The year is finally coming to an end and many of us will remember it for the tough lessons it has given us.
With the pandemic and resulting lockdowns forcing people into dark corners, sometimes without the constant physical presence of their usual support system, mental health has become a major concern.
People have found many ways to cope - from picking up new hobbies to having virtual games with loved ones. Singaporean singer songwriter Gentle Bones a.k.a Joel Tan and Benjamin Kheng chose to pen their thoughts in music.
The result is “Better with You”
, the duo's personal reflection and struggles during the pandemic.
Gentle Bones seeks to use his upcoming songs to promote mental health awareness through his latest EP ‘Better With You’ alongside his close friend and fellow Singaporean musician, actor and writer, Benjamin Kheng, who is a member of The Sam Willows.
The world is better with you in it
Gentle Bones told Rojak Daily
'Better with You' is a song to remind those who listen to it that the world is better with them in it.
"It's like a reminder to listeners that this world is better with you around, you’re a great positive force in this world; in your immediate surrounding if you want to be," he said.
Kheng said that when they were writing the song, the duo were focusing on the idea of Asians generally being bad at showing emotions and being a good friend.
"I think this was the year that challenged a lot of people and the song just felt like...if you couldn’t personally voice out your feelings, it could be done through a song. It was just meant to uplift people and to inspire," he said when asked what inspired the EP.
Even the most introverted people need their support system, whether it's family, significant other or friends.
This year made many realise the importants of ties with fellow humans more than ever and 'Better with You' is also a reflection of this.
"(The EP was) Mainly inspired by Ben who’s been a huge role model to me and a huge inspiration coming up since we were both trying to figure out our paths in a music industry that was sort of building itself up.
"We both started off from YouTube. He has been a huge light in my life.
"That was actually how this song came about. I had some words and some bits of melody here and there," Gentle Bones said.
Kheng said that when they got down to writing the song, it was with a lot of love for each other as friends and respect as artists.
"For Joel and I, in this time, music was a kind of therapy. I won’t say full therapy but we kind of fell in love with music again and really just go back to basics.
"Just enjoying music and appreciating it for what it is," Kheng said.
Gentle Bones is using the release of his new EP to talk about mental health and he's also donating a part of the profit from the songs to organisations related to mental health.
You can now listen to 'Better with You' on most music platforms.