Jolin Tsai started recording music since she was a teenager in the 1990s – putting herself on our radar in 2003 with Magic, her fifth studio album, which sold over 1.5 million copies in Asia and earned her the distinction of being Taiwan’s best-selling female singer.

Following this, the pop princess secured her A-list status with a string of Chinese hit albums – Castle, J-game, Dancing Diva, Agent J – with each one achieving Asian sales of over 2 million copies.

She even explored her crazier side in Play, the title track off her latest studio album, which thrust her back in the spotlight (although the album’s last song, We’re All Different, Yet The Same, can also claim the dubious honour of achieving as much when it made headlines for being censored in Singapore).

And yet, despite the fact that Jolin practically grew up in public (as we all do these days with social media) and studied English literature at university, she has revealed precious little behind her tightly managed image (and tight costumes) outside of her homeland.

So when the Jolin Tsai 2015 Play World Tour stopped by Singapore for a one-night-only extravaganza, we took the opportunity to ask the 35-year-old about dating etiquette and what she looks for in a man. As it happens, it contrasts with her public image much more than we’d expect.

There’s no ideal type

“Romance can be difficult to make sense of. Sometimes it just feels right, which may be the key to finding a partner. My kind of guy is someone who is honest and kind-hearted. He doesn’t need to be ripped, but he does need to have hobbies, an active lifestyle and an interest in health. That’s because I usually exercise at least three days a week.”

You’ll have to compete with her career…

“I see both career and love life as equally important. Relationships should be based on mutual trust and interdependence, and at the same time allow both of us to have our personal space.”

…and her friends too

“When there’s some downtime, I’ll take the chance to catch up or party with my friends. I also turn to my friends when I’m feeling down.”

Filial piety isn’t out of date

“Among all the characteristics a man can have, filial piety stands out as an attractive trait that women will want in men.”

Exude confidence, not arrogance

“How confident you are determines your sex appeal. But I dislike rude and arrogant guys.”

Don’t leave romance to chance

“I believe in fate. But I also believe that love is a process between two people, understanding each other better to make the relationship work. While there may be no such thing as a perfect relationship, what’s important is for a couple to have that goal in mind and work towards achieving that.”

By: Kenneth Wee; image: IMC Live Group