Gentle Bones scores MTV Europe Music Awards nom
Local singer-songwriter Gentle Bones is making big waves
If you are a huge fan of local singer-songwriter Joel Tan, aka Gentle Bones, you can vote for him as the Best Southeast Asia Act at this year's MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).
Tan, 22, was nominated alongside other regional acts like Yuna and Bunkface (Malaysia), Raisa (Indonesia), Sarah Geronimo (Philippines), Thaitanium (Thailand) and Dong Nhi (Vietnam).
Previous Singaporean nominees in the category include Stefanie Sun, Olivia Ong and local band The Sam Willows, who were nominated last year.
No local artists have won Best Southeast Asia Act at the EMAs before.
Speaking to The New Paper on the phone, Tan said of the nomination: "It's just sick, man. I grew up watching MTV and the EMAs, and to be nominated is a real honour.
"I'm also a big fan of the other nominees like Sarah Geronomio and Thaitanium."
Fans can vote for their favourite artists at mtvema.com until voting closes on Nov 6 at 6.59am.
The MTV EMAs, held in Rotterdam, will air live on MTV (StarHub TV Ch 533/Singtel TV Ch 350) on Nov 7 at 4am, with a repeat telecast on the same day at 9pm.
Tan is unsure if he will attend the awards ceremony in Rotterdam, but remains hopeful that he has a "small chance" of being named Best Southeast Asian Act.
The singer-songwriter is certainly making waves in Asia, as he is the MTV Asia Spotlight artist for the month of October, which will see his MVs, interviews and performances showcased on the music channel throughout the month.
He will also perform at the Asia Song Festival in Busan this Sunday, which also has major K-pop band EXO and rising boyband Seventeen in its lineup.
"I do listen to some K-pop, so I'm familiar with their music," he said.
"I think my sister will be really happy if I get the chance to meet them."
Tan was the first Singaporean artist to be signed to major label Universal Music Singapore last year.
Since then, other local artists have found fame overseas, such as televised singing contest Sing! China finalist Nathan Hartono, 25, who may win the competition at the finals on Friday, Oct 7.
Singer-songwriter Linying, 22, has also signed a deal with American record label Nettwerk Music Group, which introduced artists like Coldplay and Dido to the US.
"I'm really happy to see how the local music scene has grown since I was 16," said Tan.
"I see the variety we can offer with our local bands and artists, and people like Linying are finally getting the recognition they deserve."
Tan also credited last year's SG50 Singapore Jubilee celebrations with helping to boost local music acts.
"The Government has been very supportive of our arts scene, giving grants to musicians and so on. I think (the SG50 movement) has really been at the root of this large-scale boom in local music."
And while local artists like Sun and Tanya Chua previously found fame by singing in Mandarin, Tan thinks Singaporean musicians need not shy away from embracing their bilingual roots.
"A lot of us Singaporean kids grew up with English as our first language, so it's natural for us to express ourselves in English.
"That being said, I wouldn't mind writing songs in Mandarin, too. I'm a big fan of Mandopop artists like Wang Lee Hom."