Gentle Bones only Singaporean to make Forbes list
Singer Gentle Bones only S'porean on inaugural list of 30 regional names in entertainment & sports
What does Gentle Bones have in common with K-pop idols Choi Siwon and G-Dragon and two Australians - movie star Liam Hemsworth and F1 race car driver Daniel Ricciardo?
Like them, the local singer-songwriter, whose real name is Joel Tan, has earned a prized spot on the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia - Entertainment & Sports list, which was released last month.
He's the only Singaporean on it.
The candidates from Asia and Australia were shortlisted by Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh, SM Entertainment Group's executive vice-president Nikki Semin Han and Singapore film director Anthony Chen.
The list is part of 300 names picked by Forbes for being leaders and game changers in 10 different sectors, including social entrepreneurship, and healthcare and science.
Tan told The New Paper last week: "It's quite incredible. I'm not sure if I'm worthy but I am really honoured. It pushes me to achieve even more. I've always had ambitions... but that list, if anything, is an encouragement and affirmation of my dreams and hard work."
At 22, Tan already has plenty to be proud of.
He is the first Singaporean artist to be signed by Universal Music Singapore, he recorded a song called Sixty Five for local historical film 1965 last year and released a chart-topping self-titled debut EP in 2014.
In June, he will stage his debut concert over two days at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
His first show on June 10 is already sold out, and he hopes to achieve the same feat for the second date.
Fans can expect Tan to debut all the new songs from his upcoming six-track EP, which he has been working on since the release of his first EP.
The announcement of this concert was a relief for both him and his fans.
The show was initially slated for Dec 10 last year but had to be rescheduled after Tan, US singer-songwriter Kina Grannis and 12 others had their passports impounded after a show in Jakarta on Sept 16.
The group was in Jakarta for the first stop of Grannis' 12-day regional tour, for which Tan was the opening act.
They were barred from leaving Indonesia for 3½ months because of a problem with their performance permit. It was only three days before Christmas last year that Tan was allowed to go home.
The worst part of that nightmare, he said, was not knowing when it would end.
"Every week, we were told that we would leave the following week... and that lasted for three and a half months. Every night, we had dreams and it would be of home," said Tan.
It hit him the hardest when he had to cancel his Singapore show.
"On Dec 10 itself, I was lying on my hotel room bed when I was supposed to be on the stage at the Esplanade Concert Hall. I was quite bummed but I was already obsessing about when the new concert date would be.
"Generally, I am an eager person and not the type to get stressed too much. I just wanted to debut my new music as soon as possible," he said.
Tan just wants to move on from that episode - which is probably why he has deleted his previous posts on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
It might seem like a coping mechanism after a particularly traumatic time, but Tan stressed that he did it because he wants to look ahead and start on a clean slate.
"People tend to weigh themselves down by past events and pictures that describe a point in their lives but I've never been one to dwell on the past," he said.
"For me, I want to move on from everything I've done. I don't want my new record to be judged against the previous one anyway. It made me who I am today but I want to delve into a new world now."
WHAT: Gentle Bones Live In Concert
WHEN: June 10 (sold out) and 11, 8.30pm
WHERE: Esplanade Concert HallTICKETS: $25 to $45 (before event day), $35 to $55 (on event day) from Sistic (www.sistic.com.sg or 6348-5555)
"Generally, I am an eager person and not the type to get stressed too much."
- Joel Tan, on having to cancel his Dec 10 concert in Singapore