TL;DR – Nearly everything you need to know about him… and come come, meet his father, mother, brother and sister.
For the uninitiated, Sing! China is a reality TV singing competition that’s sorta modeled after The Voice. This is the first season, and the four mentors are Harlem Yu, Jay Chou, Na Ying and Wang Feng.
For the first time, Singapore actually has a contestant who has made it this far! The finals! Yup, I’m talking about Nathan Hartono （向洋）who burst into the mighty talented Chinese singing world during the first round back in July. His rendition of 有没有 was just fantastic! He impressed the four mentors who all wanted him to be on their teams. He eventually chose Jay Chou.
2016.07.15 First Stage
His second round was a little shaky. Not only had he (nearly?) lost his voice, he was also perceived to be a little too ‘drama and deliberate’ onstage. The other mentors thought the showmanship was a little excessive. Or maybe it’s just his unfamiliarity with Mandopop (我们都寂寞). But hey, his mentor Jay had faith in him and picked him! YAY!
In the third round, he went back to his jazzy roots and performed a mashup of Moondance and his mentor’s composition (天台的月光). Not only was his singing good, he impressed with his voice trumpet and beatboxing skills! Yes, the trumpet was not a real trumpet, it was all his voice!
Last night (Friday) was his fourth round. It’s Guess what? Nathan had the highest score of the evening, 93.65, after winning 47 votes from 51 professional judges and 333 votes from 350 audience members! You can watch the full episode here.
So now, he’s on his way to the finals, to be held at the famous Bird’s Nest on 7th Oct! That’s where all the megastars hold their concerts when in China.
Some Tidbits about Nathan Hartono
1. Nathan’s born 26 July 1991, that will make him a 25yo Leo!
2. Nathan made his debut over a decade ago back in 2005! He had won the Teenage Icon singing competition when he was 14yo and even released his own album then when he was 15yo. The album charted as the number one album on HMV’s Jazz Chart for two weeks after its release.
3. Yes, some people have said Nathan doesn’t look SIngaporean, but hey, he is true-blue Singaporean. His not-as-Singaporean appearance can be attributed to the fact he was born to Chinese Indonesian parents.
In case you’re wondering exactly how Singaporean Nathan is… Well, he even uploaded this video tribute when Lee Kuan Yew passed away, so what do you think?
4. Nathan’s father, Thomas Hartono, is the managing director of PT Anandini Vimala, a developer of lifestyle projects such as resorts and villas.
5. His mother, Jocelyn Tjioe, is the senior vice president of Singapore-based Tung Lok group, which was founded by his grandfather. She takes care of administration and procurement matters for its chain of restaurants.
6. Nathan has an older brother, Norman Hartono, and a younger sister, Nydia Hartono.
7. His brother, Norman, is already in the family business.
Heard of or ate at Dancing Crab before? That’s one of his brother, Norman’s creation a few years ago, introduced to modernize and diversify the Tung Luk brand.
8. His sister, Nydia is in the creative field too. She’s a photographer / videographer / filmmaker, shuttling between Boston and Singapore.
9. Nathan himself spent most of his life here, from Nanyang Primary School, to ACS (Barker Road) and then on to ACJC.
10. He subsequently enroled and studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, majoring in Music Production & Engineering. He’s currently on sabbatical to focus on his personal projects here.
11. When Nathan first burst into the music scene in 2005, Dick Lee once described the young Nathan “a rare find and a budding new talent who gives much hope to the local music scene”.
12. Nathan once said performing is his first love, and cooking is his second love. He, apparently, can cook!
13. During an interview with Asia Tatler, he was asked what he thought about ‘Singaporean’ cuisine. Here’s what he’d said,
“Singaporean” cuisine definitely exists. I know there has been lots of chatter about the origins of various dishes. But tell me, when you’re at a hawker centre and it’s 40°C out, your brow is sweating, your nose is dripping, and you have a Milo-peng (iced Milo) on one side and a bowl of laksa on the other, and you cannot be happier—where else but in Singapore?”
And…. so cute! Just as we’re talking about Milo here, this happened!
14. In that same interview, he also spoke of the street food haunt he frequents – The Roti Prata House at Upper Thomson Road.
“Because when you’re hungry at 1am, and just feel like having something so good, yet is so bad for you? Well, this is one of my go-to places for just that. There’s nothing quite like the crispy garlic prata and Maggie mutton masala here, washed down with bandung.”
Ahhhh… a man after my own heart!
15. Would you guess if Nathan’s an introvert or an extrovert? In a
Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with the MV of his latest self-composed song, Electricity.
Updated 8th Oct 2016
So, the finals happened on 7th Oct, Friday night, and I assume you’d have already heard our Singaporean boy came in second.
Here are the related links.
2016.01.07 Sing! China finals, the complete vid
2016.10.07 Nathan Hartono with Jay Chou, 雙節棍
2016.10.07 Nathan Hartono, 最長的電影
2016.10.07 Nathan Hartono, 城裡的月光 + 女人花
No one can mathematics as well as China
ST: Has Nathan Hartono lost?
Would you like some free food and Milo peng?
The boy ain’t butthurt and just wanna #bakchormee!
Food for thought:
One of our writers, Flora, mentioned this in her Nathan post, “Nathan Hartono didn’t win, but hey, it’s Sing! CHINA after all.” She went on to say,
“The power of example vs. the example of power.”
Hmmm… A poignantly powerful statement about how China chooses to manage certain issues. It can be applied to something as entertaining as Sing! China and can be something as political as the South China Sea spat. Do you think China would have done things differently had she been dealing with a nation of comparable size and power?
Against a tiny nation like ours, it does appear to be the latter, that China’s showing examples of her power.