Engineering his singing career
His decision to leave the industry came as somewhat of a surprise to many of his fans as he already had a hit song under his belt - Flight 943 (Fei Xing 943) in 2003 and plans had been made for him to further his career to Taiwan.
"At that time, I was studying and singing at the same time. I wasn't officially signed under a label but when plans to further my singing career in Taiwan came, I was faced with a choice," said Chen.
He had to sign a contract to become a full time singer if he chose to go Taiwan, but that would mean he would not be able to continue his studies.
Deciding that his studies were more important, Chen chose to give up singing, dispelling rumours about his then-girlfriend.
Chen studied Electronical Engineering, and after graduating, he worked as an engineer for two years plus. Initially enjoying the work, he slowly found he was not moving forward in terms of learning.
Chen was contemplating switching jobs when his current company, Rock Records, contacted him to sign him up to become a full time artiste. The timing seemed to be right.
"At that point, I was thinking on what more I can achieve other than continue being an engineer. Of course I didn't immediately take up the offer of becoming a full time singer. I took some time and consulted the people close to me. And I thought, life is too short, why not just take the chance?"
But what if things don't work out?
Unfazed by the question, Chen calmly replied that he could just look for something new to do. One thing's for sure, he has a very positive outlook on life.
For now, things seem to be working out just fine for Chen as his first album out of 'retirement' has garnered quite an interest among fans. His song Shout (Na Han), has also been nominated in the upcoming AIM for Best Local Chinese Song.
Will he be taking the next big step often sought after by local Chinese artiste - Taiwan, anytime soon?
"Most naturally, I would love to further my career there. It's a natural development for any Mandarin singer for career advancement. But we'll just have to wait and see."