Double the Pop Emotions with Bones & The Boy
Two incredible Singaporean singer-songwriters teamed up a la Silk Sonic to form Bones & The Boy.
The new super duo is made up of Gentle Bones and Lullaboy from the Lion City – both of which have gained major success respectively on their own through their music over the years and international recognition.
Joel Tan, aka Gentle Bones, has been writing music since he was 16 years old and uploaded cover songs to his YouTube since 2011, before releasing his debut self-titled EP in 2014.
His career has been booming since, and he even earned a mention in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2016. He has changed the pop music scene in Singapore through his work.
For Bernard Dinata, aka Lullaboy, it was during his time at the Singapore Army when he took part in the Music & Drama Company when he started creating music, which led him to join the remarkable Berklee College of Music.
The emo-pop music artiste finally released his debut album Chapters Of You earlier this year and has been making waves of his own in the music scene too.
Bones & The Boy is born under Yung Lee Records, founded by Gentle Bones and produced by Homeground Studios, that Gentle Bones works with often too. The self-titled album by the duo is an elevated representation of themselves as artistes through a merge of sound and ideas.
We managed to speak to the musical duo to find out how the project came about, the difference with working on a collaboration, and what their favourite songs from each other are.
How is 2022 treating you all so far?
Lullaboy: It feels like the first year of the rest of my life. This year could potentially be my favourite year of all time.
Gentle Bones: Amazingly, glad to be back in action!
What were you guys listening to growing up and how has it changed?
Lullaboy: I transitioned from R&B to gospel music to post-hardcore emo rock bands. I still headbang a few times a month so, “No mom, it wasn’t just a phase.”
Gentle Bones: I too had similar transitions and overtime what I’d realise is that we are drawn to different kinds of music for different emotions and experiences we have in our life, so now I listen to every kind of music.
What triggered the idea for the two of you to form a duo? Did you guys know each other prior to the project?
Lullaboy: Joel and I had never actually met in person before this project but of course, I had known of him for years. He doesn't know this but he is an artiste that really fired up my drive and made me want to go further in a healthy way. In my mind, I was Ash and he was Gary. Who would have thought we’d end up teaming up!
Gentle Bones: I’ve loved Bernard’s music for a long, long time and deep down I knew it was going to happen sooner or later... Thank God we worked together just in time, now he is moving onto bigger things.
Both of you are very successful in your own right – what do you think each of you that brought into this project?
Lullaboy: I appreciate the kind words. I think we both had common interests but came from different sides of the music industry. Joel dove straight into the scene and I decided to take a more behind-the-scenes approach first, exploring the depths of music and myself through different countries. Coming together lets us share our experiences and create something special.
Gentle Bones: I think outside of being artistes, we brought ourselves as first and foremost fans of music to the project, and created music our younger selves would enjoy, without the limitations of the identities we’ve found from our solo careers.
Tell us more about Bones & The Boy, as well as the EP. How is it different from your individual projects and what do you hope to achieve?
Lullaboy: I don’t do many collaborations but I do believe that when something feels right, you can’t let it pass you by. Doing this with Joel felt important and now I can say that this EP is a mirror of who we were, who we are and who we want to be. I hope the fans find a part of themselves within these stories.
Gentle Bones: We just wanted to make music we enjoyed first and foremost, we came together and wrote music that we felt for, and those emotions also encompassed the people who have loved our music over the years.
Was creating the EP together more or less difficult than making a solo album? What are you both taking away from the experience?
Lullaboy: The making of this EP was so shockingly smooth and fast. Not because we rushed it, but because Joel and I would somehow finish writing a song every time we met. We also had the blessing of working with Homeground Studios, which exceeded all my expectations as producers. I feel like we could have made a whole album actually, but let's see what the fans want.
Gentle Bones: I’d like to make a Bones & The Boy album ASAP! When we enjoy ourselves while writing music we personally feel for, I believe the listeners can tell, and we’ve done that in this EP. Homeground Studios definitely came through.
What are your favourite songs of each other?
Lullaboy: My favourite song from Gentle Bones is “elusive”. I’ve never told him that but that's a song I wish I wrote (laughs).
Gentle Bones: I did not know that… My favourite song from Lullaboy has to be “Someone Like U” – I’m always a sucker for that crowd favourite.
What have you learned about each other and yourself through this collaboration?
Lullaboy: I learned that everything we experience in life leads us to exactly where we’re supposed to be. As for what I learned about Joel, we’ve seen a glimpse into each other and I think I can confidently say I’m now one of the few people that gets him.
Gentle Bones: Wow, what I’ve learnt about Bernard is that there is the reason why his music speaks so strongly, and his heart and love are immediately apparent when u meet him. He is a sweet, sweet soul.
If Bones & The Boy were a movie, what would it be and why?
Lullaboy: It would be Rush Hour. Two people from different worlds that grow to become friends and save the world (laughs).
Gentle Bones: Damn, I don’t have a better answer than that.
Who is your favourite duo and why? Is there anyone you were inspired by for this project?
Lullaboy: I love the collaborations between Lauv, Lany and Troye Sivan but I remember Joel telling me he wanted to make our own version of Silk Sonic and I was sold.
Gentle Bones: I love Savage Garden, Skrillex and Diplo.
What has been the most surreal or crazy moment for you as artists so far?
Lullaboy: Getting signed has been a real pinnacle for me but I know that a new journey now begins.
Gentle Bones: Working with JJ Lin.
What do you hope to achieve as artists before the year ends?
Lullaboy: I can't wait to play more shows and be with all the fans in person again, but on top of that, I have this gut feeling that something that I can’t even fathom yet is coming and I’m excited for that.
Gentle Bones: I want to see Lullaboy play Coachella.
Cover Credit: Bless7Up
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
When he isn’t making sure Sound of Life stories are published in a timely manner, Kevin enjoys wandering aimlessly in Kuala Lumpur city, going down the YouTube rabbit hole and discovering new music.