Gentle Bones on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list

Singaporean singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, made it to Forbes magazine's inaugural 30 Under 30 list for entertainment and sports personalities in Asia.
Singaporean singer-songwriter Gentle Bones, whose real name is Joel Tan, made it to Forbes magazine's inaugural 30 Under 30 list for entertainment and sports personalities in Asia.PHOTO: COURTESY OF GENTLE BONES

Home-grown singer-songwriter Gentle Bones' music career has seen quite a turnaround in the past few months.

This Friday, together with Mandopop singer Kelly Poon, the 22-year-old singer, whose real name is Joel Tan, will represent Singapore by singing at the Hong Kong Asian-Pop Music Festival 2016.

Last month, he made it to Forbes' inaugural 30 Under 30 list for entertainment and sports personalities in Asia. Others on the list include K-pop idol G-Dragon and Australian actor and The Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth. Tan is the only Singaporean on the list.

All tickets to his upcoming show at the Esplanade Concert Hall on June 10 were sold out within 10 days of going on sale.

The concert promoter, his music label Universal Music Singapore, then added a second night on June 11 at the 1,600 capacity venue. Tickets are still available for that show.

Tan had to cancel a sold-out gig at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Dec 10, after being stuck in Jakarta for 31/2 months. He was among a group of musicians and their crew, including American singer Kina Grannis, who had their passports impounded by the Indonesian authorities because of performance permit issues.

He was allowed to return home in late December.

Tan says he will do his best at the two make-up gigs.

"I'm blown away by the reception of it all but most importantly, I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to perform in my dream venue. We've sold out one show and the second one has already exceeded all my expectations," Tan says.

He adds that he is also glad to have two of his favourite Singapore artists open the shows - electronic act .gif on June 10 and singer- songwriter Linying on June 11.

On making the Forbes list, Tan says: "It's incredible, almost unbelievable. It shocked me greatly to be a part of the list and I hope I can do this mention justice in the months to come. I am grateful and so appreciative of the recognition by Forbes."

The names on the list were decided by an Asian panel comprising popular Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, Korean music giant SM Entertainment Group's executive vice-president Nikki Semin Han and award-winning Singapore director Anthony Chen.

At the Hong Kong Asian-Pop Music Festival, which will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Tan will also be in the running for the LeMusic Viewers' Top Pick accolade, a viewer's choice award that is decided by fan votes on the festival website.

"I am both honoured and excited to be a part of this festival," he says. "I hope I make Singapore proud."

Eddino Abdul Hadi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2016, with the headline 'Gentle Bones on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list'. Print Edition | Subscribe