Singaporean artist Gentle Bones is a gift that keeps on giving!

Right in time for the festive season comes his latest offering in the form of a music video for his recently released single, “Smile For Me”!

Gentle Bones is back with one more gift, right before the festive season — an adorable music video to accompany his single, ‘Smile For Me’!

Directed, produced and written by Mari Chung from The Mill – one of the biggest animation houses in the world – “Smile For Me” is basically an animated short film.

As his song gains more traction on music streaming platforms, we got a chance to talk to the man himself (Joel) and we see why he has landed himself in Spotify’s Top 5 Most Streamed Singapore artists in 2019.

1. Hey Joel. You’ve been churning out great songs in the past 2 years. This new track is amazing. What was the true inspiration behind the song?

I really wanted to write something that would encourage as many people as possible in exploring self-love and to seek answers from within, a topic that is too simply brushed off these days. I gave myself the constraint of not allowing this piece of music to be a crutch for any emotion, whatsoever. I feel like music has played this role as a crutch for a lot of people, so far. People tend to exaggerate their emotions through music, but as much as it helps you identify your emotions sometimes, it usually just dramatises everything. I look at my friends and people around me and I don’t think they need that kind of thing right now. So I gave myself that constraint and just worked with that.

2. Why did you feel it was necessary to write an anthem for the generation of today? Would you consider yourself as part of this generation too?

Yes it definitely is for myself too. We live in a world that keeps us wanting and teaches us to be unfulfilled. As artists, we struggle with being able to come up with honest pieces of work and at the same time handling ourselves in a not so honest society. But I think this applies to everyone out there as we are all the artistes of our own lives. I think the best way to overcome this dissonance in the world is to go deeper within the self and practice self-love. I think we can all start approaching music in a way that lifts people up. Focusing on the important things in life rather than sing about superficial things and living a life of decadence.

3. Every artist would love to spread positive messages.  How are you any different from Kanye’s latest album? It seems like those tracks seem to reflect some kind of spiritual attainment that he hopes to help people.

I don’t think there is any difference in positivity but merely a difference in perspective on the same thing. Love is unquestionable and the world is a very complex system of old and new which have disempowered each human being in different ways. I believe if more people speak of their idea of positivity and the need for a spiritual understanding in a world that constantly doubts the old structures of religion, we might be able to eradicate unconscious behaviors that seem to result in the slipping away of the world that we used to know.

4. ‘Smile For Me’ is only 2:46 in length. Do you think in that short amount of time, you’re able to speak to people through your song? 

I reckon the message is clear and the reason why I’d personally have it this short is because i’d like to approach it in the same way as anyone would approach pop music.

5. You put out the ‘Michelle EP’ last year. Why the silence until now? Is there a reason why it took you so long til ‘Smile For Me’ was released?

I’ve been trying to figure out what to write! I like to challenge myself to write and explore new themes and sounds with each release. The previous EP did so well that I was really busy taking in how the music turned out so good and was trying to learn from the process.

6. You’ve been working with MYRNE a lot since the B4NGER project. What was it that brought you both together again?

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 and I don’t think we’ll ever stop working together.

7. When are you planning for your next release? Releasing singles seem to be the trend but are you planning another EP or an album?

They are still in the works, I can’t say much yet and there is so much good music out there. I’m trying to stay inspired and also to keep my authenticity by putting out works that really speak to me. Give me some time please, haha.

8. Are you planning to come over to KL anytime soon? What’s up that alley?

Of course, we’re constantly looking out for possible festivals and speaking with promoters to get us over there! This is an open call to all promoters, get us over to KL asap please! The Malaysian fans have always been so nice and accommodating to my music and being able to connect with the audience and present my music to them has always been an absolute honour.

9. What has changed since you last came to KL? You were up here with a band. What can fans expect?

We’re improving our live set each day and yes, i’ll still be with my band. I wish to be able to write more songs that can touch the lives of as many people as possible and give everyone who’d like the opportunity the experience live.

10. Last one, just for fun. We hear that you’ve got ties with a band from KL called, An Honest Mistake. How’s that like?

Yes! Darren and I have known each other for years. He has been a huge inspiration to me and many others in Singapore, they fight for their dreams endlessly and that positive energy really rubs off on us. I am thankful to have a friend like him in KL. I’m glad you know of them too!