thing to do is to make music. We got to know each other when he approached me to remix my first song Until We Die. We’ve been buddies ever since.