Had it not been for an impulsive decision to take part in a singing competition, Eason Chan Yick-shun could today be designing a new hotel or office building. In 1995 Chan was well on the way to a degree in architectural studies at London's Kingston University when he decided to take part in TVB's New Talent Singing Contest. Five years and five albums later, Chan is now one of Hong Kong's leading Canto-pop stars and looking forward to a new musical direction. His first album under his new record label, Music Plus, will be released this month. 'I'm not the type to go out shopping without an aim. I usually know what I want to buy before I go out and then go straight to the shop to pick it up. One of my favourite shops is a small place called X Game (1/F, 11 Pak Sha Road, Causeway Bay. Tel: 2881 8960) which sells a whole range of surfing and wakeboarding fashion by brands like Stussy, Tribal, Varcity and Pornstar. I've been wakeboarding for a few years now so that's why I like the fashion. People have criticised me for wearing T-shirts that they say are a bad influence, such as the Pornstar ones. One of the T-shirts that got the most flak was one that said 'Masturbation is not against the law'. So now I don't wear them to official functions, but I like T-shirts with attitude and messages written on them. It would be meaningless buying them otherwise. 'I look for comfort in my clothes. I tend to buy jeans by Kingpin or Dynasty, but my main penchant is for hats. I have about 50 in my cupboard: baseball caps, cowboy hats, knit caps, you name it, I've got it. I sometimes pick up hats from random stores I come across in Tokyo. Otherwise I go to X Game because it has a good stock. Of course, I also like the shop because I get a discount there! 'I don't really go for expensive labels, so you won't see me walking around in designer stores much. When I was studying in England, one of my favourite designer shops was actually the Joseph Clearance Store (53 King's Road, London, SW3. Tel: 4420 7730 7562) which sells brands like Commes des Garcon, Yohji Yamamoto and Dries Van Noten. Sometimes the goods are marked down from about ?300 (HK$3,750) to about ?70 - great bargains. 'Another of my haunts is the Safeway chain of supermarkets (Tel: 4420 8848 8744 or www.safeway.co.uk ). I love the cooked-food sections, especially the honey-cured ham and garlic sausages. As a student I would go there to buy stir-fried spaghetti with sausage slices. 'Whenever I'm in London, I like to go to the Conran Shop (Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3. Tel: 4420 7589 7401 or www.conran.co.uk ) to look at the designs and home furnishings. 'When it comes to music, there's no beating HMV (Room 601-604, Sands Building, 17 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 2832 9886) for convenience. I go there for all my CDs as well as my magazine supply. I swear by ID magazine but I also go for GQ, Esquire, Sky and Arena. 'I listen to different kinds of music, from Manic Street Preachers to Fat Boy Slim to Bobby Brown to Trey Lorenz. Looking at the way I dress, a lot of people presume I listen to rap and hip-hop, but that's the genre I actually listen to the least. I try to broaden my musical tastes all the time.'