A year ago when he was about to release his debut album, Jason Chan Pak-yu had the look of a shy young man who couldn't believe his luck in landing a recording deal with Sony BMG. Today, he has the spirit and intensity of a man who seizes the day by the throat. Music has always been the love of his life, and according to the rising Canto-pop star, his recently released second album Change better reflects his positive character and musical progress. 'My previous album comprised mostly of sad romantic ballads and the mood is a bit dark. But my character is not like that,' says Chan. Produced by renowned figures, such as Peter Kam Pui-tat and Chan Kwong-wing, Change offers Canto-pop numbers in a wider variety of genres, from the R&B-tinged Which Planet You Come From, the acoustic Moonlight Express ('The song, which is the theme song of the movie Moonlight Express, has been in my head for 10 years,' Chan says), the sugar-coated I Miss You to Sense and Sensibility, a romantic duet with Taiwanese teen idol Rainie Yang. 'When I listened to a song in the past, I just focused on the melody. But now I have learned to appreciate music of different genres as well as good lyrics,' Chan says. He adds that he hopes to try songwriting in the future. 'I don't want to limit myself to singing as I also want to write melodies to express my emotions and ideas,' he says. 'Although I am not very good at writing, I would like to sing songs with lyrics about friendships, family or even social issues - not just romantic love.' For instance, Mr. Adult, a catchy mid-tempo number on his new album, tells the story of a group of young friends disenchanted by the difference between their childhood dreams and reality. 'Life is like that. There are things that are inevitable and you can only accept them and look on the bright side,' he says. 'Life is a long journey and not every experience in it is pleasurable.' Chan has had his fair share of bad experiences, such as being photographed by a gossip magazine reporter while smoking. Yet instead of denying it or making up excuses, his response was swift and positive: he kicked the habit last month. 'Smoking is a personal issue but it is not a good habit. It causes harm to other people and your own body. So I thought: why continue to smoke? Also, I would have set a bad example for children if I continued to do so,' says Chan. He adds that his philosophy of life is to seize the day and work hard rather than dwell on past mistakes. 'I don't want to change a thing about my past. We shouldn't have regrets in life because we should have made our own decisions. If we do something wrong, we should think about how to correct it or minimise its negative effects. It's pointless to dream about starting your life all over again,' he says.