Falling Feathers’s JJ Ong On Music as a Lifestyle

Trying to make his mark on the pop genre in Singapore, Falling Feathers is the new voice in the local music scene. Despite being fresh-faced, he has already opened for Mayday Parade last October and will share the stage with Before You Exit next year. His debut single ‘Perfect‘ appeared on top of playlists on iTunes and Spotify.

So, who exactly is he?

Also known as JJ Ong, you might know him as the former frontman of the now defunct JJ and The Paperplanes. The pop punk outfit chose to disband in 2015, but it has never been an intention to leave music. That is how Falling Feathers came about with optimistic tunes and catchy good vibes.

“I don’t think  will end my music career, if at all. To me, music is more of a way of life, rather than just a thing that I do – even if I end up sitting on a desk typing excel sheets all day. I think that’s why many people go into the things that they love doing, because it is difficult to live without doing that one thing. So even if (music) is not feeding me or it isn’t my career, I won’t stop trying,” JJ shared.

Popspoken grabs a cup of coffee with the musician to talk more about his solo career and his inspirations.


POPSPOKEN: Tell us more about your stage name.

JJ Ong: Falling Feathers is just two words I somehow managed to put together and thought it was cool! There after, I just went with it! Easily memorable and lighthearted, just like the pop music I am going for.

POPSPOKEN: What started this pursuit of making your own music?

JJ Ong: I started playing acoustic guitar when I was 16 and after that, discovered song writing. I never stopped since!

POPSPOKEN: Share with us more of your musical journey since JJ and The Paperplanes until now.

JJ Ong: JJ and The Paperplanes taught me many things and I definitely gained a lot of experience with them. With the paperplanes, it was really fun playing different types of shows.

With Falling Feathers, it’s a totally different experience and so far, it has been amazing. I was given great opportunities to open for bands like Mayday Parade and also to reach out to a whole different group of audience.

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POPSPOKEN: What is the hardest part about going solo?

JJ Ong: The hardest part… Should be managing finances and (the) work load. As many may or may not know, being an independent musician mean(s) doing many things yourself. From things like re-stringing your guitar to writing press releases to song writing and getting booked. With band members, cost and work load can be shared and it’s not as taxing.

But going solo means making the tough calls alone even though you can bounce ideas off friends. It’s ultimately your decision to go ahead with an idea or toss it aside.

POPSPOKEN: How do you go about your song writing process?

JJ Ong: I always come up with songs while I’m on the go. An idea pop(s) up and I note it down. When I get the chance to sit down, I will finish the song!

POPSPOKEN: You released a music video recently. Tell us how the experience was like behind-the-scenes.

JJ Ong: I had lots of help from friends and support from Barbershop by Timbre who sponsored the filming venue. Working with Zie from Disco Hue who directed the video was a breeze. Communication wasn’t a problem and the video shoot went really smoothly.

Some members from local rock outfit Cadence also made a small cameo in the video which was really fun. Even though there were lots of challenges leading up to the shoot, the shoot was definitely a successful one.

POPSPOKEN: Name us three local bands you really look up to, and why.

JJ Ong: I really like Take Two, Jasmine Sokko and Linying.

Even though they’re all really different in their approach to music, everyone is really hardworking and keeps working at music even though it may be hard. Aside from good music, they’re the most passionate of people. It’s musicians like these that remind people like me to never stop even when the going gets tough.

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POPSPOKEN: What can we expect from your EP that is to be released soon?

JJ Ong: This upcoming EP that will be released next year is a melting pot of emotions. All the way from joy to depression to uplifting sing-alongs. The EP is filled with songs that envelope the conventional emotions of day-to-day experiences in a copacetic kind of way.

Stay in the loop of his up-coming EP here.

Photography: Darren ‘Merovign’ Tan


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