Nathan Hartono
Entertainer / Performer
Corporate Sponsor:
Very Special Arts Singapore
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Who are you? Tell us a bit more about yourself!

My name’s Nathan Hartono and I’ve been a part of Singapore’s music scene since 2005, back when I was 14 years old. I started off winning a small competition organised by Teenage magazine. After winning that, things kind of just took off. I got a lot of opportunities to perform at a bunch of different places…ranging from solo concerts, to charity events, to national events. Recently I’ve branched into theatre as well, playing two lead roles in two musicals by Pangdemonium! Theatre productions. It’s been 9 years so far, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon!

What’s your story? Tell us about a life-changing incident.

A life changing incident would have to be, when I first stepped onto that stage during the Teenage magazine competition. It was my first time on a public stage and the first time performing in front of more than 5 people. It was intense, I had no idea what to expect or how it was going to feel. Looking back, it’s quite surreal. I spent most of my life up till then, admiring performers and just so enamoured by their craft. I didn’t think in a million years that one day I would one day be on a stage myself. After that moment, the proverbial “performance bug” bit me. And I’ve been insufferable every since!

Why 50for50 and why now?

I’ve done a fair bit for charity, but it’s usually very quietly – either just pro bono performances for various charities or anonymous donations. I’ve never actually stepped up and declared a cause that I strongly feel for before. Maybe because I’m just a little shy with these things. I do feel like that aspect of charity is sometimes quite important. To be able to raise awareness and rally others to do a part as well. Especially when you are in a position, and possess the right platforms to spread the word! So when this opportunity came along, I took it as a sign to step up and find out ways I could actively help.

What gets you up in the morning?

My dog usually.

Also, the desire to create. When I wake up on a fully packed day, I can’t wait to get started and get myself out there. But on slightly more lazy days where I don’t really even have to leave the house. What gets me started is the sheer excitement of the time I will have to create something. Write, record, whatever.

Why this cause out of so many causes?

I feel as a performer and artist myself, I can really relate, to a certain extent, the experiences gone through by everyone at Very Special Arts (VSA). I don’t have any disabilities myself, so there is an aspect to their struggle and suffering I cannot claim to understand. But I’ll be damned if I don’t try my best to even out the playing field for these wonderful artists as much as possible. As well as help them see the greatness they can achieve, regardless of any barriers.

Any experiences with charity or non-profit work before?

A bunch.

What kind of change are you looking to bring about as a changemaker?

I just want to make someone out there a happier person.

What is your big idea on how to raise funds for 50for50?

I’m still working it out. But I will probably utilise the platforms I currently have at my disposal such as Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Soundcloud. There is a decent amount of reach over all those platforms so I will be using all of those as creatively as I can to spread the word.