He used to perform for thousands of shrieking fans back in Taiwan. Now, he is singing nightly in a Thai disco in Singapore.
It does seem that Taiwanese singer Miles Liu Ming-Feng has dropped several rungs on the showbiz ladder.
The 25-year-old became an overnight sensation in 2007 after coming in fifth on the first season of Taiwanese reality TV singing competition One Million Star.
Known for his songwriting, Liu wowed viewers with his catchy original compositions, cool cat image and slight physical resemblance to Taiwanese superstar Jay Chou.
Together with fellow contestants such as Yoga Lin (who was the winner that season), Stanly Hsu and Aska Yang, Liu enjoyed fame for more than two years.
The One Million Star finalists toured Taiwan relentlessly and recorded two compilation albums.
At the peak of his popularity, Liu even snagged a cameo role in Taiwanese idol drama The Teen Age.
But once his contract with his artist management agency expired, the offers dried up.
He tried but failed to get a recording contract in Taiwan. Before coming to Singapore, he performed in China on and off for about ayear.
"I managed to get this current Singapore gig through a Taiwanese agent, who linked me up with the boss here," Liu told The New Paper in an interview at Planet Paradise, a disco located at Liang Court.
He joined Planet Paradise's regular roster of 20-odd singers and musicians in March and now sings five nights a week, doing mostly Mandopop and English covers.
Liu will be in Singapore for six months, after which he said he would "most likely return to Taiwan to film a drama production".
The guitar-strumming singer said he does not consider being a resident club singer a step down for him.
"Before my One Million Star competition days, I used to sing at pubs in Taiwan, so the nightlife environment isn't entirely new to me," he said.
"Singapore's club scene is actually more vibrant than Taiwan's, and the discos here look more impressive.
"I just have to do my job well, which is sing...I don't have to entertain customers, or drink with them."
He shook his head furiously when quizzed if he ever envied the successes of Lin or Yang, who have both carved out solo careers and released a slew of chart-topping albums.
"When we were competing on One Million Star, all of us were already aware of each other's strengths. I knew guys like Yoga and Aska were capable of greater things," said Liu.
"I'm happy to see them doing so well. There's no jealousy... The whole bunch of us grew very close on One Million Star and went through tough times together.
"I have to admit I do miss that exciting post-competition phase when we were on top of our game and singing for so many people. But the fact is, I'm no longer 18. I've changed too."
He hopes his time with Planet Paradise will help toughen him up.
"I plunged right into One Million Star after graduating from vocational school, so I haven't really officially worked in my life," hesaid.
"Getting out of Taiwan would allow me to accumulate different experiences. I'm still young and I want to open myself up to as many opportunities as possible.
"Also, living overseas might give me a burst of inspiration for writing new songs."
He enjoys his anonymity in Singapore, adding that he has assimilated well with the locals as well as his Thai colleagues.
"I frequent food courts, kopi tiams and McDonalds," said Liu with a grin.
"Also, I've picked up basic Thai to communicate with my bandmates (who are all Thai).
"Initially, I didn't know a single word of Thai, so it was tough to get my message across to them.
Now, I can string simple sentences together."
This article was first published in The New Paper.