Finally, Jam Hsiao finds his voice at interviews

"What can't I accept? That would have tobe being completely nude." - SINGER JAM HSIAO (above) on sexy outfits for his concert
"What can't I accept? That would have tobe being completely nude." - SINGER JAM HSIAO (above) on sexy outfits for his concertPHOTO: ONE PRODUCTION

Taiwanese singer Jam Hsiao is no longer the notoriously reticent subject of media interviews who would reply to questions with one word.

In a telephone interview from Taipei with local media, he displays an off-kilter, dry sense of humour and an equanimity when facing pesky and persistent rumours about his personal life.

He muses: "I guess I'm pretty terrible compared with many people, but at least I can put my thoughts into words. I would like to live freely and naturally and sometimes when I'm in a bad mood or don't want to say much, I hope people can understand that as well."

His fans will find out whether this newfound chattiness translates to charming stage banter when he performs at the Indoor Stadium on Aug 15.

The show promises to be a multi- sensory experience. Apart from his rich vocals and audio-visual flourishes, there will also be specially created scents released for some songs.

  • BOOK IT /TRIPLE JAM - JAM HSIAO WORLD TOUR LIVE IN SINGAPORE 2015

  • WHERE: Singapore Indoor Stadium

    WHEN: Aug 15, 8pm

    ADMISSION: $98 to $198 from Sports Hub Tix (call 6333-5000 or go to www.sportshubtix.sg)

Hsiao, 28, does not think his olfactory sense is particularly sensitive, though.

He says: "I guess it's like a normal person's. Whatever I can smell, you can smell as well."

Surprisingly, he reveals that he has never bought a fragrance for himself before. "I think I smell pretty good anyway," he quips.

Costumes-wise, he will be showing a little skin with one outfit cut with a deep V, which is not enough to get him too hung-up about getting in shape beyond his usual sports routine of basketball and other ball games.

He has a very practical approach when it comes to get-ups. "The most important thing is to be comfortable, regardless of how complicated or heavy the styling is. You must be able to move in it and it shouldn't be a burden.

"What can't I accept? That would have to be being completely nude."

More evidence of his recently acquired way with words.

It was not always like this.

It was his way with notes, not words, that led to him breaking out on the reality singing competition One Million Star in 2007. He released his self-titled debut album in 2008 and, with his fourth album, It's All About Love (2012), nabbed the Golden Melody Award for Best Male Mandarin Singer.

He has branched out into acting as well, with a feted turn in the action film The Killer Who Never Kills (2011). He is also sitting on the other side of the fence as a mentor on the China reality competition series The Most Beautiful Harmonies.

No doubt these experiences have helped him to be more verbally communicative. He even obliges when rumours are brought up during this interview.

On the supposed bad blood between him and fellow mentor, China singer Zhang Jie, he says: "If I didn't get along with him, he wouldn't stay at my place whenever he visits Taiwan."

What about him supposedly drawing a heart in the ice at a skating rink for his agent Summer Lin, long rumoured to be his girlfriend?

He explains he had taken 20 kids to go ice-skating and that he had drawn the heart for one of them whom he was close to. And a photographer managed to take a picture at just the right angle to include Lin.

"I don't actually want to explain because the story is so long. Anyway, I won't get bothered by what people write - I'm pretty calm about it. As long as everyone is happy."

The composure will probably stand him in good stead since he sees himself in the entertainment industry for the long haul.

He takes the long view as well when it comes to something as fundamental as looking after his voice.

"I don't like to pack my touring schedule too tightly. Of course, I can take on engagement after engagement, but that's not good for the future or for my voice.

"If you want to sing for a long time, you also need to have enough sleep and live happily. That's it, really."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2015, with the headline 'Jam Hsiao opens up'. Print Edition | Subscribe