With his song already getting airtime on popular Korean variety shows, local pop singer Falling Feathers is one musician you’d want to keep an eye on. Just as well that he’s releasing an EP, titled Pipe Dreams, later this month.
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Having your song used on a Korean variety programme is major. And that’s exactly what happened to Singaporean Falling Feathers (real name Ong Jin Jie), whose single “Why So Serious” was used in not one, but two popular Korean shows last year – namely Youn’s Kitchen and The Return of Superman. We think you’ll love him too.
Why the stage name?
Everyone asks me this! It’s because it represents growth. Birds shed their feathers as they grow, and the new feathers grow back stronger. So the idea is to always learn and grow, and not be stagnant as a musician.
But why even use a stage name to begin with?
That’s because JJ is already associated with another Singaporean singer, JJ Lin. (laughs)
Tell us more about your upcoming EP, Pipe Dreams.
Pipe dreams refer to goals or dreams that are unattainable. And in Singapore, doing music – especially English music – is usually regarded as something that’s not attainable, something that’s not possible to do full-time. Usually it’s the Mandarin-singing artistes that can do it, right?
Did being a musician feel like a pipe dream to you?
Actually, it still is. For a lot musicians, we do music not because we want to become rich or famous. We do it because it’s something that we have to get out of our system. I think it will always be a pipe dream, until it’s not, you know what I mean? Like, something needs to (snaps ingers). Until that moment happens.
Last year, your single “Why So Serious” was used on a couple of Korean variety shows, albeit without your permission. How did that feel?
Honestly, it felt great. Of course it’s a bad thing that they just used it like that – but after doing some research, I found out that this is not uncommon. Korean broadcast stations always use indie English music. It’s just how the industry works there.
You said you were influenced by emo music when you were younger. If your younger self could see you now, what would he say?
When I started Falling Feathers about a year and a half ago, I didn’t have any expectations. Like, I need to be here at this age and I need to be there at that age, you know? And doing this now, it excites me, because the way you bring pop music to people and the way you bring emo music to people is really different. They attract very different crowds, and that brings a new challenge to making music. Pop music is not just about writing catchy songs, it’s also about how you put forth your video, your images, the things you do on and off stage, and how you engage the crowd. That’s the fun part – to find out what works and what doesn’t.
What’s your favourite track off your EP?
I would say it’s “Terrified”. This song is about how a lot of us are very afraid of moving on.
Text Sophie Hong.