Possibly 2015’s most exciting news for local music so far: Universal Music Singapore has just announced the signing of Singapore’s very own folk/pop artist Gentle Bones to the label with a “360-degree deal”.

That includes recording and publishing rights, events, endorsements, and merchandise (and possibly as many servings of llao llao as he would like).

Despite the label’s country-specific suffix, the deal marks the first for Universal Music Singapore with a Singaporean artist and the first major record deal for Joel.

Since Joel Tan aka Gentle Bones debuted his self-titled EP at the top of the iTunes chart in late-2014, the 21-year-old has gone on to achieve so much more.

His debut single, “Until We Die“, hit the #1 spot on Singapore’s iTunes charts a day after its release. It was also named Singapore’s favourite track of 2014 on music streaming service Spotify Singapore.

Follow-up singles “Save Me” and “Elusive” also charted #1 and #3 respectively on Singapore’s iTunes. More recently, his achievements include opening for international artists such as Us The Duo and Christina Perri.

With this signing, Joel is expected to make his major label debut with a EP due in the second-half of 2015.

A grateful Joel had this to say:

“My progress with music has been an incredible one over the past years and has exceeded my wildest dreams. With the involvement of Universal Music Group in the Gentle Bones journey, it leaves me with great hope of taking my artistic endeavors to greater heights.”

The rest of 2015 looks set for Gentle Bones’ star to shine even brighter. Fresh from a mini-tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he has been chosen to be one of the performers at the SGMUSO Live showcase in London, running from 24 to 28 June and organised in collaboration with the Singapore Tourism Board. In fact, he has already written and recorded a brand-new song titled “You’re Almost There” for the 2015 SEA Games soundtrack.

Buy Gentle Bones’ debut EP here. Become a fan (a “Gentle Boner”?) by following Joel online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Stay updated and social with Popspoken: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram