ST Sessions music video series launches with feted local music act Gentle Bones

The Straits Times has launched a new live music video series called ST Sessions.

It aims to introduce to a wider audience popular local acts and bands, along with some international names that visit our shores.

While coverage in ST's Life! pages showcase the print and picture format, ST Sessions will broaden the scope for the bands in video, with accompanying short stories and social media links.

ST Sessions kicks off with local boy Gentle Bones.

The iTunes Singapore Best New Artist of 2014 is actually a one-man show - singer-songwriter Joel Tan.

On Feb 27, he will also open for popular American singer Christina Perri's concert at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa.

The 20-year-old scored a local iTunes No. 1 with his debut single Until We Die and released his self-titled EP in August 2014, which also shot to the top of the local iTunes chart then.

He held an EP launch party at live music venue TAB at the time, to a sold-out crowd of more than 650 people. He has also opened for popular YouTube stars Alex Goot and Against The Current as well as Vine breakout stars Us The Duo.

Why does he perform as Gentle Bones?

He told ST: "Because Joel Tan is pretty common name, you can find it anywhere in Singapore."

He started writing and composing songs as soon as he taught himself how to string together four chords on the guitar.

"My whole musical process has been really about writing songs rather than learning the technicalities of music," added Tan, who has never taken music lessons.

"In terms of people close to me, I didn't have anybody at home to inspire me. My whole family doesn't know anything about music, they don't even listen to music.

"I had to get CD players and buy albums all by myself. Even my close friends are more into sports. For music, I was actually the first one."

Until We Die, his debut single released in December 2013, topped the iTunes charts and has racked up an impressive 262,000 views on YouTube. The EP's other two singles, Elusive and Save Me, were in the top three of the local iTunes charts and registered 274,000 YouTube views.

Tan ends his national service stint in February, and has six months free before he enters Nanyang Technological University to study business. He intends to use that time to play more shows and get his music out both in Singapore and regionally.

"I haven't really kept count but I think I have written at least close to 100 songs. All these songs, I tend not to work on them, but I keep writing until I find good songs."

Take part in a contest to stand a chance of winning this B&O Play BeoPlay Form 2i headphone by Bang & Olufsen. (This contest for Gentle Bones was closed on Feb 5)

All entries by our readers had the correct answers and we drew Nicholas Chee as our lucky draw winner. Congrats!

All you have to do is watch our videos here and answer two questions based on the video interview.

Question 1. Who forced Joel Tan into his first performance?

Question 2. What year did Joel come up with the name "Gentle Bones"?

E-mail your answers to and correct entries will be placed in a simple lucky draw.

Watch more and connect with Gentle Bones:






ST Sessions official backline equipment provider: Ebenex

Full list of ST Sessions acts in Season One

List of ST Sessions acts in Season Two